2019 Annual Integrated Report

Our Purpose

In 2019, the largest listening effort in our history gave rise to our Purpose, the why that gives meaning to our individual and collective work. Experience and research demonstrate that Purpose-driven companies earn the engagement of their people, challenge the status quo, correct their mistakes and make bold moves earlier than others.

At Solvay, we know our reason to be:

We bond people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress

Bonding people, ideas and elements

Bonding has always been an essential feature of the Solvay spirit. Solvay has been creating bonds since its creation, connecting the best scientists of its time through the – still continuing – Conseils de Physique and Chimie. To this day, we are in business to bond: our scientists and chemists bond elements into molecules that become our products, to serve our customers. We bond among colleagues, we bond with customers and suppliers, with academics, with communities, with our families, connecting people and ideas.

Reinvent progress

“From science will derive the progress of mankind.” Like our founder Ernest Solvay, we have faith in science. However, the nature of progress which he evoked in his time is different today. The world is changing at a phenomenal speed, amid mounting volatility. Defining our Purpose was the opportunity to create a new model in the way we do business, manage the planet and prioritize our investments. Based on bonds, this model will give us the opportunity to go beyond “inventing” as engineers, as scientists… and to start reinventing ourselves as a company. This is part of our DNA: Solvay has progressed, transformed ... reinvented itself continuously, for 156 years.

Our Purpose statement is inspired by our past and is intensely focused on the future because we reinvent progress to unleash our full potential. It is idealistic and pragmatic, humanist and business-oriented. What differentiates us is our ability to recognize the duality of our world and be curious and creative as we reconcile seemingly opposite ideas – such as past and future, caring and daring – to form fundamentally new models for the future.

Our Vision and Core Beliefs

Our Purpose comes with our Vision, a unique set of Core Beliefs and a new Code of Business Integrity.

Our Vision

By living our Purpose in everything we do at Solvay, we create sustainable shared value for all. Value that can benefit entire communities – for example the guar farmers of India – and improve the lives of people all over the world. Because Solvay’s products are potentially in the hands of hundreds of millions of people holding a smart device, because they are in cars and in planes, because they save lives through medical devices such as hemodialysis equipment. And we create value in the form of prosperity for our employees, their families, and ultimately for our shareholders.

Our Vision calls us to go beyond where we are today. To reinvent the next forms of progress, because progress tomorrow will take a different form than progress today. We will go beyond being a market leader to become a market maker.

At Solvay, we create sustainable shared value for all

Our Core Beliefs

Our three Core Beliefs express the soul of Solvay and what we have faith in. They are the values that have driven us over the past 156 years and that will keep driving us in the future.

  • Purposeful responsibility

    Our commitment to uncompromising ethics, safety and wellbeing, and sustainability.

  • Unity, not uniformity

    Our belief in the power of ONE Solvay, inclusion and diversity. We have our greatest impact as individuals when we work together. We value the unique contribution of each individual.

  • Passion for performance

    Our fire to take our achievements further, to challenge the status quo, and manage through meritocracy.

Our Code of Business Integrity

Our Passion for performance does not mean achieving results at any cost: integrity is the only way to do business. We have launched our new Code of Business Integrity, providing guidelines for what the Group means by integrity. Employees are all required to take an on-line training course and sign off that they understand and accept the code.