Solvay launches Solvay One Planet
Ten goals focused on positively impacting climate, resources and better life
Brussels, February 26, 2020
Solvay today announces a new 2030 sustainability program, Solvay One Planet. An integral element of the Group’s G.R.O.W. strategy, the plan is directly aligned with Solvay’s purpose of bonding people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress.
The plan outlines ten ambitious targets to drive progress across three key pillars: climate, resources and better life. To meet these goals, Solvay pledges to reallocate investments to promote sustainability within its portfolio, operations and workplace.
“With Solvay One Planet, we are setting bolder objectives to solve key environmental and societal challenges through science and innovation,” says CEO Ilham Kadri. “Beyond climate change, we will tackle resource scarcity and promote a better life. Together with our customers, we will create sustainable shared value for all. This is Progress Beyond. This is G.R.O.W.”
Solvay One Planet is inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It includes ten measurable commitments in three key focus areas, to be achieved by 2030:
- 1. Lowering greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Solvay will double the rate at which it reduces emissions, with a goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 26% and aligning its trajectory with the “well below 2°C temperature increase” goal outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
- 2. Eliminating the use of coal. Solvay will not build new coal-powered plants and commits to phase out coal usage in energy production wherever renewable alternatives exist.
- 3. Reducing pressure on biodiversity. Solvay plans to reduce its pressure by 30% on biodiversity in areas such as terrestrial acidification, water eutrophication and marine ecotoxicity.
- 4. Increasing water use efficiency. Solvay will diminish its impact on freshwater withdrawal by reducing its intake of freshwater by 25%.
- 5. Accelerating the circular economy. Solvay will leverage its partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to more than double the sales of products based on renewable or recycled resources to 15% of Group sales.
- 6. Increasing waste recovery. The Group will reduce by a third its non-recoverable industrial waste, such as landfill and incineration without energy recovery.
- 7. Leveraging innovation to grow sustainable solutions. Solvay will upgrade its sustainable portfolio to reach 65% of Group sales, in collaboration with the Solar Impulse Foundation.
- 8. Prioritizing safety. Solvay targets a zero accident policy, to protect the safety and security of its employees.
- 9. Embedding inclusion and diversity. Solvay will work to achieve gender parity for mid- and senior-level management by 2035. Solvay’s code of business integrity paves the way towards an inclusive work environment that welcomes diversity of any kind such as thoughts, race, color, national origin, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.
- 10. Extending maternity and paternity leave. Solvay is adapting its global policy of 14 weeks maternity leave to 16 weeks, extending it to co-parents employed by the company regardless of gender, by 2021.
I am convinced that clean technologies can accomplish impossible goals. With its ambitious sustainable commitments, Solvay is showing that solutions improving the quality of life on earth and making our planet a better place for humans already exist. The solutions labelled by the Solar Impulse Foundation are proof of it. Science and research play an important role to tackle the world’s environmental and health challenges and I'm particularly happy that Solvay is leading the way.
Bertrand Piccard, Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation
With the launch of its Solvay One Planet plan, the company is sending a strong signal to the chemical industry and its value chain that the circular economy is happening – and that Solvay wants to lead the way. Its plans to double turnover from renewable resources from 7 to 15% is an important first step on the journey. We are also pleased to see that Solvay will be measuring its progress on circular economy transition by using the EMF circularity measurement tool, Circulytics. We encourage other businesses to do the same.
Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) promoting circular economy
Furthermore, Solvay is also walking the talk by taking concrete actions internally in the three focus areas:
- Climate: Solvay will start switching to electric or hybrid company cars as of 2021.
- Resources: A new “Stop Office Waste” plan includes phasing out single-use plastic, generating almost zero food waste at canteens, and aiming to become a paperless company.
- Better life: Solvay is establishing a “Better Life Observatory” with managerial training to support work-life integration.
The Group will report progress against these initiatives annually in its integrated report.
Solvay is an advanced materials and specialty chemicals company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers worldwide in many diverse end-markets. Its products are used in planes, cars, batteries, smart and medical devices, as well as in mineral and oil and gas extraction, enhancing efficiency and sustainability. Its lightweighting materials promote cleaner mobility, its formulations optimize the use of resources, and its performance chemicals improve air and water quality. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with around 24,100 employees in 64 countries. Net sales were €10.2 billion in 2019, with the vast majority of activities where Solvay ranks among the world’s top 3 leaders, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 23%. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR), and in the United States its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a level-1 ADR program. (Figures take into account the planned divestment of Polyamides.)