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Study Highlights Sustainable Footprint of Chemical Companies
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Study Highlights Sustainable Footprint of Chemical Companies

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The study "Sustainable Value Creation by Chemical Companies" has been published in December 2009. It assesses the sustainability performance of 9 major chemical companies worldwide using the Sustainable Value approach over the period of 2004 to 2007 on the basis of a set of 13 financial, environmental and social resources. It gives an overview of the methodology of the Sustainable Value approach as well as detailed information on its application in the assessment of chemical companies.

The table below provides an overview of the absolute Sustainable Value created by the nine chemical companies during the period from 2004 to 2007, as well as the rank of each company in each year. The Sustainable Value produced by the nine companies ranges from € -2.3 billion (DOW, 2006) to € 1.6 billion (BASF, 2006). For the years 2005 to 2007 BASF generated the highest absolute Sustainable Value. If the resources employed by BASF had instead been used by an average company of the peer group between € 1.1 billion (2007) and € 1.6 billion (2006) less cash flow would have been generated with those resources. One salient feature is that two companies managed to consistently produce a positive Sustainable Value over the entire review period (Air Liquide, BASF).

In the case of one other company, Reliance, no complete time series is available, but the company generated a consistently positive Sustainable Value for the years where data are available. In addition, three companies were identified as generating negative Sustainable Value over the entire review period (AKZO, DOW, DSM). The three remaining companies fluctuate around the industry average and show both positive and negative Sustainable Value figures.

During the review period, clearly positive trends in absolute Sustainable Value are shown by Bayer (2004: € -698 million; 2007: € 721 million), Air Liquide (2004: € 472 million; 2007: € 889 million) and DuPont (2004: € -169 million; 2007: € 212 million). Also DOW shows slight improvements over time (2004: € -2.3 billion; 2007: € -2.2 billion), but ranks last over the entire assessment period. Even though BASF shows a positive trend until 2006 and leads the ranking from 2005 to 2007, its absolute Sustainable Value in 2007 dropped below 2004 levels. Companies showing a strong negative trend in their Sustainable Value include Reliance (2004: € 1.5 billion; 2006: € 352 million), Shell Chemicals (2004: € 437 million; 2006: € -37 million), AKZO (2004: € -50 million; 2007: € -428 million) and DSM (2004: € -418 million; 2007: € -645 million).











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