2019 Annual Integrated Report

In step with powerful business trends

Resource efficiency




Air, soil and water pollution and the growing pressure on biodiversity are driving the search for new resource-efficient solutions. So too is climate change and the continuing bid to reduce CO2 emissions, currently set to increase by 40% by 2030. Industrial innovation is growing, enabling more efficient use of resources, through modular design and manufacturing methods incorporating the principles of recycling and the circular economy.


Increase of lithium supply by 2030 and Copper to add ~4Mt pa1


CAGR growth in energy-efficient glass by 20252


Growth in water treatment over the next 5 years3

Challenges for customers

Doing more with less, through energy savings (lightweighting), savings on raw materials, and the circular economy.

Opportunities for Solvay

Solvay offers leading technologies to many of the markets where resource efficiency is a key driver.

  • We have developed a unique methodology that allows enhanced recovery of value minerals and increased recovery and concentrate grade in copper flotation and a broad range of solvent extractants for the purification and concentration of metals like lithium.
  • We offer high-performance polymers & thermoplastic composites for use in flexible oil & gas risers. They are lighter, more resistant to corrosion and require less maintenance.
  • We leverage our expertise in soda ash to develop eco-efficient glass used in triple-glazed windows for the construction industry.
  • Our polymers are used in filter bags and membranes to treat the gases emitted by multiple industries.

A Solvay solution

The fast-growing lithium industry has seen a rise in demand driven by the growth of the electric vehicle battery market. Working together with a mining engineering firm that developed a new process to extract lithium based on solvent extraction, Solvay has imagined an optimized extractant formulation that helps companies achieve more sustainable and cost-effective lithium production from salars. The reagent Cyanex® 936 enables the production of high-purity lithium salts in a matter of hours, rather than 12 to 18 months under conventional evaporation methods, irrespective of weather conditions. Furthermore, under this new process, the lithium-free saltwater can be re-injected into the salar following solvent extraction, saving billions of liters of water.

Sources: 1: World Material Forum, Global Battery Alliance, 2: Research and Markets, October 2019, 3: Solvay internal research