Sustainability isn’t a luxury, it’s the answer

Of all the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the world to make, reducing sustainability objectives should not be one. On the contrary, in order to truly fight the root causes of the pandemic, the world has to accelerate towards more sustainable goals.

Solvay, fully aware that caring for people and planet is the only way out of the current and future crises, remains committed to its climate, resources and better life targets as recently outlined in its One Planet sustainability plan, a series of strong commitments to curb our negative impacts and enhance our positive ones.

Striving for sustainability isn’t an effort that should only be made when everything is going well, when there is sufficient prosperity to support those efforts. Instead, making some fundamental changes to our economic, industrial, financial and commercial systems and behaviors now appears even more clearly as a crucial necessity; even when the economy is crumbling - and actually because it is crumbling. “I believe that a new world will emerge after the crisis,” says Solvay CEO Ilham Kadri. “A world that is more circular and sober, with more transparency, diversity, and inclusiveness - it will be a world that is more vigilant about its impact across supply chains and ecosystems as a whole. All this will demand a more socially responsible capitalism.”

Committed to encouraging the advent of this new breed of capitalism, Solvay is engaged in a wide range of long-term actions that save resources, care for the environment, promote sustainable industrial practices and limit our climate impact, all while conducting business and even continuing to grow it. We don’t see sustainability as an obstacle to business, but as a business objective.

I believe that a new world will emerge after the crisis. A world that is more circular and sober, with more transparency, diversity, and inclusiveness.

Solvay CEO Iham Kadri
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The protection of biodiversity 

Solvay aims to lead the way in biodiversity protection, a seemingly simple concept, but in reality a highly complex thing to achieve. We have set quantified targets to reduce the pressures our activities apply on biodiversity, namely climate change, freshwater eutrophication, marine ecotoxicity and soil acidification. Our objective is to reduce these by 30% by 2030, which makes Solvay a pioneer in this field.

Ramping up renewable power for a major customer 

A few years back, one of the world’s largest and most well-known personal electronic device manufacturers requested its suppliers to power themselves with renewable energy. Solvay is among these suppliers, and since this demand aligned perfectly with our own sustainability objectives, it helped us accelerate our green electricity projects.

Whatever the source of our emissions, we’re reducing them 

An important part of our sustainability objectives is of course limiting our climate impact. Solvay will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2030 (compared to 2018), as announced in our Solvay One Planet plan. This means accelerating the switch to renewable energy through numerous green power projects, but also tracking every possible action to reduce the process emissions generated by our manufacturing plants.

The circular economy: a business model to preserve resources 

Solvay also aims to reduce its environmental footprint when it comes to natural resources. By developing circular business models (making products from recycled/re-used materials instead of extracting them from the environment) and bio-based products (replacing fossil and mineral resources with vegetable, renewable ones), we are reducing our impact and that of our customers in domains ranging from personal care to electronic devices, for the good of all.

Manufacturing with less water 

Water preservation is a crucial issue that is only going to become increasingly important as hydric stress rises around the world. Solvay has started implementing programs that will lead to substantially reducing the quantity of water we consume. By being more efficient in the way we use water and recycling it more, we will reduce our freshwater intake by 25% by 2030 (compared to 2018).