Reported industrial waste includes hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste, both resulting from manufacturing and Research and Innovation activities, including packaging and maintenance waste. Solvay’s waste reduction objective focuses on Hazardous Industrial Waste not treated in a sustainable way, meaning that it is landfilled or incinerated without energy recovery.

The value of this indicator is strongly related to the amount of Hazardous Industrial Waste (HIW); i.e. any decrease in the amount of Hazardous Industrial Waste (HIW) will also diminish the waste key performance indicator.

Regarding hazardous materials put on the market, the focus is on Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) and on the substitution process. The Solvay reference list for Substances of Very High Concern SVHCs (S-SVHC and SRA Reference list) was established in 2015 with three categories (black, red, and yellow lists) to characterize substances’ level of risk management and control:

  • Blacklist S-SVHCs: already undergoing a regulatory process of phasing-out with a known deadline in at least one country or zone, or a restriction for Solvay relevant uses;
  • Red list S-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 SRAs: substances requiring specific attention, i.e. substances under scrutiny by authorities, NGOs, scientists, and industries due to their current hazardous properties or potential effects.

Management approach

For industrial waste and particularly hazardous waste, the focus is on switching to more sustainable pathways that avoid landfilling or incineration without energy recovery, and promoting material or thermal recovery.

As regards sold products, in the framework of evolving legislations, particular effort goes into improving the knowledge of the conditions under which products are used, so as to assess any associated risks at the use level. The preparation of product Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all the 18,000 products and the success in the REACH registrations reflect Solvay’s management approach to ensuring worldwide product knowledge management. For hazardous substances, Solvay has a strategy to decrease their use in value chains and to maintain consistent and robust safety information on hazardous substances handled in sites. Solvay sites keep their SVHC inventories up to date. Risk studies for all SVHCs put on the market are underway and substances are replaced with safer alternatives where possible.

Indicators and objectives


Solvay’s objective:



intensity of Industrial Hazardous Waste not treated in a sustainable way

Baseline 2015

Waste production, intensity

In kg per € EBITDA









Scope: consistent with financial reporting.

Industrial Hazardous Waste not treated in a sustainable way









Since the start of the ongoing environmental plan (2015-2020), the intensity for HIW not treated in a sustainable way has decreased by 38%, meaning that the 2020 target has already been achieved. It should be noted that the majority of this reduction is due to the financial deconsolidation of the Performance Polyamides business since 2017.

The amount of HIW not treated in a sustainable way was 7.6 kt (19%) lower than in 2017. This significant reduction came from the following plants: Tavaux (-2.7 kt or 6.8%), Saint-Fons (France, -1.3 kt or -3.3%), Rosignano (Italy, -1.1 kt or -2.7%) and Panoli (India, -0.5 kt or -1.3%).

In Tavaux, the reduction is mainly the result of the reconsideration of PVDC latex as Non-Hazardous Industrial Waste (NIHW), and of a production slow-down for one their refrigerants. The decrease in Saint-Fons is due to the fact that the HIW elimination from a previous production unit was finalized at the end of 2017. The apparent diminution in Rosignano can be attributed to the fact that some waste streams had not been expressed as dry matter for the reporting year 2017. Finally, for Panoli, the decrease comes from a lower production rate for one of their polymers.

Waste production, absolute

In 1,000 metric tons









Scope: consistent with financial reporting.

Past figures have been restated to reflect the impact of methodology improvements.

Non-Hazardous Industrial Waste









Hazardous Industrial Waste









Total Industrial Waste









Industrial Hazardous Waste not treated in a sustainable way









Solvay’s Hazardous Industrial Waste (HIW) represents only 5.5% of its total industrial waste.

The HIW from the Group was 5.4 kt (-5.4%) lower than in 2017. The biggest reductions were observed on the sites of Tavaux (-3.6 kt), Panoli (-2.3 kt), Rosignano (-1.2 kt), Halifax (-1.2 kt), Torrelavega (- 0.7 kt) and Marietta (-0.5 kt); whereas increases have been identified at Linne-Herten (1.7 kt) and Salindres (1 kt). The inclusion of the new hydrogen peroxide plant in Jubail (Saudi Arabia) also resulted in an additional amount of 1.4 kt HIW.

Excluding eventual scope changes of the Group, the order of magnitude of the observed year-to-year variations (+/-5%) in waste volume is not uncommon and linked to some waste specific issues, often beyond the sphere of influence such as: turn-around operations, regulatory changes in waste classifications, problems with waste treatment companies, changes in market demand for by-products, etc.

The Group has not set any target on the amount of HIW in its environmental plan, although Solvay’s ambition remains to decrease the volumes wherever possible through excellence programs (such as the ongoing ones in Ospiate and Zhenjiang Feixiang).

Solvay’s Non Hazardous Industrial Waste (NHIW) accounts for 94.5% of its total industrial waste.

Compared to 2017, the NHIW decreased slightly (-13.5 kt, but only representing a decrease of -0.8%). Around 29% of this waste is currently being recycled through material and/or energy recovery.

At Spinetta (Italy) NHIW could be reduced thanks to a project whereby the sludge generated during an effluent treatment step was transformed into a commercial product rather than being landfilled, contributing to the circular economy. This commercialization started in September 2017 and will reach its full potential in 2019 with a total NHIW reduction of about 15 kt.

Since 2015, the NHIW at Group level increased by 180 kt (+12.4%), which is mainly linked to production volume increases from the Soda Ash & Derivatives Global Business Unit, resulting in +110 kt NHIW, and the Special Chem business, resulting in +56 kt NHIW.

Safer alternatives for marketed products 

Solvay’s objective:



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

Solvay Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) found 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 marketed product.

All SVHCs(1)







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


(50 out of 128 required assessments)


(28 out of 57 required assessments)


(9 out of 49 required assessments)

Of which effective replacement


32% (16/50)


32% (9/28)



Analysis of safer alternatives (ASA) are planned for a total of 128 combinations of products/applications. The change in the number of SVHC and required ASA between 2017 and 2018 is due to changes in legislation and incorporation of Cytec’s products in Solvay’s substitution program.

Of the 50 analyses of safer alternatives completed as of December 31, 2018:

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