Chemicals giant BASF SE has created a new process for managing its product portfolio based on sustainability criteria.
The Ludwigshafen, Germany-based group said the Sustainable Solution Steering method was used to “systematically review and evaluate the sustainability aspects of the approximately 50,000 relevant product applications” in its portfolio, which generated annual sales of 56 billion euros ($72.5 billion).
BASF said it had analyzed more than 80 percent of its portfolio in the last three years, with data concluding how a given product contributed to cost effectiveness and resource conservation.
Analyzed products would fall under four areas covering various sustainability scenarios, the group said, with focus on driving those products that make a “substantial contribution in the value chain to sustainability” and actions plans being put in place to improve a product whose sustainability potential lagged the rest of the portfolio.
Kurt Bock, BASF's chairman, said it was becoming increasingly important to the group's customers to be able to combine economic, environmental and societal demands.
“We see this development as a business opportunity for BASF and intend to seize it in a targeted manner.”
BASF's categories are:
• Acclerators, for those products which make a “substantial contribution” in the value chain to sustainability. The company says about 22 percent of the products fall into that class.
• Performers, for those items which meet the standard market requirements for sustainability. BASF says 73 percent of its products.
• Transitioners, which covers products where specific sustainability issues have been identified and action plans have been defined, but those recommendations are in the process of being implemented. The category covers about 4.5 percent of the analyzed products.
• Challenged is for those products with a “significant sustainability concern.” BASF said it is developing plans to improve the status of those products, and said it currently has about 0.5 percent in that area.