Managing or remediating historical soil contamination at a number of sites and complying with future changes in environmental legislation are top priorities.
There is a global trend of legislation introducing an increasingly broader scope of environmental legal liabilities. However, in Europe, the legislation is reinterpreted in a pragmatic way using site-specific risk-based analyses to define intervention value and remedial objectives.
Prevention and mitigation
ISO 14001 or integrated HSE management systems equivalent to ISO 14001 (Solvay Care Management System) for the environment are implemented in all manufacturing sites.
Policies and risk control programs are applied in all production units and other facilities, and are implemented progressively in newly acquired plants. The Group takes the necessary steps to meet and even exceed regulatory standards concerning major risks, which includes detailed accident prevention measures.
Sites facing historical soil contamination are carefully monitored and managed. A dedicated worldwide team is regularly trained and undertakes regular updates of appropriate provisions for monitoring and remediation according to a defined audit process.
As a matter of policy, all concerned sites employ a risk characterization approach. It contains a diagnosis of potential problems based on hydrogeological studies and soil characterizations, an evaluation of the risks to aquifers, and the implementation of relevant remediation or confinement actions with authorities.
Local regulatory monitoring is performed at all Solvay sites. Corrective actions are implemented whenever necessary, in close cooperation with environmental authorities.
Solvay takes out insurance to reduce the financial impact of an environmental risk materializing. Solvay monitors the effects of climate change, as related risks and opportunities may affect the Group’s business objectives. The risk is hedged to an extent through the geographic spread of both production units and markets for its products.