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Dedication to transparency - Chief Compliance Officer

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Issues Addressed

  • Principle 1 - Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights
  • Principle 2 - Make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses
  • Principle 3 - Businesses should uphold freedom of association & effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining
  • Principle 4 - The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour
  • Principle 5 - The effective abolition of child labour
  • 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
  • Principle 9 - Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

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Case Description

In 2000, the BASF Group implemented two concepts in order to position a globally valid guideline for leadership: the Vision 2010 including Values & Principles and the Compliance Program. The latter derives from one of the company?s Values namely integrity: ?We act in accordance with our words and Values. We respect the laws and good business practices of the countries in which we operate.? Having become a global player, the BASF Group realized the importance to underline the legal framework for all its decisions and activities. It is binding for all employees, but specifically addressed to senior executives who are responsible for the compliance of the guidelines, thus prevent the company from possible harm and act as a role model. The Compliance Program represents the company?s values identity, reputation, transparency and commitment, which are at the same time a capital used for economic success. Legal violations by employees can severely damage the company?s reputation and the trust of stakeholders in it. Thus, the company will not tolerate any abuse. The Compliance Program helps staff by combining and promulgating basic legal regulations and the according corporate policy.

BASF is one of the first companies in Germany to engage voluntarily in a Compliance Program.In the starting phase between 2000 and 2002, BASF AG alone conducted approx. 70 information sessions to introduce its Values and Principles. Additionally, employees at BASF sites worldwide were trained with respect to the guidelines and the Compliance Program by procedures particularly shaped for the different regions. A central support office offered extra help by supplying informative literature and advisory services and by establishing an international network of local commissioners within BASF. In ongoing specific training programs employees learn to apply the Code of Conduct in every day work. In some countries a telephone hotline provides another means of assistance besides contacting superiors or a worker?s representative if there are uncertainties concerning the behaviour of oneself or others.

With the new appointment of a Chief Compliance Officer in 2003, BASF was the first German major company to create such a position. He is responsible for a continuous progress of the program and also oversees the network of regional compliance commissioners. The special importance BASF dedicates to this task can be seen in the fact that the company entrusts a senior expert with the task of coordinating operation, development and control of the compliance program throughout the BASF Group. Based on many years of experience within the BASF Group he possesses the necessary insight in facts and issues and on the other hand ? giving advice as attorney-at-law ?has got the necessary independence for his function.



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