2019 Annual Integrated Report


Bold steps in sustainability

Solvay ONE Planet is an integral part of our Strategy. Sustainability is already at the heart of our operations at Solvay, and we are now setting our bar even higher across our entire value chain, with a new policy that extends our focus to our impact on climate, resources, and a better life for our employees and communities.

Responsible for change

The chemicals industry is increasingly being challenged to re-invent its sustainability agenda. The rise in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) expectations from investors highlights the growing strategic importance of this area in medium and long-term shareholder value creation. A leader in our industry, at Solvay we have always believed that solutions to the major challenges facing humanity will be driven by science and innovation. We have developed robust tools and processes to support our commitment to sustainability – Solvay Way, Sustainable Portfolio Management, integrated thinking and reporting – and have also forged strong partnerships in this field. We will continue to leverage and optimize these fundamentals going forward.

Committed to impact

Solvay ONE Planet, our new sustainability approach takes our previous achievements a bolder step forward. It will build on our recognized expertise, tools, processes and partnerships, and focus firmly on impacts.

  • Climate: €2.2bn of our sales already help reduce our customers’ overall climate impact. We are working on accelerating our climate and energy transition to ultimately reach carbon neutrality.
  • Resources: Resources is about Circular Economy. €3.5bn of our sales help reduce resource consumption worldwide. We aim to reduce waste, re-using it as by-products or in energy production, and use water more efficiently via excellence projects and recycling initiatives.
  • Better Life: €3.3bn of our sales help improve quality of life, through caring for our employees and our communities.

To achieve our Solvay ONE Planet goals, we pledge to reallocate investments to promote sustainability within our portfolio, operations and workplace.

Solvay Way will remain our internal sustainability reference framework and our teams will be encouraged to play their own part in Solvay ONE Planet through actions that have a positive impact on the world around them and their daily lives. Externally, we will improve the way we measure the impact of our solutions and continue to innovate to tackle the urgent challenges facing society today. Our contribution to our customers’ sustainability journey will be a cornerstone of our relationship, working with them to produce more sustainability-positive solutions across the value chain.

“With Solvay ONE Planet, we are setting bolder objectives to solve key environmental and societal challenges through science and innovation. Beyond climate change, we will tackle resource scarcity and promote a better life. Together with our customers, we will create sustainable shared value for all. This is Progress Beyond. This is G.R.O.W.”

Ilham Kadri,Solvay CEO

Stepping up our commitment

Solvay ONE Planet is inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It includes ten measurable commitments in three key focus areas, to be achieved by 20301.

10 Sustainability Goals


  1. Lowering greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

    Solvay will double the rate at which it reduces emissions, with a goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 26% and aligning its trajectory with the “well below 2°C temperature increase” goal outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

  2. Eliminating the use of coal.

    Solvay will not build new coal-powered plants and commits to phase out coal usage in energy production wherever renewable alternatives exist.

  3. Reducing pressure on biodiversity.

    Solvay plans to reduce its pressure by 30% on biodiversity in areas such as terrestrial acidification, water eutrophication and marine ecotoxicity.


  1. Increasing water use efficiency.

    Solvay will diminish its impact on freshwater withdrawal by reducing its intake of freshwater by 25%.

  2. Accelerating the circular economy.

    Solvay will leverage its partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to more than double the sales of products based on renewable or recycled resources to 15% of Group sales.

  3. Increasing waste recovery.

    The Group will reduce by a third its non-recoverable industrial waste, such as landfill and incineration without energy recovery.

  4. Leveraging innovation to grow sustainable solutions.

    Solvay will upgrade its sustainable portfolio to reach 65% of Group sales, in collaboration with the Solar Impulse Foundation.

Better Life

  1. Prioritizing safety.

    Solvay targets a zero accident policy, to protect the safety and security of its employees.

  2. Embedding inclusion and diversity.

    Solvay will work to achieve gender parity for mid- and senior-level management by 2035. Solvay’s code of business integrity paves the way towards an inclusive work environment that welcomes diversity of any kind such as thoughts, race, color, national origin, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.

  3. Extending maternity and paternity leave.

    Solvay is adapting its global policy of 14 weeks maternity leave to 16 weeks, extending it to co-parents employed by the company regardless of gender, by 2021.

1: Baseline 2018