New method used to analyze 50,000 product applications.
Chemical company BASF has developed a new process to review and evaluate the sustainability aspects of the approximately 50,000 relevant product applications in the company’s portfolio.
The Sustainable Solution Steering method is an externally-validated process that measures the products’ contribution to sustainability within their various markets and industries and to increase this contribution through targeted steps.
Over the past three years, BASF has already analyzed more than 80 percent of its portfolio. The data shows, for example, how a product contributes to cost effectiveness and resource conservation, as well as to health and safety. The concrete sustainability requirements of various customer industries are taken into account as well as regional differences. Finally, the process determines the extent to which BASF solutions can accommodate these needs. Based on the results to date, the analyzed product applications have been sorted into four categories:
- Accelerators make a substantial contribution in the value chain to sustainability, and 22 percent of the analyzed products by sales are in this category.
- Performers are solutions that meet the standard market requirements for sustainability. Around 73 percent fall under this category.
- For the Transitioners, specific sustainability issues have been identified and concrete action plans defined. These recommendations are in the process of being implemented. Around 4.5 percent of the analyzed products are currently in this category.
- Applications with a significant sustainability concern are labeled Challenged. BASF is developing action plans for these products in order to find improved solutions. This currently applies to 0.5 percent.
Sustainable Solution Steering aims to increase the number of “Accelerator” solutions in the long term in order to further improve the sustainability profile of both BASF and its customers. That is why the product portfolio is under continual review-which means this four-category segmentation is also subject to change, for example, in response to altered market requirements or new legislation. The whole product portfolio will be analyzed by the end of 2014.