Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 13 (logo)

Solvay’s 2020 target is to reduce the energy consumption by 10% (1.3% per year on average). The reference year is 2012 at constant activity scope. To achieve this objective, Solvay will step up its SOLWATT® energy efficiency program, continuously optimize its industrial processes, develop clean technologies, and increase the share of renewables in its energy production and supply.

Solvay has taken concrete steps in the form of large technical investments, such as the recent purchases of two cogeneration units, one in Spinetta (Italy) and one in Massa Carrara (Italy), and the construction of a cogeneration unit in Oldbury (United Kingdom).

Definition of indicators for energy

Energy consumption is made up of four components:

  • non-renewable primary fuels (coal, natural gas, fuel oil, etc.), which are used for internal production of steam, electricity and mechanical energy, and in manufacturing processes (coke in lime kiln, gas in dryers, etc.)
  • renewable primary fuels (biomass, biogas, etc.)
  • purchased steam
  • purchased electricity.

Since 2016, steam and electricity generated from fuels and sold on to a third party are deducted from the total. Energy that is purchased and sold to a third party afterwards without any transformation is not accounted for.

In petajoules low heating value (PJ)







Scope: This indicator shows the primary energy consumption over a given year related to the manufacturing activities of the companies that are currently consolidated (fully or proportionately).

Legend: The primary energy consumption of the companies in the financial sphere represents 77% of the total primary energy consumption of all companies in the operational sphere.

Energy consumption







In 2016, energy consumption was 37 PJ less than in 2015. This change is attributable mainly to a single change in the reporting methodology and to changes in the reporting scope. To comply with GRI standards, the amount of energy sold to third parties (23 TJ) is now deducted from the total. The inclusion in the reporting scope of recently acquired Cytec’s activities and seven newly-added sites accounted for an increase of 6 PJ. 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 16 PJ. The rest of the variation (-4 PJ) is linked to energy savings projects and production changes.

Energy intensity

Solvay’s objective:


- 10%

Reduce energy consumption by 10% at constant activity scope

Baseline 2012

Energy intensity covers primary energy from fuels (coal, natural gas, fuel oil, etc.) and from purchased steam and electricity.

Energy efficiency index – Baseline 100% in 2012

In %







Legend: Energy index at constant activity scope reflects the change in energy consumption on a comparable basis after adjusting the historical scope to take into account scope changes and making adjustments for changes in production volumes from one year to the next.

Energy efficiency index







Reduction of energy consumption

In 2016, the Group launched its second energy and carbon efficiency program, SOLWATT 2.0®. Energy performance contracts were signed between Solvay Energy Services and the other GBUs to ensure that the findings of the energy audits are implemented. The plan follows three approaches in parallel:

  • by developing the use of high-efficiency cogeneration plans, the Group is improving the generation efficiency of secondary energy such as steam and electricity. In 2016, a new cogeneration unit based on a gas-fired engine was put into operation in Livorno, Italy, to replace conventional boilers.
  • The SOLWATT® program aims to identify and implement energy savings in existing manufacturing units, through technological improvements and management behavior. By the end of 2015, SOLWATT® had been gradually rolled out and now covers almost all of the Group’s manufacturing sites.
  • new and remodeled plants are being optimized for energy consumption and generation.

In 2016, the Soda Ash & Derivatives GBU significantly enhanced the energy performances of the soda ash plant in Devnya, Bulgaria, with its World Class Factory plan. New cogeneration units such as those in Ospiate and Porto Marghera (Italy) are also being studied.