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Case Story Details


Organization Name


Case Story Title

Sustainable Supply Chain Management in China: BASF's “1+3” CSR project in China

Case Story Date


Issues Addressed

  • Principle 6 - Eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation
  • Principle 7 - Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges
  • Principle 8 - Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility

Case Story Category

Internalization Project

Countries of Impact


Case Description

The aim:
Spreading CSR-concept and implementing tailor made solutions with SMEs in value chain

Starting from just a few, the concept has been rolled out to around 50 companies including 11 CBCSD member companies, like BASF and 36 local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in China.

How the project works:
The “1+3” Corporate Social Responsibility Project was proposed by BASF when it led the CSR working group under CBCSD (China Business Council for Sustainable Development). It is carried out in the following way: one member company of CBCSD forms a team with three business partners - mainly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - along the supply chain. Ideally, this may consist of a customer, a supplier and a service provider/logistic partner. The CBCSD member then transfers CSR principles to the team by coaching its partners in best practices and tailor-made solutions based on its own experience in CSR management and operations worldwide. The partners are then expected to commit to passing on the model of CSR best practice with an additional three business partners of their own. The project is set up to have a snowball effect. So Sustainability gets an important component of customer relationship.

With the active support from BASF, CBCSD then successfully rolled it out to more members. In April 2007, a further 47 companies, including 11 CBCSD members and 36 of their supply chain partners, committed to the “1+3” CSR project after a business council campaign.

With the initial aim to spread CSR along supply chain, it turned out also to be a win-win solution for an innovative business model. Local SMEs that are either facing the challenge of stricter domestic environment and safety regulations or having to convince their international partners of their responsible behaviour in the overseas expansion campaign, find “1+3” CSR project provides them with the CSR concept and knowledge just in time. In 2006, there were 23 million SMEs in China - 99 percent of the companies in the nation, according to statistics. BASF, on the other hand, not only fulfilled its commitment to Sustainable Development but also nurtures the same values, creates an additional communication platform, develops trust and strengthens long-term strategic relationship with its “1+3” partners. Last but not least, creating a good CSR team also strategically reduces the operational risks of all partners along the supply chain.



Jenny (chenyu) Liu


Contact Person


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