Dr. Thomas Narbeshuber

Head Country Clusters Austria, Czech Republik, Slovakia and South East Europe


Our experience with Sustainable Solution Steering shows that it is a very effective tool to actively improve our portfolio towards solutions which make a larger contribution to sustainability. The method helps us achieve the ambitious sustainability targets we have set ourselves and supports our customers with unique sustainability solutions.

Sustainable Solution Steering

Industry: Pharmaceutical industry

Date: 2012

Sustainable Lifestyles

Solutions of the macro-sustainability challenges

Provide an adequate variety of sustainable products and services which are affordable and available for the majority of the population

Further targets:

What´s the solution?

Our customers can expect from BASF the consistent and innovative solutions they have always received. At the same time, they are looking to contribute to a more sustainable future where being environmentally and socially responsible goes hand in hand with running a profitable business. We therefore cooperate with our customers in creating and driving more sustainable solutions, which makes good business sense for both.


By identifying key drivers and issues in our customers’ industries, we are able to assess the sustainability contribution of each of our products in its specific application.


With our approach we evaluate the entire value chain considering industry- and region-specific views in our markets. We strive to achieve a balance between the three dimensions of sustainability:

  • Economy: e.g. potential cost savings for customers through the use of our products
  • Environment: e.g. ensuring standards are met, developing environmentally sound solutions
  • Society: e.g. enhancing safety in production, use or end-of-life, stakeholder perception of solutions


Finally each solution is assigned to one of four categories (Accelerator, Performer, Transitioner, Challenged) according to its contribution to sustainability. Although different industries vary in their specific needs, we are able to cluster our Accelerator solutions into predefined universal sustainability benefits (e.g. resource efficiency).

Business connection

This detailed analysis and transparent classification allow us to both improve individual solutions and steer the entire portfolio. It also enables further integration of sustainability into our strategic, R&D and customer support processes. The goals are:


  • Increase our portfolio of innovative and sustainable solutions making customers more successful
  • Reduced environmental impact along the value chain, contributing to improved quality of life
  • Better mitigation of risks associated with sustainability


  • 60,000 solutions in scope
  • 2,300 experts involved worldwide
  • ~ 13,000 Accelerator solutions, with > €15.5 billion in sales in 2017
  • 60% of R&D budget spent on Accelerator projects in 2017
  • 3% of BASF products analyzed (by sales) today already make a particular contribution to sustainability


Accelerator products make a significant contribution to sustainability in the value chain. We have therefore set ourselves a concrete goal in 2015: By 2020, we aim to raise the proportion of sales from Accelerator products to 28%.


For all products that are classified as Challenged and do not fulfill our major sustainability criteria, we develop prompt plans of action. These action plans can include research projects, reformulations or even replacing one product with an alternative product. Within five years after a products has been classified as Challenged, we will stop selling it.