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BASF India contributes to the fight against corruption

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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

One of BASF’s Values is the value of 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.” To further support this value BASF has appointed the Chief Compliance Officer in 2003. He is responsible for managing the continuous progress of the Compliance program and also oversees the network of regional compliance coordinators (see BASF’s GC-example “Dedication to transparency”, 2003/05/12). Furthermore in September 2003 BASF has become a member of Transparency International, which is committed to combating corruption, bribery and similar illicit practices worldwide. In India BASF specifically addresses the issue of corruption and has undertaken a special project called the “Million Minds” project, through which BASF aims to spread the message of fighting corruption to one million citizens of India. In February 2002, as a first step, BASF invited the then Chief Vigilance Commissioner of the Government of India, Mr. N. Vittal to launch the Fighting Corruption project. In support of the efforts of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to fight corruption, BASF published the extracts of the CVC publication “Citizen’s Guide to Fighting Corruption”. The extracts are published in a short and concise form to reach a wider audience. Thus the booklet contains the distilled essence of the strategies evolved so far to fight corruption and the principles that can be adopted. The Citizen’s guide is disseminated to the target group of the Million Minds project, who are mainly present and potential stakeholders of BASF. The booklet is furthermore distributed at every event sponsored by BASF in India and it is also a part of the standard information package. In 2003 Transparency International ranked India at the 83rd position out of 133 countries on the global corruption index. This underlines the importance to continue the fight against corruption.After the release of the booklet, BASF India conducted a survey amongst their employees, inviting them to join the initiative People Against Corruption (PAC). BASF PAC was then established in July 2002 and is comprised of BASF employees who have volunteered to take an active part in achieving this objective. The PAC initiative includes activities such as awareness drives at educational institutes, partnerships with like-minded agencies, surveys and talks. In a joint effort by BASF and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the company sponsored a billboard during the Vigilance week for the duration of a month in order to awaken public opinion. The caption read: “Corruption is cancer – Let us fight it together” and was displayed at strategic locations all over the city of Mumbai. The BASF PAC activities are ongoing with plans to conduct a survey and a paper-writing competition in the near future at Chennai, South India. The countdown to reach the one-millionth citizen in India with the message of fighting corruption continues.



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