Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 13 (logo)

In November 2015, Solvay set a new long-term objective regarding greenhouse gas emissions: to reduce its carbon intensity by 40% by 2025. Furthermore, from January 1, 2016, Solvay applies an internal price for CO2 emissions of € 25 per metric ton, to take into account climate challenges in its investment decisions.

An externally verified and structured greenhouse gas emission reporting system and responses to rating agencies such as the Carbon Disclosure Project help the Group to align its efforts on the effectiveness of its greenhouse gas challenges.

Definition of indicators for greenhouse gases (GHG)

The greenhouse gas emissions reported by Solvay correspond to the scope of the Kyoto Protocol and comprise the following compounds or compound families: CO2/ N2O/ CH4 / SF6/ HFCs/ PFCs and NF3. To calculate the impact on climate change, the greenhouse gas emissions are converted from metric tons to the CO2 equivalent using the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of each gas as published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Fifth Assessment Report.

The indicator takes into account:

  • direct emissions for each GHG released from Solvay’s industrial activities (Scope 1 of Kyoto Protocol)
  • reporting of direct CO2 emissions, including emissions from the combustion of all fossil fuels as well as process emissions (e.g. thermal decomposition of carbonated products, chemical reduction of metal ores)
  • indirect CO2 emissions related to the steam and electricity purchased from third parties (Scope 2 of Kyoto Protocol). For electricity purchased, indirect emissions are calculated by applying the market-based methods. For 2016, the calculation does not include the use of residual mix, the details of which are not available.
Greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 & 2)

Mt CO2 equ.







Scope: The manufacturing activities of the companies that are currently consolidated (fully or proportionately). The greenhouse gas emission of the companies in the financial perimeter represents 83% of the total greenhouse gas emissions of all companies in the operational perimeter.

Direct & indirect CO2 emissions (scopes 1 & 2)


Mt CO2







Other greenhouse gases (Kyoto Protocol) emissions (scope 1)


Mt CO2eq







Total greenhouse gases (Kyoto Protocol) emissions


Mt CO2eq







Other greenhouse gases (non-Kyoto Protocol) CO2 emissions (scope 1)


Mt CO2eq







In 2016 greenhouse gas emissions were 0.8 Mt CO2 eq. lower than in 2015. This change is explained mainly by changes in the reporting scope, which now includes recently acquired Cytec activities and seven newly added sites, for an increase of 0.4 Mt CO2 eq. The divestment of precipitated calcium carbonate activities and the classification in discontinued assets of chlorovinyl activities in Thailand and at Acetow led to a decrease of 0.9 Mt CO2 eq. The rest of the variation (-0.3 Mt CO2 eq.) is linked to emission reduction projects and production changes.

Greenhouse gas intensity

Solvay’s strategic objectives:

2018 mid-term

- 20%

Reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 20% in comparison with 2015


- 40%

Reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 40% in comparison with 2014

Greenhouse gas intensity

In kg CO2 eq / € EBITDA







Legend: The greenhouse gas intensity indicator covers Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse gas intensity







Key achievements:

  • in the trona mine at Green River (Wyoming, United States), partial recovery of the methane emitted during the extraction and combustion of trona has avoided emissions equivalent to 100,000 metric tons of CO2 eq. per year since 2011. Since 2012 a portion of the heat from the combustion of the recovered methane has been used in the manufacturing process, bringing additional energy and CO2 savings
  • in Brazil, Solvay has developed and operates a biomass-fired cogeneration unit using sugarcane bagasse
  • thanks to a SOLWATT® energy and carbon efficiency program and other greenhouse gas emission savings from processes, savings are estimated at 100,000 metric tons of CO2 in 2016.