BASF: Civil society initiatives call for protest outside Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

  • Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany calls for dividends to be cut instead of future investments and jobs
  • Whether in China, South Africa or Brazil: human rights violations and unacceptable living and working conditions not identified by BASF itself
  • Outgoing CEO Brudermüller’s inadequate record in protecting the climate, environment and human rights

On the occasion of BASF’s upcoming Annual Meeting on 25 April 2024 in Mannheim, numerous civil society initiatives and organizations are calling for a protest. They are giving the outgoing Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, Martin Brudermüller, an inadequate report card for the measures initiated to protect the climate, environment and human rights and are calling on the designated CEO, Markus Kamieth, to take more effective measures.

BASF incapable of identifying even acute human rights violations

In two countermotions, the Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany, together with its member and partner organizations, criticizes BASF for not being able to independently identify acute human rights violations even in direct business relationships. At suppliers and cooperation partners in China, South Africa and Brazil, internal and external audits by BASF itself have not identified blatant and in some cases obvious human rights violations and unacceptable working and living conditions and have not led to remedial action.

With regard to human rights risks in China, media reports about the involvement of a BASF joint venture partner in state surveillance of the Uyghur population have accelerated plans to withdraw. However, it remains completely unclear whether and to what extent the supply chains to BASF’s other sites in China are exposed to the risk of Uyghur forced labor.

High dividend goes to the substance

The Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany demands: Instead of cutting jobs and investments in the urgently needed socio-ecological transformation of all BASF’s business areas, the company should reduce its dividend. “The proposed dividend amount of over 3 billion euros can already no longer be paid from the freely available funds (free cash flow) of 2.7 billion euros in 2023,” writes the umbrella organization in another countermotion.

“The current dividend policy is not sustainable, it is even going to the bone,” criticizes Tilman Massa, Co-Director of the Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany. He warns: “There is still an opportunity to use the profits from 2023 to invest significantly more in climate protection, green energy and the circular economy in order to give a number of sites concrete prospects for the future instead of threatening job cuts.” The umbrella organization fears further cuts and cost-cutting measures to the detriment of employees and climate protection.

Protest action and interviews before the Annual General Meeting
On April 25, 2024 from 8.00 a.m. in front of the Congress Center Rosengarten
A number of organizations will voice their criticism of various BASF business activities, including the Gen-ethical Network, PAN Germany, the Plough Back The Fruits campaign, the World Uyghur Congress and the Society for Threatened Peoples. The people who will be asking critical questions of BASF’s executives at the Annual Meeting will also be available for interviews and background information.

Countermotions by the Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionärinnen und Aktionäre with further information and points of criticism:

Press contact:

Tilman Massa, Co-Director of the Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany, dachverband[at], Phone: 0221 599 56 47, Mobile: 0173 713 52 37