In 2015, the United Nations established a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Each of these 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) includes specific targets to be achieved by 2030. Achieving the SDGs requires efforts by governments, the private sector, civil society, communities, and individuals.
Nine leading chemical companies, including Solvay, and two industry associations formed a dedicated working group, convened by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The group took a leadership role in piloting and refining the three-step framework described in WBCSD’s SDG Sector Roadmap Guidelines.
In the context of this exercise, Solvay identified nine SDGs where the Group can have a material impact, positive or negative. The Group then integrated these seven SDGs into its materiality analysis as the official agenda of the “Planet” (Governments and NGOs) stakeholder group.
This preliminary list was reviewed in 2019, within the context of the work to define the Group’s purpose, with an increasing focus on the impacts of products and operations. Solvay’s main impacts can be grouped into three categories: climate, resources, and quality of life. The corresponding list of SDGs on which Solvay can have the most impact, positive or negative, through its operations and the products it sells, is the following:
- Climate, through the Group’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, but also through products that impact customers’ energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions.
- Resources, through the Group’s raw materials consumption, water consumption, effluents, emissions, and waste generation, but also through products’ life cycles and end-of-life management.
- Better Life, through the Group’s management of hazardous materials, people, process and product safety, through social dialogue initiatives, and through its product portfolio.