Chemicals giant BASF: information disclosure for others, but not for China?
Although BASF has published detailed environmental information – including locations of discharge pipes, discharge amounts and contents – of its operations in the United States, Canada and Germany, none of its 15 branches in China have shared any similar information with the public.
Greenpeace found that thirteen top multi-national companies with factories in China, including BASF, had double-standard policies, publishing environmental information in other countries but not in China.
BASF denied the accusation and stated that "BASF releases its environmental information globally on a regular basis, which is collected by the same standard and is audited by a third party … BASF adopts the same standard worldwide and in China."
However, the company rejected Greenpeace's requests for environmental information from its Shanghai-based BASF Auxiliary Chemical Company (BACC). The Environment Protection and City Sanitation Management Bureau of Shanghai Pudong also turned down Greenpeace's requests with the reason that "BACC considered the information commercial secrets."
Greenpeace toxics campaigner Liu Lican contends, "It is totally unacceptable that BASF regards the environmental information as 'commercial secrets' in China while publishing the same type of information in other countries voluntarily."
Residents near BACC have been living with high levels of pollution and are suffering from health problems such as cancer. Liu says: "The vacuum of environmental information makes it impossible for pollution victims to identify disease causes and seek compensation."
Leading multi-national companies such as BASF must respect Chinese people's right to know about who is discharging what into their environment. BASF is aware of the importance of thorough environmental information disclosure and is capable of doing so, as proved by its behaviour in Germany, the United States and Canada, but refuses to take on the responsibility here in China.
Environmental information disclosure by corporations is the first step to environmental protection. You can help push corporations to face their responsibility to the environment and to respect the Chinese public's right to know.
Take a few seconds to send the letter below to BASF CEO Dr. Juergen Hambrecht and urge the company to stop using double standards and disclose all environmental information to the Chinese public.
Don't forget to check your email inbox after you send the letter and tell your friends about this important petition.