Solvay launches Solvay One Planet - ten goals focused on positively impacting climate, resources and better life

Published: 26 Feb 2020
Type: Member Spotlight

Brussels, 26 February 2020 – Solvay today announced 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:

Climate

  • 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.

Resources

  • 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.

Better life 

  • 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.

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. More information about Solvay’s new sustainability goals can be found here.

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