Keeping pace with changing global trends
Our business environment is changing at an unprecedented pace. Powerful global trends are redefining our behaviors, needs, and expectations. These changes played a part in triggering our own far-reaching transformation.
The technological progress that our customers seek in order to address the new and emerging needs of their own customers relies heavily on the innovative capabilities of the chemical industry. We work in close collaboration with our customers, gaining a thorough understanding of their businesses that enables us to provide them with sophisticated and customized solutions that are often critical to their own product development programs.
Solvay continuously strives to become a strategic and agile partner for its clients, providing innovative and tailor-made solutions through a seamless customer experience. That is our priority for 2018.Augusto Di Donfrancesco, Member of the Executive Committee
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Evolving demography and consumer behavior
Global population growth is accompanied by greater urbanization, which leads to increasing demand for access to basic services and technological advancement. The balance of economic power is shifting, with an expansion of the middle classes in Asia and Africa which is supporting demand for premium goods and services that enhance the individual’s personal sense of well-being. These trends are transforming how we all interact, communicate, and travel.
Challenge for customers
Whether in the consumer electronics, food, or personal hygiene sector, end-users today expect manufacturers to offer them easy-to-use, multifunctional products that are unquestionably safe and sustainable. They increasingly want products not only to perform the functions for which they were designed, but also to contribute to their health and well-being. When it comes to sectors such as the automotive, construction, and aeronautics sectors, consumers expect the solutions used to be robust and sustainable, not only enhancing their quality of life but also helping reduce energy consumption.
Understanding our customers’ needs is key. We seek to constantly improve our knowledge of their environments and we meet with key players in our markets (e.g., aeronautics, automotive, agri-foods, etc.) all around the world. During meetings like Tech Days, specialists in R&I, marketing and business experts from all relevant Group activities take part, demonstrating to our customers the added value and potential they can derive from Solvay as a multi-specialist, operating along the entire value chain. This allows us to develop innovative and competitive solutions precisely tailored to the present and future demands of our customers’ end-users.
High temperature performance for batteries
To improve the storage capacity of renewable energies, LiTFSI is the best lithium salt for electrolytes. It can easily operate at high temperatures, allowing the development of energy-efficient hybrid vehicles with higher performance than combustion engine-powered cars.
Our first multi-client Tech Day in China
In 2017, Solvay held its first multi-client Tech Day in Shanghai, China, attracting more than 100 customers, partners, and professionals from the agrochemical sector. The Group shared innovative solutions for the emerging agrochemical markets: its new technologies meet a growing need in crop nutrition and protection as well as an increasing demand for safer and more efficient solutions, compatible with the new farming practices expected by our customers. This event allowed the Group not only to reinforce its relationship with customers and better understand their new needs and requirements, but also demonstrate the value of its multi-specialty model.
customers, partners and professionals
of the world’s population is expected to live in cities.
The number of people over 60 will more than double and will represent more than 25% of the world’s population.
the urban poulation in developing countries while the area covered by cities could triple.
Transforming how we live, work, and consume, the digital revolution has reshaped most of our industries and sped up innovation cycles to keep pace with the unheard-of rate of evolution in consumer expectations. Smart production systems both optimize the use of resources and reduce carbon emissions. Through the constant introduction of smarter technologies, industries will continue to develop, and in this context, competitiveness and sustainability rely on innovating to meet ever more challenging demands.
Challenge for customers
To remain competitive in their own markets, manufacturers need to constantly improve the performance of their products while making their processes more efficient, enabling them to operate more responsibly and more sustainably. Achieving these goals frequently requires bold and disruptive innovations that take account not only of leading-edge scientific and technological research, but also of specific market realities.
Our scientists and engineers are focused on the specific needs of our customers. Thanks to our broad multi-specialty portfolio of technologies and our process of innovation excellence, we can provide the fastest response with best efficiency, shortening time to market in all aspects of the innovation process from ideation and market validation all the way to scale-up and intellectual property protection.
Corporate R&I goes digital
We have decided to make a step change in Corporate R&I using digital technologies. Among them are Simulation & Modeling, in order to speed up time to market and focus on the most promising solutions, and Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, to boost selected business projects.
Our customers have increasing expectations of the partnership to drive customized innovation together. Our ability to understand their needs, our expertise in materials and chemistry, and our will to develop long-term collaboration and innovate with them will help them turn their challenges into solutions for more growth and a more sustainable planet.Du Hua Member of the Executive Committee
of new cars will have embedded connectivity (vs. 15% in 2014).
connected devices worldwide, jumping 12% on average annually from from 27 bn in 2017 to 125 bn.
annual growth rate in 3D printed products, the industry’s fastest-growing segment.
Resource constraints and demand for sustainability
As demands rise, the finite resources we rely on are growing ever scarcer, the planet is under increased threat from climate change, and economic pressure is limiting the availability of land for food production. The need for sustainable solutions in all areas of industry to prevent and fight these changes has never been greater.
Challenge for customers
All our customers are focused on offering their own consumers increasingly energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly products and services. In the transport sector, manufacturers seek to comply with ever more stringent regulations on CO2 and particulate emissions while meeting demands for safer and more fuel-efficient travel. In agri-foods, farmers and food processors urgently require greater agricultural yields and improved management of resources. The chemical industry is a key stakeholder in these developments: technological breakthroughs in industry often rely on groundbreaking innovations in chemicals.
Our solutions contribute to meeting tomorrow’s sustainability challenges, whether by providing cleaner forms of energy to a growing number of consumers, satisfying the increasing demand for food, or creating cost-effective and urban-focused mobility solutions. Every solution we develop is assessed according to our Sustainable Portfolio Management (SPM) methodology. Applied to all our key processes, to our pipeline of innovations, and to our portfolio of existing products, it allows us to assess the alignment of each product in each market with sustainability imperatives.
Improvement in mineral refining
For the growing market of mining industries, Interox® hydrogen peroxide solution is a reagent offering attractive environmental characteristics which can enhance the recovery of metals, detoxify water effluents after metal extraction, and improve operational sustainability in water management.
Solvay supports open innovation
Solvay has joined the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions founded by Bertrand Piccard, the initiator of the zero-emission plane Solar Impulse, which is based on the belief that through open innovation, clean technologies can bring a fully sustainable society closer. As a member of the Alliance, Solvay will interact with start-ups and inventors, helping transform their mobility and energy projects into reality through its experience, capacity and industrial know-how.
people affected by water scarcity.
available agricultural land per person.
increase in greenhouse gas emissions, leading to an average temperature rise of 0.5.