Protecting the world we live in
At Solvay, we care about our planet which is why we’re actively taking steps to reduce the environmental footprint of our operations and protect climate and biodiversity. Our climate objectives include reviewing our emissions across all of our operations and activities. So, we’re not only working on reducing the emissions we generate directly and indirectly – scope 1 and scope 2 emissions – but also scope 3 emissions produced throughout our value chain.
Our climate goals
We’re on a mission to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 – including reducing CO2 emissions from our sites by 30% by 2030 (compared to 2021). And we’re implementing a number of initiatives to help us get there. Our climate roadmap combines energy transition plans with the aim to phase out the use of coal in our operations. It also incorporates a shift towards renewable energy sources and a focus on energy efficiency and process innovation.
Emission reduction roadmap
We’re taking significant steps towards ever-greater uses of renewable energy, increasingly relying on energy sources such as biomass, wind power and solar energy.
Since 2023, our site in Voikkaa, Finland, has been operating on 100% wind-generated electricity. This is the result of a 10-year utility power purchasing agreement with Statkraft – Europe's largest generator of renewable energy – that will help decarbonize the production of hydrogen peroxide at the site.
To help us reduce emissions across our business, we’re also upgrading processes and looking at new ways to sustainably source raw materials. This includes designing a new process for producing soda ash, e.Solvay, which could lead to a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the current process.
We’re also looking to reduce steam consumption and improve energy excellence in our Peroxides business. One of the steps we’ve taken in this area is to start using decarbonized hydrogen at our site in Rosignano, Italy. We’re partnering with the Sapio Group on a green hydrogen production plant located at our Rosignano facility and scheduled to be completed mid-2026.
Meanwhile, at our Livorno plant in Italy, our Silica business unit is implementing a pilot program to produce silica from rice husk ash. We’re also installing an electric furnace for the production of silicate at our facility in Collonges, France – rather than rely on a furnace that requires fossil fuel. And we will continue to pursue these, and our other climate objectives, around the world.
Phasing out coal and embracing biomass
We’re aiming to phase out coal from the energy production for soda ash where renewable alternatives exist. This transition is already well underway with five of our seven soda ash plants set to be using coal-free energy by 2025.
By the end of 2024 our site in Rheinberg, Germany, will become the first soda ash plant in the world powered primarily with renewable energy. The process began in 2021 when we installed a biomass boiler on site and plans are now underway to build a second biomass boiler on the premises. This marks the final step in fully phasing out coal from our energy production at Rheinberg.
As part of our climate commitments, we want to only use sustainable biomass, as defined by the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive. As a result of, the biomass feedstock at Rheinberg is made up of waste wood from industrial and demolition sites.
The coal phase out program at our soda ash plants in Green River, Wyoming, and Dombasle, France, is set to be completed in the first quarter of 2024 and 2025 respectively. At Green River, our emission reduction initiatives are forecast to see us reduce scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 20% by the end of 2024 (compared to 2021). This is despite a significant increase in capacity also expected at the site by next year. And our plants in Torrelavega, Spain, and Devnya, Bulgaria, have also begun partially substituting coal with biomass.