Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

German chemical and biotech giant BASF has published its first responsible sourcing report for its Care Chemicals division, extending its focus beyond certified sustainably sourced palm kernel oil (PKO) to coconut oil, castor oil and other bio-based active-ingredients.

The report was an extension of the company’s existing Palm Progress Report, which had been published annually since 2016, BASF said on 16 November.

As part of the company’s commitment to increase sustainability, BASF – which purchased 1.2M of renewable raw materials last year – said it was extending its work with partners in the oil palm supply chain to include other crops where the company had expanded its certified-sustainable range.

According to the report, BASF sourced only Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)-certified sustainable palm and PKO last year and it could trace almost 97% of its total oil palm exposure of 375,500 tonnes back to oil mill level.

The company said it sourced 76.2% of its traceable raw material from 10 provinces in Indonesia and Malaysia.

[Took this out: and was connected to 36 provinces in the two countries in total matching 88% of its traceable raw material supply. (I don’t understand this, neither do I although that’s how it was worded so perhaps best to take that phrase out?]

In addition, BASF said it was in the process of carrying out risk assessments of its sourcing based on environmental and social criteria and had again achieved full traceability for certified sustainable PKO originating from 400 RSPO-certified oil mills.

As part of its work in the coconut oil sector, BASF said 4,100 smallholder coconut farmers had been trained in Good Agricultural and Farm Management Practices.

To improve the working conditions of castor oil farmers, create awareness of sustainable farming and increase yields due to more efficient farming practices, BASF partnered with Arkema, Jayant Agro-Organics, and the international civil society organization Solidaridad on Project Pragati. Their partnership had established the unified sustainability code SuCCESS (Sustainable Castor Caring for Environmental and Social Standards) that set a standard for certified sustainable castor oil, the company said.

As part of the project, over 6,000ha of castor farming was carried out in accordance with the code and 50,000 certified castor seeds were produced.

BASF said it worked closely with stakeholders along the value chain to support and promote diverse and equitable work, including women and smallholder farmers. For example, in partnership with Indonesian non-profit organisation Kaleka, the company was working to support Indonesian smallholders in sustainable palm and PKO cultivation.

The scheme’s aim was to certify 200ha of land to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RPSO) Smallholder Standard in the first and second years of the project, supporting 100 farmers in the long term, the company said on its website.

BASF’s Care Chemicals division’s range includes products for personal care, home care, industrial & institutional cleaning, and technical applications. The portfolio includes surfactants, emulsifiers, polymers, emollients, chelating agents, cosmetic active ingredients and UV filters.