2020 Integrated Report

Bonding with customers to reduce emissions

Our collaboration with Givaudan

As investors, customers and new talent increasingly ask companies to raise the bar on sustainability, it is no longer a nice-to-have. We are making bold sustainability commitments but we know we cannot do it alone. We can achieve so much more by partnering with our customers to transform the value chain and meet the end users’ need for zero or low carbon products and services. This will significantly grow our business and our customers’ business, while helping to enable a better, more sustainable world.

SDG 13
Solvay and Givaudan: partners to achieve ambitious climate targets

As part of this effort, we signed on to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), committing to further reduce our own emissions and work closely with our partners to reduce emissions in the value chain. One thousand companies participate in the initiative, including many of our key strategic partners.

One of our valued partners on this SBTi journey is our key strategic customer, Givaudan, the world’s largest company in the flavour and fragrance industries. Givaudan buys products from Solvay that are mainly derived from the guaiacol chain such as vanillin and the bio sourced solvant Augeo®.

Givaudan has already set its target to reduce value chain emissions by 20% from 2015 to 2030. Our actions to reduce our own emissions are already helping customers like Givaudan fulfill their SBTi commitment.

“With Solvay, we have a serious partner in line with our vision to create shared sustainable value. It’s an immense journey. Collaboration is the key to creating healthier and more sustainable products.”

Willem Mutsaerts (picture)Willem Mutsaerts, Head of Global Procurement and Sustainability and EXCOM Member, Givaudan.

In 2020, we collaborated with our customers for a series of virtual events to raise awareness about sustainability and our Solvay One Planet commitments. Givaudan was our guest for our November 27 event and during the session Willem Mutsaerts, Head of Global Procurement and Sustainability and EXCOM Member at Givaudan said, “we cannot work in the future with suppliers that don’t have an ambitious program to reduce the impact of the environment. This is critical for you, this is critical for us, and this is critical for the world.”

To progress on our mutual sustainability goals, in 2020 we decided to strengthen our partnership with Givaudan with a new contract that will include CO2 savings. Explaining the closer partnership Guillaume Meunier, Executive Key Account Manager at Solvay said, “We’ve started to agree with Givaudan about what kind of governance we will have and how we will work together. For example, we discussed creating a steering committee to meet twice a year that will advance innovation topics on top of the sustainable topics that we’re going to cover.”

At a workshop with sustainability experts from both organizations, we agreed to move forward on several initiatives:

  1. In 2021 check, through a certified and independent organization, that we use the same values to measure the CO2 emissions of our products in the value chain. This will ensure that both of our companies are on the same page.
  2. Together we identified different projects that can help us reduce our collective greenhouse gas footprint. We are using renewable energy to power several sites that supply products for Givaudan: to provide a few examples, our site in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, which supplies ethyl vanillin, is powered by solar energy and we use biomethane for Melle site in France that supplies cyclopentanone. Soon we will use biomethane as well in St-Fons where we’ll supply vanillin for Givaudan.
  3. Another way to reduce CO2 emissions is to ramp up the production and use of biosource solvents. We will position Augeo®, our biosource solvent, as a potential alternative to the 100% of fossil carbon based solvents. By doing this we could potentially save 8kt of CO2 emissions per year.
The next step: bio-based products of the future

Beyond our mutual commitments to reduce CO2, the main focus of our partnership with Givaudan is to move towards bio-based products in the future. Five years ago, our biosourced products were only 4% of our overall sales to Givaudan. In 2020 that number has increased to 40%.

Hand touching leaves (picture)





in 5 years


biobased sales to Givaudan