2.1. Solvay Way approach and management
Solvay Way illustrates how the Company integrates social, societal, environmental, and economic factors into its management, strategy, decision-making, and operating practices, with the objective of creating value that stands the test of time.
Solvay Way, constantly improving how we do business
Solvay Way encompasses all aspects of the Company’s sustainable approach to doing business. It is applied at every stage of a Solvay product’s life cycle, including design, manufacture, resource consumption, application, and end-of-life. It also takes into account the societal impact of how they are made and used. This approach ensures a sustainable value creation shared by all the Group’s stakeholders.
Solvay Way is based on a challenging framework, with a rigorous approach that incorporates ISO 26000 key guidance. Solvay has made 23 commitments to six major stakeholders (customers, employees, investors, suppliers, communities, and the planet), translated into 48 associated practices. Solvay Way commitments are aligned with the interests identified for each stakeholder group.
To drive improvement throughout the company, each global business unit, research center, function, and production site conducts annual self-assessments guided by the Solvay Way framework. From managers to operators, every Group employee has a part to play in the Solvay Way responsibility approach. Self-assessment findings – encompassing lessons learned, best practices, strengths, and improvement opportunities – help entities measure their progress in sustainable development for each stakeholder group and construct their improvement plans.
Accountability through self-assessment
Global business unit presidents and function leaders are accountable for effectively implementing Solvay Way across their businesses and functions. Solvay Way is deployed by a network of more than 200 “Champions” and “Correspondents”. The network of “Champions” operating at the business and function level is assisted locally by a team of “Correspondents”. They play a key role in deploying the Solvay Way approach and sharing best practices and experiences, and they promote collaborative work habits to ensure that processes and practices are continuously improved.
This network is coordinated and supervised by Solvay’s Sustainable Development function, which informs them of stakeholder needs and reports directly to the CEO. Solvay’s Sustainable Development function is also responsible for making improvements by implementing the findings and conclusions reached through dialog with stakeholders. The key assessment results are presented each year to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.
2017 Solvay Way performance
Every Solvay employee is responsible for the success of Solvay Way, and everyone is asked to take the Group’s sustainable development objectives on board through their behavior or personal involvement. In 2017, 44% of Solvay employees working at industrial and Research and Innovation sites took part in actions related to Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), social, and local community projects. This strong involvement shows that employees are interested in Solvay’s sustainable development approach.
of employees involved
of improvement in CSR practices
of sites, GBU and Functions
Solvay Way gives each Group entity the tools it needs to assess and improve its CSR practices using a ranking system with four performance levels. Each entity has to position its level on a scale from 0 to 4 based on its implementation of Solvay Way practices. Entities, which has a practice level lower than 1, has to define and implement an action plan in order to reach at least the level 1 within the year.
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Solvay Way, constantly improving how we do business – A continuous improvement process based on four scales
In 2017, all GBUs and corporate functions carried out a self-assessment involving 133 industrial sites, 8 R&I sites, and the 11 major administrative sites. The Solvay Way spider chart below shows the results of these self-assessments.
The Internal Audits corporate team checks the self-assessment process annually (11 sites in 2017). The self-assessment findings are supplemented by the results from internal audits and independent assurance reviews.
Correlation between the SPM analysis and sales growth
Solvay’s Solutions demonstrate higher growth than the Challenges, at +3% vs -2% reduction.
In 2017, Solvay signed an agreement with its employee representatives setting minimum worldwide social standards which apply across the entire Group.
Solvay becomes the Foundation’s Global Partner for the chemical sector
Solvay and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation sealed a three-year partnership to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.
Solvay back in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index
I congratulate Solvay wholeheartedly for being included in The Sustainability Yearbook 2018. The companies included in the Yearbook are the world’s most sustainable companies in their industry and are moving the ESG needle in ways that will help us realize the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.Aris PrepoudisCEO, RobecoSAM
Solvay recognizes Mondi’s remarkable sustainable performance
Solvay recognized Mondi as its best supplier in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The award is based on rankings by EcoVadis in 2017, a company that monitors sustainability in global supply chains.
Dialogue with local communities
70% of the industrial sites have a working group that defines the major issues facing the region and which relevant societal actions the site will take.