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BASF S.E.T. Initiative

BASF S.E.T. Initiative

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Published by Sustainable Brands
How do companies create a sustainable product with S.E.T. tools?
There are three parallel aspects of continuous improvement:
• Accurate, value chain-based,
“hot spot” analysis.
• Product-level, sustainability improvement program based on
• Interoperable, whole-chain traceability.
How do companies create a sustainable product with S.E.T. tools?
There are three parallel aspects of continuous improvement:
• Accurate, value chain-based,
“hot spot” analysis.
• Product-level, sustainability improvement program based on
• Interoperable, whole-chain traceability.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Sustainable Brands on Jun 07, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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BASFLeading the Product Sustainability Journey
World’s leading chemical company uses whole-chain traceability based onGS1 Standards to help brand owners create more sustainable products.
BASF is the world’s leading chemicalcompany. With approximately 105,000employees and close to 385 productionsites worldwide, the BASF ormidableootprint covers most countries aroundthe world. Yet the company’s strengthresides not just in its size: BASF is also theworld’s leading orce or sustainability.Sustainable practices are not new orBASF. For past decades, the companyhas made sustainability a priority in itsbusiness. BASF has been recognized orits ongoing sustainability achievementsas Europe’s “Most Sustainable Company”or two consecutive periods, awarded by
Manager Magazine
and Kirchho Consult,and BASF shares are listed in the topsustainability indices in the Dow JonesSustainability Index.Charlene Wall, head o Strategic BusinessDevelopment, explains the company’ssustainability strategy, “We take abalanced approach– considering theenvironmental, social and economicimplications o our sustainabilitydecisions. We believe sustainability isbasically how a business produces aproduct in a way that is better or theenvironment and better or people. At thesame time, it must be done in a way toensure long-term, protable growth.”Another BASF key principle:
Sustainability is a journey, not adestination.
 “We believe any product can becomemore sustainable in time. Our challengeis to continuously improve thesustainability record o each product,”says Cristian Barcan, the passionate yetpragmatic manager o the BASF NutritionIngredients division’s initiative namedSustainability, Eco-Eciency, Traceability(S.E.T.).How does a product become moresustainable?Barcan explains, “To start, a company mustully understand a product’s lie cycle – itsmany steps through the supply chain andthe environmental, social and economicimpact. During our 15+ years, we havecompleted Lie Cycle Assessments (LCAs)using our home-grown Eco-EciencyAnalysis tool or more than 450 products,processes or methods o production.”
“ We take a balanced approach–considering the environmental,social and economic implications o our sustainability decisions.” 
– Charlene Wall,BASF Strategic Business
As the world’s leading chemical company,BASF understands it has a challenge andresponsibility to innovate toward more andmore sustainable products.
For BASF, sustainable developmentcombines long-term economic successwith environmental protection and socialresponsibility. With tools and initiatives, e.g.Eco-Eciency Analysis, BASF continuouslydevelops new products to ulll thechallenges o global megatrends. Goingar beyond its own product design andproduction practices, BASF takes anintegrated approach where all players can join the journey o improved sustainability.BASF Nutrition Ingredients uses GS1Standards or whole-chain traceability.
and economic implications o its strategicdecisions. This ensures products that arebetter or the environment, better orpeople and better or the company’s long-term, protable growth.
sustainability achievements, urtherenhancing its strong brand worldwide.
 The use o GS1® Standards, especiallybarcodes, have been an integral parto the BASF S.E.T. initiative rom itsbeginning.“By using GS1 barcodes on their products,companies are able to gain access tosustainability inormation across theirentire value chains or greater visibility,”Barcan explains. “With GS1 Standardsin place, companies can not onlytrace each product, but they can alsotrack sustainability improvements atvarious levels o the supply chain. Thiswhole-chain traceability is essential ormeasuring accurate sustainability gains.”
Taking a Balanced Approach
A business cannot be successul in thelong term i it does not act responsiblytoward the environment and society. Thatis why sustainability is an integral part o the BASF strategy. Sustainability can onlybe eective i it is rmly integrated intoorganizational and management systems. Thereore, BASF has created structuresto promote sustainable businessactivities - rom strategic planning toimplementation.“We realize there is a need in the eedvalue chain to achieve more sustainableproducts and, at the same time, do thisin ways to prevent production costsrom skyrocketing,” says Barcan. “We alsoconsider the social aspects - how thewhole value chain can play a positiverole in the community. This is the ‘lens’we developed then and continue touse today as we view sustainabilityopportunities.”For balanced sustainability practices,the BASF Nutrition Ingredients divisionquickly realized the need or traceabilityacross its entire value chain – tracingBASF products rom its production sitesto manuacturers, then to retailers, andultimately, to consumers.“All companies today have sustainabilityrequirements. Consumers want to knowthe products they buy are producedresponsibly. To interoperate across thevalue chain, we recognized the needor a product sustainability standard orall players and the necessary tools orcompliance,” explains Barcan. “So, we took what we learned and created S.E.T. – aprocess and toolbox that we share withour customers to help them developmore sustainable products.”As part o S.E.T., BASF helped Det NorskeVeritas (DNV), the third largest globalcertication company, create the rstproduct sustainability standard alongwith a certication process that helpscustomers comply with the standard.(For more inormation about DNV, visitwww.dnv.com.)BASF S.E.T. tools help customers ulllthe certication requirements. The S.E.T.process ensures that customers cananalyze where their products are on thesustainability continuum, and then ithelps them devise plans or continuousimprovement over a pre-dened periodo time.At the end o the process, based on auditresults, the product may maintain theinitial certication obtained by ulllingthe minimum requirements.Barcan adds, “The main goal or S.E.T. is tohelp our customers as they move orwardon their sustainability journeys.”
February 2011 www.GS1US.org
“ We realize there is a need in theeed value chain to achieve moresustainable products and, at thesame time, do this in ways to prevent production costs romskyrocketing.” 
– Cristian Barcan,BASF S.E.T. Initiative
Sustainability Standardsand More
GS1 is an international not-or-protassociation dedicated to the designand implementation o globalstandards and solutions to improvethe eciency and visibility o valuechains.GS1 Standards provide a standards-based approach to identiy, capture,and share sustainability inormationand monitor sustainability metrics. This is accomplished across the valuechain –upstream and downstream.I required, GS1 will acilitate thedevelopment o new standards toaddress industry needs.GS1 also works to enable and aligncommunities while driving globaladoption in other countries throughits Member Organizations.
Creating a Sustainable Product
How do companies create a sustainableproduct with S.E.T. tools? There are three parallel aspects o continuous improvement:
Accurate, value chain-based,“hot spot” analysis.
Product-level, sustainabilityimprovement program based oneco-eciency.
Interoperable, whole-chain traceability. The rst phase, also called
, calls or the brand ownerand product team to identiy industryand market segment-related areas orsustainability improvements. This eortresults in a qualitative, hot spot analysis. The analysis should then be appliedand refected at the product level.In the second phase, an
o the product’s impactcategories along the whole value chainis conducted to identiy the relevantsustainability areas or optimization.Consider a sot drink and its valuechain. The major impact categories areingredients, pre-mix, manuacturing andretail. Each o these uses water, energyand packaging. This phase answersthe questions: What is the impact o the dierent value-chain categories oneach resource? And, how relevant arethe impact categories or the good o consumers?Barcan oers, “The product team needsto conduct environmental, social, andcost-related Lie Cycle Analyses to identiywhere the large impacts are, and thenthey can work to reduce or optimizethese hot spots in the value chain.”Barcan continues, “I 50 percent o theimpact is in the ingredients area and40 percent is in manuacturing or aparticular category, the team can nowpinpoint its eorts and identiy specicsustainability metrics in that area tomaximize results.” The third phase ocuses on
Whole-Chain Traceability
and the need to tounderstand the entire value chain toproperly implement sustainability actions.BASF customers get the necessarysupport to achieve traceability – romthe development to the execution o their own internal traceability strategiesas well as how to interoperate withother companies. The implementationo GS1 Global Traceability Standardsis mandatory to achieve whole-chaintraceability and identiy, capture, share,and monitor the sustainability parametersneeded or metrics.
February 2011 www.GS1US.org
Creating a Sustainable Product
Select ProductDene Value ChainSelect MembersDetermine Brand Owner/Producer
Eligibility requirements for brand owner/producer,Product Sustainability Management and Traceability System for brand owner/producer
Conduct qualitative sustainabilityhot spot analysisDene sustainability hot spotmanagement programEnsure implementation ofsustainability hot spotmanagement program
   P  r  o   d  u  c   t   L  e  v  e   l
co-Efficiency Analysis
Set up an Eco-Efciency Analysisfor the whole value chain
• LCA cradle-to-gate• LCA to point of sale• Improvement program
• Eco-efficient products in
Dene internal traceabilitystrategy, procedures and minimumrequirements at batch levelEnsure traceability corporationwith direct suppliers andconsumers
Implement GS1 Standards
supporting traceabilityEnsure whole chain in traceabilitythrough inter-operability

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