Solvay bases its priorities for sustainability on a materiality analysis. This approach identifies critical economic, environmental and social aspects with potential to significantly impact Solvay’s performance and/or substantially influence stakeholders’ decisions. The analysis is performed and updated each year according to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) approach.


Priority aspects


Highly material aspects


Moderate materiality aspects

Materiality analysis



Moderate materiality


High materiality

Business model and innovation


Environment, social impacts on assets and operations
Product stewardship


 Sustainable business solutions



Biodiversity impacts


 Greenhouse gas emissions
Air quality
Water and wastewater
Waste and hazardous materials

Human capital


Compensation and benefits
Recruitment, development and retention


 Employee health and safety
Diversity and inclusion
 Employee engagement and well-being

Social capital


Data security and customer privacy
Fair disclosure and labelling
Fair marketing and advertising


Customer welfare
 Societal actions

Leadership and governance


Systemic risk management
Regulatory capture and political influence
Materials sourcing
Supply chain management


Process accident and safety
Management of the Legal, Ethics and Regulatory framework






Materiality analysis process

Solvay’s Sustainable Development function coordinates the analysis with an internal network of Solvay Way champions in the business units and functions. Experts in each Corporate Function have reviewed the analysis of each aspect, and particular attention has been paid to consistency with the Group’s risk analysis.

Click to explore

Materiality analysis process

Materiality analysis process (graphic)

Materiality analysis process

Indirectly taken into account:

  • through the exhaustive list of aspects of the SASB’s “Materiality Map™”
  • through the “evidence of interest criteria” which includes the analysis of documents published by each stakeholder group

Annual review led by the Sustainable Development function

A review takes place after the report has been published, and the organization is preparing for the next reporting cycle. The findings inform and contribute to the Identification Step for the next reporting cycle.

Have our analysis reviewed by the Executive Committee and the Global Business Units and corporate functions leaders, give special importance to ensuring consistency with the analysis of the Group’s main risks, and also to comparing it with the result of the analysis of the SASB for the chemical sector.

SASB’s Materiality Map™ is based on tests designed to prioritize aspects. To determine which sustainability topics were likely to be material to particular industries, SASB ran the following tests: evidence of interest, evidence of financial impact, forward looking adjustment.

The network of Solvay Way champions and internal experts for each highly material aspect were involved in the process.

Use of the SASB's Materiality Map™

SASB's Materiality Map™ identifies likely material sustainability aspects on an industry-by-industry basis.

Reporting on the 8 Highly material aspects and the 12 Moderate materiality aspects.

2017 updates

In 2017, “Diversity and Inclusion” was moved from Moderate Materiality to High Materiality based upon greater evidence of interest from multiple stakeholder groups, and upon the results of GBU materiality analysis.

As in previous years, the vocabulary used for material aspects has been kept consistent with the SASB Materiality Map™, except in cases where the Group’s Executive Committee has made a decision to do otherwise during the validation step in order to broaden the scope of some material aspects. This is the case for the following high materiality aspects:

  • “Societal actions” includes “Community relations” from the 2017 SASB Materiality Map™;
  • “Employee engagement and well-being” includes “Labor relations” and “Fair labor practices” from the SASB Materiality Map™ , and employee well-being;
  • “Sustainable business solutions” includes “Lifecycle impacts of products and services” from the 2017 SASB Materiality Map™;
  • “Management of the legal, ethics and regulatory framework” includes “Business Ethics ”, “Competitive behavior”, and “Human Rights” from the 2017 SASB Materiality Map™.

The main change in vocabulary compared to last year is that “Process accident and safety” now combines the aspects formerly labeled “Process safety, emergency preparedness and response” and “Environmental accidents and remediation”.

Correspondence between the materiality analysis and the risk analysis of the group

As described in the corresponding section of this report, the risk analysis of the group is a specific process and is used as input for the materiality analysis.

Two of the main risks, “Security” and “Cyber risks”, are linked to moderate materiality aspects (Systemic risk management, Data security) because their impact on daily operations is limited. The other risks are linked to highly material aspects.