2017 Annual Integrated Report
Solvay for Growth
A comprehensive account of the progress we made last year can be accessed here, entering in the effective results of the decision we made, the path we took, and constant commitment to Growth shared with our costumes and key stakeholders.
Last year, Solvay continued to make progress. Our solid results, supported by significant growth in volumes, put us on track to fully realizing the mid-term objectives. This allows us to continue including our shareholders in the Group’s growth, once again recommending an increase of more than 4% in the dividend.
Today, Solvay is an advanced materials and specialty chemicals company, with a balanced presence on all continents. Some 70% of our innovative portfolio consists of products from activities that constitute our growth engines, and our revamped customer profile includes, first and foremost, major names in automotive, aerospace and electronics part of our 11 strategic markets.
Our ambition is to be a leading contributor to the reshaping of the global chemical industry and help deliver sustainable solutions that will meet the planet’s challenges. This is a success of which we can rightly be proud. It also opens the door to other opportunities, as we operate in a world that is going through a profound transformation further accelerated by the massive introduction of digital.
A strategic governance:
Technology at the full scope
Our good financial performance confirmed the relevance of the product portfolio transformation we have been undergoing since 2012, to fortify our distinctive presence in a B2B environment. Our company’s strategy and business model enable us to anticipate growth and foreseen possible risks.
In 2017, we wisely detected profound industry remodelling undergoing during the previous financial year. Thanks to the acquisition of new enterprises and complementary technologies, and the divestment of others, our profile has evolved toward advanced materials and specialty chemicals tailored to the needs of specific markets and customers.
Connecting for high-speed open innovation
Innovation cycles are getting shorter and shorter. Therefore, our research and innovation organizations geared to favor breakthrough innovation, easing the process from science to the solutions, which our customers require to maintain the pace of their technological process.
Last year, we ventured in promising startups making groundbreaking discoveries, building strong partnership that allows us to innovate better and faster while helping our customers to provide sustainable products to their market-ends.
Pivotal to this acceleration was our team’s or teams’ ability to collaborate and to pull together as a Group to react quickly. This was decisive in the acquisition of battery-related technology which strengthens Solvay’s capabilities in the development of high-voltage solutions for Li-ion batteries, and increases our competitive role as a reliable provider of sustainable solutions for mobility and resource efficiency.
Our priority today is Growth. We need to bolster our capacity to innovate and to serve our customers more effectively so as to generate strong, sustainable growth. This is the essence of the organizational transformation to better adapt to the rapidly evolving demands of our customers and to the new challenges created by the digital revolution
Going circular for a sustainable business
With over 150 years of history, we are deeply aware of the importance of creating value that stands the test of time.
As the only chemical partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to spark the effect of the circular economy, we raised the bar setting 5 sustainability targets to reduce the GreenHouse Gas (GHG) by 2025 to guide every decision we take, as strongly as our financial criteria.
In 2017, we also implemented our unique Sustainable Portfolio Management to guarantee market impact at higher sustainable value. How? Solvay Way translated our ambitions into concrete actions and well-defined responsibilities.
Cultural Diversity: the power steering our transformation
Starting from 2017, we have been simplifying our internal organizations transforming the way we work, driving a deep cultural change to foster entrepreneurial mindset throughout the group.
Last year, our pull of talent was formed by more than 100 nationalities with enriching cultural diversity in background, gender, and age. By leveraging digital technologies we shifted to offer each employee individualized solutions for training and career development.
For all of them, we also tailored Solvay Care: a minimum level of social protection program which allows enjoying benefits related to maternity leave, medical care, life and disability insurance, that would not otherwise be available.