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Climate

Reducing our environmental footprint across the globe

Our Climate Goals

At Solvay, we care about our planet and are actively taking steps to reduce our environmental footprint to combat climate change and protect biodiversity. Our climate goals involve reviewing emissions across all operations and activities. We aim to reduce direct and indirect emissions - scope 1 and 2 - and address scope 3 emissions throughout our value chain.

Accelerating energy transition

We aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions from our sites by 2030 (compared to 2021), through energy transition initiatives and process innovation. Our climate roadmap includes:

  1. Phasing out coal by 2030, where renewable alternatives exist

  2. Innovating processes for energy efficiency

  3. Shifting to renewable energy sources

We are implementing various energy transition initiatives to reach these goals.

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Phasing out coal and embracing biomass

Soda ash production is based on an energy-intensive process, originally relying on local coal sources. To achieve carbon neutrality, we are phasing out coal where renewable alternatives exist.

This journey is already well underway and most of our soda ash plants will be using coal-free energy by 2025: 

  • Green River, US: The plant stopped using coal in early 2024, switching to natural gas. With new breakthrough technology, scope 1 and 2 emissions will be reduced by 20% by 2025 despite a 25% capacity increase. 
  • Rheinberg, Germany: Will become the first soda ash plant in the world to mainly use renewable energy from two new biomass boilers. These boilers will use waste wood from industrial and demolition sites, replacing coal by the end of 2024. This aligns with our commitment to only use sustainable biomass, as outlined by the European Renewable Energy Directive.  
  • Dombasle, France: The plant is expected to completely phase out the use of coal for energy generation by mid-2025. The coal will be substituted by local refuse-derived fuel (RDF).
  • Torrelavega, Spain, and Devnya, Bulgaria: They are finalizing their roadmaps and already partially substituting coal with biomass.

Globally accelerating our switch to renewable energy sourcing

We are increasingly relying on energy sources such as wind power and solar energy. Our solar panel installation program includes a project at our Silica plant in Qingdao, China, starting in 2024.

Our factory in Voikkaa, Finland now runs on 100% wind energy since the end of 2023. This is a significant step in decarbonizing the production of hydrogen peroxide of the plant.

We also have a biogas project at our site in Juarez, Mexico, to install a biodigester onsite in order to produce biomethane using slurries from the city’s wastewater treatment plants. Operation is expected to start in the second half of 2024.

Innovating for more sustainable processes

Solvay is innovating, reinventing and upgrading processes to reduce carbon emissions across all businesses. 

Our e.Solvay process for producing soda ash uses electrochemistry powered by renewable energy, reducing CO2 emissions by 50%. It also cuts water and salt consumption by 20% and limestone usage by 30%. e.Solvay is a part of the pilot at our Dombasle plant in France. 

In our Peroxides business, we're reducing steam consumption and improving energy efficiency. In Rosignano, Italy, we are partnering with the Sapio Group to build a green hydrogen plant, which will use decarbonized hydrogen. The plant is expected to be completed by mid-2026.

At our Livorno plant in Italy, we’re piloting silica production from rice husk ash, starting in 2025, to cut CO2 emissions per ton of silica by 35% with a less energy-intensive process.

We’re also installing an electric furnace at our Collonges, France facility for silicate production, reducing CO2 emissions by 20%. Operations will start in 2025. 

Reducing value chain emissions

As part of our climate roadmap, we committed to reduce by 20% the emissions of our five main categories of scope 3 by 2030 compared to 2021. Scope 3 includes all indirect upstream and downstream emissions occurring in the value chain.

Collaborating with suppliers is key to achieving our target. We have launched several initiatives to create a clear upstream Scope 3 roadmap to help us reach our goal. 

Solvay is partnering with transportation providers to reduce upstream emissions. The Voikkaa site in Finland is switching from diesel to biofuel for transportation, cutting its transportation carbon footprint by over 80% in 2024.

It is only possible to achieve Solvay's sustainability goals throughout the value chain by working together and combining efforts. For example, Braskem, a global petrochemical company has been a key supplier for Solvay since the 70s. The company is engaged in contributing to the value chain to strengthen the circular economy.

Solvay and Braskem are committed to working on new opportunities focused on the sustainability of the value chain, such as evaluating the development of Bio/Circular feedstock, through mass balance. Our relationship with Solvay represents an important contribution to what we believe to be essential to sustainable development and the circular economy.

 

Jorge Soto, Sustainable Development Director, Braskem