Unless stated differently, the environmental and social reporting scope and boundaries are aligned to the financial reporting scope and boundaries, to allow consistency of data and ratios.
Greenhouse gas emissions
Solvay uses the following references:
- the “Guidance for Accounting & Reporting Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) in the Chemical Sector Value Chain” published by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development;
- the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard;
- the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard.
By extension, other emissions are reported according to the same guidelines.
To better reflect its sustainability policy, Solvay decided to apply the market-based method to calculate CO2 emissions associated with purchased electricity. To fully comply with Global Reporting Initiative requirements, the following criteria (in decreasing order of priority) are applied when selecting the CO2 emission factor of each electricity supply contract:
- Energy attribute certificates – emission factors resulting from specific instruments such as green energy certificates;
- Contract based – the emission factor obtained from contract agreements on specific sources for which there is no emission of specific attributes;
- Supplier / utility emission rates – the emission factor that is disclosed as a result of the supplier’s retail mix;
- Residual mix – if a residual mix is unavailable, grid-average emission factors are used as a proxy;
- Location-based – if none of the above factors is available, it is the national emission factor published by national authorities or the International Energy Agency. Based on a World Resources Institute (WRI) recommendation, Emissions and Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) emission factors published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency are used for the USA, instead of the state emission factor. Grid emission factors , published by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment are used for China, instead of the state emission factors.
Energy consumption components are converted into primary energy, according to the following conventions:
- Fuels, using the net calorific values;
- Steam purchased, taking into account the reference value of boiler efficiency related to the fuel used for its generation (e.g. 90% efficiency based on the net calorific value for natural gas);
- Electricity purchased, assuming an average efficiency of 39.5% for all types of power production except for nuclear power (33%), hydro (100%), solar (100%) and wind (100%) based on net calorific value (source: International Energy Agency (IEA)).
Environmental data are collected yearly at all Solvay industrial sites (production sites and Research and Innovation centers) and for each business separately in the case of multi-business sites. The data collection comprises substance emissions to air and water, waste generation and disposal, parameters related to the site’s water balance, production volumes and finally, some indicators dealing with general environmental management.
After a thorough validation process, these data are consolidated at Group level in a manner consistent with financial reporting. In addition, the consolidated data are verified by an external auditor.
Safety performance is measured in all entities under Solvay operational control, i.e. on sites where Solvay policies and procedures apply. Accidents are reported to a central database and classified according to time lost and severity of injuries.
Frequency rates are calculated monthly at the Global Business Unit level and Group level. Performances and accident typologies are analyzed quarterly. Reports are provided to the Executive Committee and Global Business Units.
The Medical Treatment Accident Rate (MTAR), Lost Time Accident Rate (LTAR), and Process Safety Rate are calculated based on million hours worked.
Headcount is provided for two scopes:
- Solvay Continuous Operations includes continuous operations only and matches the financial accounts presentation;
- Solvay Total Headcount also considers discontinued operations.
Apprentices, trainees, and students are excluded from the numbers. Headcount refers to employees that have a contract with Solvay and are classified as active, as they have a position in the organizational chart. Full Time Equivalent (FTE) corresponds to active employees times capacity utilization.