BASF has a very large production of hazardous chemicals and data tells us that it is producing 127 highly hazardous chemicals this year, compared to 112 last year. The production of persistent chemicals has also increased from 14…
BASF produces/uses 127 highly hazardous substances – 118 SIN List chemicals, 16 PICs, and 13 HHPs) – 43 of which are included on the EU’s REACH Candidate List. 11 of these highly hazardous substances are either banned or severely restricted, with set dates when production needs to cease (10 Authorisation List substances, and 1 POPs). The company produces 15 persistent chemicals. Persistent chemicals are particularly problematic, since they do not break down, but instead accumulate in humans and the environment. Because of this, persistent chemicals should be of extra concern for investors; substances that are not considered a problem today could become huge liabilities in the future.
Please note that there is no available data for the 31 percent of the company’s production that takes place outside of the EU and US. Lower EU/US production means higher uncertainty with regard to the total production of hazardous chemicals, which will have a negative impact on the company’s score in this category.
BASF has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products and includes the intrinsic hazards of ingredients in the screening process. It does not, however, exclude substances with toxic properties from its new products. BASF actively markets safer alternatives both on its own website as well as on ChemSec Marketplace. The company has at least one product, process or innovation that enables production of circular products. BASF uses biobased resources without occupying extra land or competing with food production. It does not source and treat recycled materials in a sustainable way, which is one of the key elements of a circular economy. BASF is actively reducing the hazardous waste it generates.
The German company does not produce only sustainable products, but it does have a timed phase-out strategy for hazardous substances that go beyond regulatory compliance. It shares chemical safety information on its website and is following a credible code of conduct standard.
BASF responded to ChemSec’s attempts to communicate around its ChemScore ranking, but it does not share any information about what kind of chemicals it produces in regions with low regulatory demands for transparency (e.g. Asia).
BASF does have a circular economy program in place, but it is lacking objective and measurable circular economy targets.