In 2021, Solvay delivered outstanding financial results and made significant progress toward achieving our sustainability goals. We raised the bar in all areas, in a challenging environment marked by inflation and logistical issues, and increasingly strict environmental regulations. It was also another great year of progress in our transformation journey. Our Annual Integrated Report shows how we are REINVENTING ourselves and the way we serve our stakeholders, making our Purpose – we bond people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress – a reality, and creating more sustainable value for all.
Essential AND Special
"Over the past three years, we have accelerated our journey to transform and simplify Solvay. We ascertained our culture, instilling a performance mindset throughout our Group. We set up ambitious sustainability objectives through our Solvay One Planet roadmap, raising the bar every year to meet our customers’ needs and contribute to building a better world. We got fit, we built efficiencies and we executed on our G.R.O.W. strategy. Coupled with our solid and improving portfolio, this has produced strong results and cash generation, allowing us to deleverage our balance sheet and invest for future growth. We are now ready to change the game by creating two fabulous new companies, which builds on what Solvay has always been throughout history: Essential AND Special.” Ilham Kadri, Solvay CEO
Delivering and preparing future growth
“Solvay’s teams have raised the bar, setting three new records — EBITDA, Net Profit and Returns — as we accelerated our price actions to overcome cost headwinds in 2021. We also increased our investment by 20% and still exceeded all expectations on cash generation. As we look forward, we intend to ramp up our investments even more, as we are now entering a growth cycle to prepare for opportunities in the coming years.ˮ Karim Hajjar, Chief Financial Officer, Member of the Executive Leadership Team
Focusing resources on our strategic and sustainable businesses
With our G.R.O.W. strategy and Solvay One Planet sustainability roadmap as a compass, we took bold actions in 2021 to strengthen leadership positions, reallocating resources to our strategic and sustainable businesses. We accelerated innovation focused on three strategic platforms - Battery Materials, Thermoplastic Composites and Green Hydrogen -, expanded our capacities and reinforced our portfolio to bring solutions to fast growing markets like sustainable mobility, healthcare, electronics and bio-based products for consumers.
“Our contribution to the electric and hybrid vehicle value chain is unique because of our unmatched portfolio of materials technologies and our long-term perspective: we provide solutions that make vehicles lighter and more efficient; we produce high-performance materials for lithium-ion batteries and the technologies to recycle them; and we are contributing to building the green hydrogen economy, which is essential to reaching the net-zero emission target.” Mike Finelli, President of Solvay Growth initiatives
Targeting carbon neutrality before 2050
We raised the bar on sustainability, taking actions to move toward becoming a low-carbon and more inclusive company. We announced plans to reach carbon neutrality (Scope 1 and 2) before 2040 for all businesses except soda ash, and before 2050 for our soda ash business. We also accelerated our energy transition with 36 projects now underway that will have an impact equivalent to taking 1.4 million cars off the road, and we launched a strategic initiative to increase collaboration with suppliers to reduce emissions along the value chain (Scope 3).
Fostering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We launched our One Dignity program to improve diversity, equity and inclusion across the Group. It includes nine objectives to be achieved by 2025, each of which has an associated action plans. For example, we are collecting data to help us identify any unjustified pay inequities across Group profiles and, in an effort to promote transparency, we have published the results for the most significant countries in this report.
“We see equity and inclusion as the building blocks for diversity. Our focus is on building equity first and creating the kind of inclusive environment that will attract and retain diverse talent.”
Nathalie van Ypersele, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
Solvay, an ESG-driven company
We created an ESG Committee in Solvay’s Board of Directors, to help guide strategic priorities and ensure that the Group executes in our commitments. In 2021, we also launched our first employee share purchase program to foster an ownership mindset among employees and create superior sustainable value for all.