"At Solvay, we believe we have to act decisively now—and act together, of course."
Ms. Kadri began by imagining a not-so-distant future with quality air, abundant lightweight electric vehicles, solar-powered smartphones, and downward-trending greenhouse gas emissions. She believes that meaningful and innovative collaboration is the way to make it happen.
Solvay’s intention in the climate transition is to be a catalyst for companies to break new technological frontiers and enable lower total cost of ownership. Its purpose statement is to bond people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress with the vision to create sustainable shared value for all.
The Solvay One Planet roadmap is based on three pillars:
- Climate—It’s among the first companies in the industry to decouple growth from its emissions. It’s accelerating its energy transition by phasing out coal by 2030 with whatever alternative renewable energy solutions exist. It’s also raised sustainability ambitions again, partnering with suppliers and customers that are setting ambitious emissions reduction targets in line with what climate science says is necessary.
- Resources—Solvay has established new circular-economy targets with the support of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The company will more than double its product sales based on renewable or recyclable resources, increase its water efficiency, and reduce its non-recoverable industrial waste.
- Better Life—The company has extended parental leave to 16 weeks for all its employees around the world, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. It’s also investing in AI to support security across its operations and cut waste.
The company uses a Sustainable Portfolio Management (SPM) tool to evaluate its applications, markets, products, and acquisitions—to determine what business lines and technologies it should promote to grow profitably while being more sustainable. Some winning examples include:
- Solvay Solar Energy Jasper County—the largest solar farm in South Carolina state, with 250,000 solar panels covering an area as large as five hundred soccer fields. It can produce more than 70 MW of solar power that Solvay uses to produce sustainable materials for smart devices
- Solar Impulse, the world’s first zero-emission aircraft powered exclusively by solar energy, includes 6,000 parts made out of Solvay technologies—designed for low weight, longer life, better performance, and greater affordability
- Baker Hughes Aptara™ composite flexible pipes that are smarter, stronger, cleaner, and more efficient
- In 2020, Solvay had 27 projects ongoing worldwide that reduced its CO2 emissions by nearly 900 kt
Solvay is committed to collaborating for progress. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company reached out to 500 partners to engage in its One Planet journey, creating new partnerships to find creative, unprecedented solutions. It also launched the green hydrogen platform, and the Solvay Solidarity Fund to help people in need.
“Listen,” said Kadri, “if we were able to do that in such a short period of time, how much more will we be able to achieve in the next 10 years of climate transition if we work more together?”