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Discovery & Development Ingredients

Sustainable Ingredients

Climate change, health challenges, and resource inefficiencies or shortages are very high on the agenda of societies around the world. And rightly so – after all, by 2050 nine billion people will share Earth; nine billion who need food, water, energy, housing and medical attention. It is one of the most important tasks of our time to produce high-quality and safe products while saving resources and ensuring quality of life for both today’s and tomorrow’s generation.

Sustainable Solution Steering provides us with a 360-degree view on the sustainability performance of our 50,000-strong portfolio across all industries; it is an essential step in committing and contributing to value chain-specific needs from various industries. BASF has a long history of implementing sustainability initiatives in its organization, but Sustainable Solution Steering goes one step further. It creates the necessary transparency to successfully implement sustainability standards into business activities. After all, if we don’t have a full picture of the sustainability impacts of each product, how can we seek to improve the portfolio as a whole and promote solutions with clear sustainability benefits?

The meaning and focus of sustainability varies from industry to industry, so Sustainable Solutions Steering begins with market needs and industry definition of sustainability and takes industry standards into consideration. For our pharmaceutical industry customers, regulatory aspects and GMP quality standards are important factors. Based on such standards, we then assess each of our products against current and future industry requirements and assign them to one of four categories:

  • Accelerator: substantial sustainability contribution.
  • Performer: meets basic sustainability standards.
  • Transitioner: has a specific sustainability issue, which is being addressed.
  • Challenged: significant sustainability concern identified; action plan in development.
"Sustainable Solution Steering provides us with a 360-degree view on the sustainability performance of our 50,000-strong portfolio across all INDUSTRIES."

Having started the first pilot workshop in 2011, we have now assessed the company’s entire portfolio involving R&D, product safety, marketing and sales teams. The outcome of the analysis is that many of our Pharma Ingredients & Services products already lie in the Accelerator category and none of them are in the Transitioner or Challenged categories. A good example of an Accelerator product is Kollicoat IR, which is primarily used as a coating excipient for immediate release of drugs from tablets or other solid dosage forms, and allows mixing without the addition of plasticizer. Furthermore, higher coating concentration and higher spray rates significantly reduce the coating time and reduce energy and water consumption in the coating process. Another good example of our continued effort in increasing our number of Accelerator solutions over time is our omega-3 fatty acids portfolio. We have implemented a stringent program to assure that our raw materials come from evaluated sources of healthy fish stocks.

Putting in place our Sustainable Solution Steering approach has been a real journey for us and has helped to harmonize methodologies and understanding of sustainability within the organization. The next major step is to work even more closely with our external partners (customers and suppliers) in order to extract maximum value from our joint effort in the area of sustainability. Sustainability is a journey we can only successfully complete if we work together!

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About the Author
Daniele Piergentili

Daniele Piergentili is Vice President, Global Marketing, BASF Health and Nutrition, Florham Park, NJ, USA.

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