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Exam Question 1 – (20 points) – Maximum limit of words 1200 words (list of references is not included)


With the Sustainable Solution Steering®, BASF has built an instrument to steer the sustainability performance of its products and services portfolio. Since 2014, BASF has assessed over 60,000 products and used the resulting portfolio segmentation twofold. Firstly, to further develop highly sustainable solutions and increase their share, and secondly, to reduce the share of less sustainable products.

To evaluate how a company’s current portfolio contributes to the purpose of a more sustainable future, the Sustainable Solution Steering method was developed in 2012 by BASF. The objective of the instrument is to evaluate how a company’s current portfolio contributes to the purpose of a more sustainable future, providing a fully transparent and consistent evaluation of the sustainability performance of BASF’s solutions. It provides the basis for actively steering a portfolio towards a more sustainable profile.

By identifying key drivers and issues in its customers’ industries, BASF can assess the sustainability contribution of each product in its specific application. With this approach, BASF can evaluate the entire value chain considering industry- and region-specific views in our markets, striving to achieve a balance between the three dimensions of sustainability:

  • Economy: e.g. potential cost savings for customers using BASF products
  • Environment: e.g. ensuring standards are met, developing environmentally sound solutions
  • Society: e.g. enhancing safety in production, use or end-of-life, stakeholder perception of solutions

Finally, each solution is assigned to one of four categories (Accelerator, Performer, Transitioner, Challenged) according to its contribution to sustainability (Figure 1). Although different industries vary in their specific needs, BASF can cluster Accelerator solutions into predefined universal sustainability benefits (e.g. resource efficiency).

The assessment takes account of industry and customer-specific requirements and evaluates the solution’s sustainability contribution compared to alternative solutions in the market. It is based on a combination of scientific evidence, expert judgments as well as market knowledge and perception.

BASF public commitment and purpose are: “We want to contribute to a world that provides a viable future with enhanced quality of life for everyone. We do so by creating chemistry for our customers and society and by making the best use of available resources. We live our corporate purpose “We create chemistry for a sustainable future” by

  • Sourcing and producing responsibly
  • Acting as a fair and reliable partner
  • Connecting creative minds to find the best solutions for market needs

 More information: (Links to an external site.)

Q1. Discuss potential B2B marketing opportunities and challenges that BASF or any other company can face implementing a similar tool like the Sustainable Solution Steering®. Your answer needs to present an in-deep discussion of at least 2 (two) topics opportunities and 2 (two) challenges supported/justified by relevant course readings.

You need to support your answer using appropriate literature, and with reference to the case reported in the question or relevant example you know.

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