In a move that is directed at both providing greater transparency and helping its customers to effectively lower their carbon dioxide emissions, BASF is providing its customers with information about the carbon footprints of its products — all 45,000 of them.
For BASF, based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, sustainability and digitalization are core elements of the corporate strategy, the company says.. This approach relies on data from the BASF Verbund and a new digital application, with the company's new Product Carbon Footprint as the result.
The PCF comprises all product-related greenhouse gas emissions that occur until the BASF product leaves the factory gate for the customer: from the purchased raw material to the use of energy in production processes.
The PCF calculation is based on emission data collected in its own production network and high-quality average data for purchased raw materials and purchased energy. The methodology follows general standards for lifecycle analysis such as ISO 14044 and ISO 14067 as well as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Standard.
BASF is committed to the introduction of product-specific guidelines for the calculation of PCFs in the chemical industry to help create an industry-wide level playing field and comparability for products.
"By calculating the CO2 footprint, we bring both together and create much greater transparency for our customers regarding the specific emissions for each BASF product. This enables us to develop plans together with our customers to reduce CO2 emissions along the value chain up to the final consumer product," said Martin Brudermueller, chairman of BASF SE.
Although BASF has been calculating PCFs for individual products since 2007, the new digital solution makes it possible to calculate the PCF of its products on a global level.
BASF will start with selected product and customer segments in the coming months and plans to make PCF data available for the entire portfolio by the end of 2021.
"With the help of PCFs, our customers can identify where the levers for avoiding greenhouse gas emissions are," said Christoph Jaekel, head of corporate sustainability.
The company already has worked to reduce the carbon footprints of various products through the use of the mass balance approach. In one example, biomass replaces fossil resources in the production of Verbund and is mathematically allocated to the product. In another, the ChemCycling project, the first commercial quantities of products for which production chemically recycled plastic waste was used as a raw material at the beginning of the value chain became available in 2020.