3.1. Reporting practices
Greenhouse gas emissions reporting practices
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are reported in accordance with the world’s most prevalent standards for sustainability reporting (GRI guidelines and GHG protocol). In particular, because Solvay is a chemical company, it was decided to apply the “Guidance for Accounting & Reporting Corporate GHG Emissions in the Chemical Sector Value Chain” published by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which provides best practices for greenhouse gas accounting and reporting. By extension, other emissions are reported according to the same guidelines.
To better reflect its sustainability policy, Solvay decided to apply the market-based method to calculate CO2 emissions associated with purchased electricity. To fully comply with GRI’s requirements, the following criteria (in decreasing order of priority) are applied to select the CO2 emission factor of each electricity supply contract:
- Energy attribute certificates – emission factors resulting from specific instruments such as green energy certificates;
- Contract based – the emission factor obtained from contract agreements on specific sources for which there is no emission of specific attributes;
- Supplier / utility emission rates – the emission factor that is disclosed as result of the supplier’s retail mix;
- Residual mix – the emission factor which is calculated based on the non-attribute claimed production and reflects the mix after the subtraction of certified products;
- Location-based – if none of the above factors is available, the national emission factor published by national authorities, the International Energy Agency. Based on a World Resources Institute (WRI) recommendation, for the USA, Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) emission factors published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency are used instead of the state emission factor.
Energy reporting practices
Energy consumption components are converted into primary energy, with the following conventions:
- fuels, using the net calorific values
- steam purchased, taking into account the reference value of boiler efficiency related to the fuel used for its generation (e.g. 90% efficiency based on the net calorific value for natural gas)
- electricity purchased, assuming an average efficiency of 39.5% for all types of power production except for nuclear power (33%), based on net calorific value (source International Energy gency (IEA)).
Environmental reporting practices
Environmental data are collected yearly on all Solvay industrial sites (production sites and R&I centers) and for each business separately in the case of multi-business sites. The data collection comprises substance emissions to air and water, waste production, and a series of parameters dealing with water and general environmental management.
After a thorough validation process, these data are consolidated at the Group level in consistency with financial reporting. In addition, the consolidated data are verified by an external auditor.
For 2017, the data for all Performance Polyamides GBU sites have been excluded (i.e. financially deconsolidated), with the exception of the Paulinia (Brazil) site, which is not part of the deal with BASF.
Data from all of the sites of two Cytec legacy GBUs (“Technology Solutions” and “Composite Materials”), acquired at end 2015, have been integrated as from this year.
It has to be noted that the 2020 (and intermediate 2017) targets for the Group’s Environmental Plan have been calculated with the information at hand in 2015. In particular, the divestment of the GBU’s Acetow and Emerging Biochemicals has been integrated but not the recently announced divestment of the GBU Performance Polyamides.
Safety reporting practices
Safety performance is measured in all entities under Solvay operational control, i.e. on sites where Solvay policies and procedures apply. Accidents are reported to a central database and classified according to time lost and severity of injuries.
Frequency rates are calculated monthly at the GBU and Group levels. Performances and accident typology are analyzed on a quarterly basis. Reports are provided to the Executive Committee and GBUs.
Medical Treatment Accident Rate (MTAR), Lost Time accident Rate (LTAR) and Process Safety Rate are calculated based on million hours worked. The Group reporting guidelines for calculating hours worked hours (employees, contractors and temporary workers) are under revision to ensure higher consistency of the methodological approaches across all Group entities as of 2018.
Social reporting practices
Headcount is provided for two scopes:
- Solvay Continuous Operations includes continuous operations only and matches Financial accounts presentation;
- Solvay Total Headcount also considers discontinued operations.
Apprentices, trainees and students are excluded from the numbers. Headcount refers to employees having a contract with Solvay, who are classified as active as they have a position in the org chart. FTE (Full Time Equivalent) corresponds to Active employees times capacity utilization.