2020 Integrated Report

Solvay One Planet sustainability roadmap

Fighting against climate change

AgRHO® S Boost (pictured)

AgRHO® S Boost is a macromolecule extracted from guar, a legume, which improves the plant's absorption of water and nutrients, boosts germination and ultimately increases yield.

Child in an arctic landscape (picture)

SDG 7, SDG 13, SDG 14, SDG 15 (icon)


sales from solutions reducing our customers’ overall climate impact

Align greenhouse gas emissions with Paris Agreement & SBTi (icon)Bonding with customers and suppliers to reduce emissions

Historically, Solvay has been more energy intensive than the chemical industry average, relying on coal as a primary energy source. As part of Solvay One Planet, we committed to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 26% in alignment with the Paris Agreement and to phase out coal.

In 2020, we took this a step further by committing to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi*) expectations. Under SBTi we will further reduce emissions from our own factories. The new targets – to be set up within two years – will also include emissions in the value chains connected with our activities. We will engage our customers and suppliers to find solutions to reduce emissions throughout the value chain.

Delivering innovative sustainable solutions that meet customers’ expectations will significantly grow our business and our customers’ business. Through this customer-centric approach, €1.6 billion of our sales already come from solutions that help to reduce the overall climate impact.

“By committing to setting Science Based Targets we are taking a bigger, bolder step to advance our Solvay One Planet initiative, especially regarding our partnerships with customers.”

Pascal Chalvon Demersay (picture)Pascal Chalvon Demersay Solvay Chief Sustainability Officer

Phase out coal (icon)Accelerating reductions in CO2 in our manufacturing

Solvay is committed to sustainable manufacturing. We paved the way for twenty-eight emission reduction projects that are already completed or were committed by 2020. They represent an annual reduction of 1.8 million tons of CO2 per year, which is the equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the road. Renewable energy projects – from biomass to wind farms to solar energy – make up the vast majority. The rest include other energy transition projects and a clean technology developed in-house to reduce process emissions (carbon tetrafluoride) significantly. Nineteen of these projects were in operation at the end of 2020. The remaining nine projects will be achieved within the next three years. In addition, teams are at work on a pipeline of about thirty additional projects to further reduce emissions.

28 projects reduce emissions equivalent to taking 1 million cars off the road

28 projects reduce emissions equivalent to taking 1 million cars off the road (graphic)

Phasing out coal at our Rheinberg plant

Soda ash plant in Rheinberg, Germany (picture)

Our soda ash plant Rheinberg, Germany is switching from coal to biomass to produce energy – it is installing a new boiler that uses recycled wood chips as raw material, supplied by local companies. This project, which is scheduled to be operational in the second quarter of 2021, will cut the site’s CO2 emissions by more than 30% (-190 kt CO2/y). It also brings us a step closer to our objective to phase-out coal from energy production by 2030.


reduction of our pressure on biodiversity by 2030


reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

Reduce pressure on biodiversity (icon)An original approach to protecting biodiversity

Solvay was among 30 companies recognized in 2020 by Act4Nature International** for its forward-looking approach in support of biodiversity. We focus on the pressure generated by our operations and supply chain on biodiversity: greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater eutrophication, marine ecotoxicity and soil acidification represent 90% of our emissions and effluents potentially affecting biodiversity. As part of Solvay One Planet, we have committed to reducing our pressure on biodiversity by 30% by 2030 in these areas.

* The Science Based Targets initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

** The Act4Nature International initiative encourages corporate action for the protection, enhancement and restoration of biodiversity.