Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 3 (logo) Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 6 (logo) Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 12 (logo) Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 13 (logo) Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 14 (logo) Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 15 (logo)


1,000 metric tons
Total industrial waste

0.0187 kg per € EBITDA

Hazardous industrial waste not treated in a sustainable way intensity


Required analysis of safer alternatives*


required analysis of  safer alternatives performed*


analysis followed by effective replacement*

* for sold products containing SVHC


Industrial waste: waste stemming from our production activities, including packaging and maintenance waste. Industrial waste is composed of a hazardous portion and a non-hazardous portion. Industrial waste excludes waste from our mining activities (593 metric ktons over 2017), which is composed almost exclusively of inert materials backfilled into the mine.

Hazardous industrial waste not treated in a sustainable way: hazardous industrial waste that is landfilled or incinerated without energy recovery.

Substances of very high concern (SVHC): The group-wide reference list for SVHCs was established in 2015 with three categories (black, red and yellow) to characterize substances’ level of risk management and control:

  • Black list SVHCs: already undergoing a regulatory process of phasing-out or restriction, with a known deadline in at least one country or zone;
  • Red list SVHCs: currently included in regulatory lists of substances that could enter into a process of special authorization or restriction in the medium term.
  • Yellow list SVHCs: substances requiring specific attention (SRA), i.e. substances under scrutiny by authorities, NGOs, scientists, and industries due to their current hazardous properties or potential effects.

Management approach

Substances of very high concern (SVHC) are subject to dedicated management approaches as regards: use as raw materials, placing on the market and possible substitution, handling during manufacturing, and managing hazardous waste. Solvay also has a strategy to decrease the use of hazardous substances in value chains, and to maintain consistent safety information on hazardous substances.

Solvay manages approximately 300 substances of very high concern in products and raw materials. The sites keep up-to-date SVHC inventories based on an updated reference list. They also updates risk studies for all SVHCs and replaces them with safer alternatives where possible. To date, 125 sites (including Polyamides activities) have cross-checked their inventory.

In addition, Solvay is focusing on industrial wastes and particularly on hazardous wastes, switching to more sustainable pathways that avoid landfilling or incineration without energy recovery, and promoting material or thermal recycling.

Hazardous materials risk studies and substitution

Solvay’s objective:



risk assessment and analysis of any available safer alternatives for marketed products containing SVHCs

35 SVHCs may be present in one or more products put on the market. Analysis of safer alternatives are required for a total of 57 combinations of ranges of products/ applications.

Solvay substances of very high concern (SVHC) in products sold








According to EU REACH Authorization list (annex XIV) and EU REACH Candidate list. SVHCs manufactured by or forming part of the composition of products sold by Solvay worldwide. REACH is a regulation of the European Union, adopted to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals.


Analysis of Safer Alternatives for potential substitution for an SVHC. A substance may be present in more than one product.

All SVHCs(1)





Percentage of completion of Analysis of Safer Alternatives program for marketed substances(2)


49% (28 out of 57 required assessments)


18% (9 out of 49 required assessments)

Of which effective replacement


32% (9/28)



The evolution of the number of SVHC and ASA required is due to changes in legislation and incorporation of Cytec’s products in Solvay’s substitution policy.

Of the 28 analyses of safer alternatives completed as of December 31, 2017:

  • 9 have led to effective replacement: SVHC substitution or reduction below required threshold, or production stopped;
  • 7 are ongoing (alternative identified and discussed with customers to be implemented);
  • 12 alternatives not available (no substitute available or not allowed by regulations or not requested due to the application in the final product).

Example of process improvement completed

Various Solvay antifoam products contain petroleum based solvents that can have impurities (e.g. benzene etc.) presenting health risks linked to SVHCs. The Novecare GBU worked with North America and Asia solvent suppliers to confirm that grades supplied for use in these Solvay formulations were high purity petroleum solvent grades, where SVHC content was controlled below the SVHC threshold. Improved controls on raw materials was implemented.

Example of on-going alternative implementation

Some Solvay surfactants are based on NPE (nonyl phenyl ethoxylate) which present environmental concern. Alternative products (Rhodasurf brand) have been developed by the Novecare GBU and are now already heavily promoted and sold by Solvay. Solvay is ready to support customers to use the alternative products without NPE, when their own sustainability programs or regulations drive their R&D investment to reformulate (paints, industrial cleaners etc.).

Waste and hazardous materials indicators

Solvay’s objective:



of industrial hazardous waste not treated in a sustainable way

Baseline 2015

Due to the deconsolidation of the GBU Performance Polyamides, Solvay’s 2020 objective for waste has already been achieved and even exceeded in 2017 (the waste intensity for 2017 is 26 % lower than what we should have obtained in 2020), despite the integration of the contribution of the two GBUs from the Cytec Legacy.

Waste intensity

In kg per € EBITDA







Scope: Consistent with financial reporting.

Industrial hazardous waste not treated in a sustainable way







Absolute volumes

In 1,000 metric tons







Scope: Consistent with financial reporting.

Non-hazardous industrial waste







Hazardous industrial waste







Total industrial waste







Industrial hazardous waste not treated in a sustainable way







The decrease at Group level between 2016 and 2017 for hazardous industrial waste (- 92.5 ktons) is due to the deconsolidation of the GBU Performance Polyamides (- 105.5 ktons), partly compensated by the integration of the GBUs Technology Solutions (+ 5.3 ktons) and Composite Materials (+ 4.3 ktons). Increases were also observed for the GBUs Specialty Polymers (+ 4.3 ktons), Special Chem (+ 3.4 ktons) and Coatis (+ 2.2 ktons). Hazardous industrial waste decreased for the GBU Soda Ash and Derivatives (- 3.1 ktons).

Non-hazardous industrial waste for the Group as a whole augmented by 180 ktons compared to 2016. 75 % of this increase is coming from the GBU Soda-Ash and Derivatives and mainly due to increases in production. Non-hazardous industrial waste decreased by 25 % for the GBU Specialty Polymers (- 14.6 ktons).

From the 41.8 ktons of industrial hazardous waste not treated in a sustainable way over 2017, around 10 % is due to services the Group offers to third parties:

  • 2.6 ktons of landfilled ultimate waste from the revalorization of 20 ktons of residues in Rosignano (Italy) from external incinerators equipped with the SolvAir ® system,
  • 1.3 ktons of landfilled bio-sludge due to the effluent treatment of Inovyn on the site of Tavaux (France).