LUDWIGSHAFEN – Chemical industry giant BASF, which also supplies auxiliaries and finishes for the global textile industry says sustainability will become a main driver of growth and value creation as the company sets ambitious growth plans to 2020.
As it looks to increase sales by an average of six per cent per year until 2020, BASF says that its customers want sustainable products and system solutions, and says even its employees expect BASF to closely integrate sustainability into its day-to-day activities. “More sustainability can only be achieved through innovation – and that is where chemistry plays an essential role,” said BASF Vice Chairman Dr Martin Brudermüller. “In the future, sustainability will therefore be more strongly integrated into business decisions.”
The Ludwishafen, Germany-headquartered company, which offers products and systems for weaving, pre-treatment, optical brightening, printing, coating, finishing, as well as textile dyeing auxiliaries, has targeted annual Group sales of around ?15 billion as it seeks to reach pre-tax profits towards the ?3 billion mark by 2020.
While most of this growth will come from its wider portfolio in the oil and gas, as well as its classical chemical businesses, the company will likely focus on the sustainable aspects of its textile business where it has a strong reputation for high, quality products that meet stringent safety and environmental requirements from RSL’s to material safety data sheets.
Many of BASF's competitors in the textile sector are also focusing on sustainability, especially in the wake of the ever increasing demand from brands and retailers to push back the frontiers of sustainable textile production – something that will require the full engagement of the global textile dyestuff and chemicals sector.
To back up its claims of a move towards greater sustainability, BASF has this week also become a founder member of the United Nations Global Compact China Network. “The Global Compact China Network will play an important role in integrating Chinese companies and multinationals in China into a more sustainable economy,” said Mr Georg Kell, Global Compact Executive Director. The UN Global Compact calls for companies around the world to align their strategies and operations with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
In addition, by 2020 BASF says it will join the EWS (European Water Stewardship) in order to evaluate and review its use of water based on sustainability criteria and implement EWS at all its sites which are based in areas of water stress. The company has already tested EWS at its Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Commenting on the announcements, BASF’s Board of Executive Directors Dr Kurt Bock noted, “We will build on this and make a significant contribution to meeting the needs of a growing world population.” BASF says that population growth as a crucial trend that brings on the one hand enormous global challenges, but on the other hand acknowledges that it offers many additional opportunities, in particular for the chemical industry. The company now intends to play an increasing role with regard to conserving resources, ensuring healthy food and nutrition and improving people’s quality of life. “We have summarised what we do as a company in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future,” he