Dialog An Important Part of Sustainability

As stated in our Values and Principles, BASF is committed to an open dialog within the company, with its business partners and neighbors, and with society. For BASF, dialog means providing insights, accounting for our activities, and actively seeking debate with those who have other opinions. Transparency and openness are important instruments to establish trust.

For the year 2000, BASF published for the first time a report about Social Responsibility. This completed our traditional Annual Report and the Environment, Safety and Health Report to a comprehensive Sustainable Development reporting. The independent verification of our reports ensures the validity of the information we publish. Following the verification of the Social Responsibility 2001 Report, the Environment, Health and Safety 2002 Report was also verified by the independent accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche.

8.6.6.1 Crises Communication. BASF goes to great lengths to ensure that the facilities at its worldwide sites are as safe as possible, often putting procedures in place that exceed the statutory regulations. It is of course impossible, even though we employ the most sophisticated measures, to totally rule out an accident or plant malfunction. In such a case we consider it our duty to inform our employees, neighbors, the authorities, and the general public swiftly, honestly, and comprehensively about any potential risks. Our comprehensive crisis management system at the Ludwigshafen site therefore includes as an integral part a team of the Corporate Communications Department on permanent duty. The task of this team is to inform the public and the workforce around the clock and throughout the entire year about emergencies through news releases, flyers, the Web, and a telephone hotline.

8.6.6.2 Community Advisory Panels: Institutionalized Dialog. A permanent, close, and institutionalized dialog is the goal of the community advisory panels (CAPs) that BASF has set up at many sites, either alone or together with other companies. Representatives from BASF meet with interested neighbors and discuss topics that include emissions, plant safety, and procedures in case of plant malfunctions. Based on the experiences of existing CAPs, the "Dialogue" expert group has drawn up standards for CAPs. They ensure that CAPs adhere to certain features that distinguish them from other forms of contact and interaction with our neighbors: membership should reflect the diversity of the community's interest groups, meetings should be regular, and topics of mutual interest should be discussed with the aim of guaranteeing transparency.

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