The Solvay Way, constantly improving the way we do business

The Solvay Way is Solvay’s sustainability approach. To drive improvement throughout the company, each production site conducts annual self-assessments guided by this framework. Self-assessment findings – encompassing lessons learned, best practices, strengths, and improvement opportunities – help entities measure their progress on sustainable development goals for each stakeholder group and craft improvement plans.

Definition

The Solvay Way is Solvay’s sustainable development reference framework. It translates the Group’s corporate social responsibility ambition and commitments into concrete actions and clear responsibilities throughout the entire organization. Through the Solvay Way, the stakeholders’ expectations are integrated into the day-to-day activities and decision-making processes at every level of the organization.

Based on the materiality analysis, the Solvay Way team has developed a set of 37 practices which promote the interests of the Group’s six stakeholders (Customers, Suppliers, Employees, Local Communities, the Planet, and Investors).

The Solvay Way: ten practices linked with Solvay’s five priority targets for 2025

Management Approach

The Solvay Way is deployed through the Group by the leadership of all Global Business Units and Functions, and is supported by a network of more than 200 “Champions” and “Correspondents”. The Solvay Way Champions ensure proper management at the business level and are supported locally at the sites by a team of Solvay Way Correspondents. Together, they play a key role in deploying the Solvay Way practices and sharing best practices and experiences. Global Business Unit presidents are accountable for managing the Solvay Way effectively across their businesses.

This network is supported by Solvay’s Sustainable Development and Energy Function, which promotes experiences sharing and learning across entities.

Key performance results and outcomes are presented each year to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.

Indicators and objectives

In 2018, 47% of Solvay employees took part in projects related to Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), social causes, and local communities. This strong involvement demonstrates that employees are committed to Solvay’s sustainable development ambitions.

47%

of employees involved

21%*

of improvement in CSR practices

*Progression rate is measured as a gap to mark 4 (the best level in the Solvay Way framework). 

2018 Solvay Way Group profile

A practice can be applicable at a site (Research and Innovation, Industrial Campus, and Headquarters), in Global Business Units, or at Group level (Corporate Function), depending on the topic. Some practices are applicable at all levels.

2018 Key achievements

In 2018, the Group announced and implemented the Solvay Way 3.0 project in order to integrate sustainability into the operations and create a sense of purpose. This project comprised two main efforts:

  • First of all, digitizing the Solvay Way. Using Agile methods and a user-centric approach, the Solvay Way team leveraged technologies in the Digital Studio to develop the first Solvay Way web application. The Solvay Way process can now be managed digitally, and more Solvay employees are able to join in sustainability actions and assessments;
  • In addition, the simplification and reduction of bureaucratic elements ensure that the Global Business Units progress on their main priorities and most material aspects. Ten mandatory practices are directly related to the Group’s five sustainability targets and apply to all Group entities. Each Global Business Unit can select additional practices relating to its materiality analyses and priorities. Selected practices are validated by the leadership of the Global Business Units and reviewed by the Corporate Sustainability and Energy Team. On average, Global Business Units have performed a self-assessment on 21 practices.


Wide scope of topics

For continuous improvements

Energy – Climate change – Greenhouse gas emissions – Hazardous materials – Water and wastewater – Air quality – Biodiversity

Transparency – Compliance and legal – Ethics – Systemic risk management – Strategy – Mergers and Acquisitions

Engagement – Social dialog – Diversity and inclusion – Well-being at work – Employee experience – Health and safety – Compensation – Skills development – Human rights

Community development – Process safety– Emergency preparedness and response

Business solutions – Circular economy – Hazardous materials management – Corporate social responsibility in strategy and marketing

Risk management – Supplier corporate social responsibility performance – Value creation – Partnerships along the value chain