Florham Park, New Jersey -- BASF said 18 March that it is the first chemical company to become a member of The Sustainability Consortium, an independent US-based organisation whose global members collaborate in building a scientific foundation to drive innovation while improving consumer product sustainability.
"At BASF, we are committed to leading industry toward greater sustainability, transparency and responsible interaction with both the environment and society," said Kurt Bock, ceo of BASF Corp., in the company's announcement. "The mission of The Sustainability Consortium aligns well with that commitment -- we are pleased to join a coalition of companies and individuals similarly dedicated to the advancement of sustainable consumer products and supply networks."
The company said that, in keeping with its long-standing commitment to sustainable development, BASF developed its Eco-Efficiency Analysis (EEA) in 1996. This life-cycle approach to quantifying the sustainability of products, processes or systems accounts for both economic and environmental impact.
Since the introduction of this tool, BASF has performed more than 400 comprehensive analyses for its business units, external partners and customers. US certification group NSF International validated BASF's EEA methodology in 2009 and it has also been certified by the German Association for Technical Inspection (TÜV Berlin).
"BASF will contribute an experienced team of experts collectively focused on a scientific approach to sustainable consumption. Together we will spur a new generation of products and supply networks that address environmental, social and economic imperatives," said Dr Jay S. Golden, co-director of the consortium, in BASF's announcement.
German chemical giant BASF notes that in 2008, a lifecycle analysis on BASF products assessed related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and savings, from sourcing of raw materials to manufacture to product disposal. This pioneering carbon footprint study, which was validated by the Eco-Institute in Freiburg, Germany, concluded that the net reduction of GHG emissions resulting from the use of BASF's products outweighed emissions related to production, transport and disposal by a factor of 3:1.
The study was updated in October 2009 and produced similar results. "Moving forward, BASF will strive to
maintain or improve this ratio," the group concluded.
The Sustainability Consortium is co-administered by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas, to research and publish findings on the life cycle impacts of various product categories. The consortium aims to provide decision and policymakers with a broader understanding of how organisational strategies and technologies can assist in meeting various environmental, economic and social objectives.