2019 Annual Integrated Report

GRI Disclosures


1,000 metric tons
non-hazardous industrial Waste


1,000 metric tons
hazardous industrial Waste


Two categories are material: hazardous industrial waste and hazardous materials put on the market.

Hazardous industrial wastes

Hazardous industrial waste originates from manufacturing and Research and Innovation activities, including packaging and maintenance waste. Solvay’s Hazardous Industrial Wastes reduction efforts target Hazardous Industrial Wastes that is not treated in a sustainable manner, i.e. landfilled or incinerated without energy recovery.

Materials Placed on the Market

Solvay focuses on Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). The Solvay reference list for SVHCs (S-SVHC and SRA Reference list) was established in 2015 with three categories (black, red, and yellow lists):

  • Black list 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.

In terms of marketed products, Solvay strives to improve its knowledge of how its products are used and associated risks. The preparation of product Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all products and REACH registrations reflects Solvay’s commitment to ensuring the information on hazards associated with our products is readily available. For SVHCs, Solvay has a strategy to decrease their use in the value chain. Risk studies for red and black SVHCs (Substances of Very High Concern) placed 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 intensity

In kg per € EBITDA




Scope: consistent with financial reporting.

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

Industrial hazardous waste not treated in a sustainable way




Since the start of the ongoing environmental plan (2015-2020), the intensity for hazardous industrial waste not treated in a sustainable way has decreased by 51%, meaning that the 2020 target has already be exceeded. It should be noted that the majority of this reduction is due to the divestment of the Performance Polyamides business. The amount of hazardous industrial waste not treated in a sustainable way for 2019 was 1.8 kt (- 6.2%) lower than in 2018. This significant reduction is the resultant effect of decreases and increases at individual sites: Ospiate in Italia (- 0.70 kt), La Rochelle in France (- 0.46 kt), Map Ta Phut in Thailand (+ 2.1 kt) and Paulinia in Brazil (+ 1.2 kt), ... etc.

Waste production in 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




Industrial hazardous and non-hazardous waste not treated in a sustainable way



Solvay’s Hazardous Industrial Waste (HIW) represents only 5.4% of its total industrial waste. The hazardous industrial waste from the Group was 6.5 kt (- 7%) lower than in 2018. The biggest reductions were observed on the sites of Salindres in France (-1.52 kt), Panoli in India (-1.16 kt), Klundert in Netherlands (- 0.89 kt) and La Rochelle in France (-0.86 kt); whereas increases took place at the sites of Zhenjiagang Songl in China (+0.81 kt) and Augusta in the United States (+ 0.80 kt). The improvement on Salindres in France is due to the systematic revalorization of a fluoride containing sludge in a cement plant, changing the status from this material to a by-product instead of being a waste. In Panoli in India, the reduction can be explained by a lower demand. The increase at Zhenjiagang in China was mainly due to the release of a big amount of spent acid, stored on-site for several years. At Augusta in the United States, the rise can be explained by a higher stream factor of a cracking installation, leading to more spent acid.

Excluding perimeter changes, the magnitude of the observed year-to-year variations (+/-5%) for waste are not uncommon and linked to 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 Hazardous Industrial Waste in its environmental plan, although Solvay’s ambition remains to decrease the volumes wherever possible through excellence programs and circular economy initiatives.

Solvay’s non hazardous industrial waste accounts for 94.6% of its total industrial waste. The non hazardous industrial Waste for 2019 is only slightly lower than in 2018 (-6.5 kt, or -0.4%). The vast majority (83%) of this amount ends up in internal landfills which are very well controlled in order to minimize the environmental impact. Around 17% of the non hazardous industrial waste is currently being revalorized. The biggest changes were observed on the sites of Devnya in Bulgaria (-39.5 kt), Juarez in Mexico (-5.3 kt), Augusta in the United States (-4.3 kt) and Tavaux in France (-3.1 kt); whereas significant increases took place at the sites of Dombasle in France (+26.1 kt), GreenRiver in the United States (+14.1 kt).

The decrease at Devnya is in line with a lower production over 2019 whereas the waste produced by Juarez in Mexico was higher in 2018 because of a turn-around operation. At Augusta in the United States, Non hazardous industrial waste could be reduced thanks to an increased stream factor of a waste cracking unit and a waste heat boiler. At Tavaux in France, the gain was the consequence of a much lower coal consumption. In contrast with these reductions higher sludge amounts were produced in Dombasle in France due to an increase in the specific limestone production. At GreenRiver in the United States, the increase was due to an increase in tailings pond purge caused by a decrease in sodium bicarbonate production which utilizes tailings pond purge from the soda ash plant.  Furthermore, there was an increase in coal usage which increases the amount of bottom and fly ash.

Since 2015, the Non Hazardous Industrial Waste at Group level increased by 136 kt (+9.3%), which is mainly linked to production volume increases from the GBU Soda Ash & Derivatives.

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 product.

All SVHCs(1)




Percentage of completion of analysis of safer alternatives program for marketed products(2)

(63 out of 117
required assessments)

(50 out of 128
required assessments)

(28 out of 57
required assessments)

Of which effective replacement

30% (19/63)

32% (16/50)

32% (9/28)

Analysis of safer alternatives (ASA) are required and planned for a total of 117 combinations of products/applications.

Of the 63 “Analyses of safer alternatives” completed as of December 31, 2019, since the start of the program:

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