How To AgBalance®

Following the concept of Life Cycle Thinking, 2009 - 2010 BASF developed AgBalance® to assess sustainability in the farming sector, applying principles of the Life Cycle Assessment framework defined by the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards. The development is based on BASF's Eco-Efficiency Analysis with the addition of nutrient balances and biodiversity assessment to offer a comprehensive assessment of the impacts of cultivation systems.

AgBalance® studies always start with defining the goal and scope with the customer. For this a scoping document is prepared and aligned between all involved parties. It includes all relevant information like, roles and responsibilities within the project, the functional unit (e.g. ton of crop), the reflected impact categories (e.g. climate change) and the definition of alternatives. Once this has been defined, the data collection of both customer and BASF begins, resulting in entering the final data set into the model. After the calculation, the data is aggregated and weighted to present a final score for each sustainability pillar. The results are discussed with the customer and a final application for vizualisation and communication of the results is chosen. Currently, 3 possible applications are possible: study report, simulator and game. For more information COMING SOON a on "how to AgBalance" please check the document below for more insights.

Study Report

A study report is a written document in which all relevant input parameters, the results and conclusions taken from this are documented. 

For such a study an external peer-review is performed, usually consisting of professors from universities with expert knowledge in the respective field.

Improving sustainability in olive oil production by combining AgBalance® with “LifeMax”




A simulator is a customized and simplified version of the AgBalance Model and can be used by farmers. 

The simulator always includes a benchmark against which the farmer can compare the own sustainability performance and also play around with "what would happen if" scenarios. Due to the benchmark, the simulator can only be used for specific crops in pre-defined regions.

A demo version can be accessed here: 

Copy of Visuals 4 Webinar

BASF Agricultural Science Policy Webinar Series – Digital tools for farm sustainability

In order to ensure that our updated model AgBalance® v2.0 is in line with our guiding principles, DNV GL validated our procedure, technical backgound and documentation. The final statement can be downloaded below. 

Validation Statement DNV GL

DNV GL states that BASF’s AgBalance® v2.0 Model follows a logical and consistent process and meets the requirements of Adequacy, Robustness and Reliability, and Transparency.

How to AgBalance®

Technical documentation