We interviewed Hanna Luczkiewicz, a Senior Trade Manager at BASF and one of the speakers at the SDG Masterclass, about the benefits of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for business.
How is your company involved with the SDGs?
BASF supports the SDGs and the UN in the global development on sustainability. Although the SDGs address nations in the first place, corporations are the levers to achieve them. Representatives of BASF have participated in working groups at UN Global Compact e.g., to develop the SDGs and support their implementation along the value chains.
In promoting product innovations and social engagement, BASF focuses on 6 SDGs: Clean Water and Sanitation, Renewable Energy, Good Jobs and Economic Growth, Infrastructure and Innovation, Sustainable Consumption and Production as well as Climate Action.
Furthermore, with the “Starting Ventures” initiative BASF develops business solutions that empower people with low incomes to achieve a better quality of life. By integrating them into the corporations’ value chains as customers, distributors and suppliers, corporations can create a positive impact on their lives in the form of opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.
In fulfilling this role, BASF also creates opportunities to develop new businesses and strengthen our supply chain. The business models refer to the reduction of poverty, sustainable agriculture and food fortification as well as water treatment.
Based on your experience, what are the benefits for BASF to work on the SDGs?
The SDGs provide a comprehensive framework for identifying and understanding material sustainability topics.
Since BASF has been assessing the contributions of our products and the risks of our operations on sustainability aspects also long before the SDGs were introduced, we have identified on which SDGs to focus. In that way, the referring targets got integrated into strategy development and implementation. An appropriate monitoring and reporting help to make contributions to the SDGs more transparent, tangible and traceable.
What practical takeaways do you hope participants took home at the end of the Masterclass?
- Although the SDGs address nations in the first place, corporations are the levers to achieve them.
- It is possible and worthwhile to combine contributing to SDGs and achieving business success.
- To effectively develop SDG strategies, it is essential to first identify and understand material SDG topics.
- It is necessary for a corporation to focus on few SDGs.
- Partnerships help to achieve SDG targets.
The SDG Masterclass on March 21-22, provided companies with a practical crash-course on the SDGs. The two-day event covered several topics such as business transformation, materiality, reporting, communicating about the SDGs and creating an action plan for a company.