Integrated annual and sustainability report, IIRC Framework, GRI standards, UN Global Compact, TCFD, WBCSD, SASB

Solvay SA – Annual report – 31 December 2020

Industry: chemicals

About this report (extract)

Solvay in 2020

Solvay’s 2020 Integrated report highlights how, facing an unprecedented crisis, we demonstrated that we are ESSENTIAL to customers, employees, and local communities, and brought our Purpose – We bond people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress – to life. We advanced our G.R.O.W. strategy by accelerating our transformation into ONE more efficient and agile Group and stepping up our sustainability commitments. We focused on cash management, prioritizing costs control and investing selectively, generating a record level of cash. This enabled us to emerge STRONGER from the crisis. By focusing on our customers and their needs, and improving earnings quality, we have been preparing for the rebound; we are managing the short term while investing in a strong innovation pipeline for growth.

The report tells the story of Solvay during this year, providing details on how we addressed the crisis together with employees, customers, shareholders and partners. Through dedicated “stories”, the report showcases how we bonded with our stakeholders, listened to their expectations, and worked with them to find solutions that help fight climate change, preserve natural resources and improve quality of life. It also looks at the challenges the Group faces and the steps we are taking to address them.

Moving ahead on our integrated management journey

Solvay’s fifth Integrated Report reflects our progress on an integrated management journey that began in 2012 when the Group introduced an integrated thinking approach to strengthen the connection between its businesses, sustainability and finance. Since then, our business and product portfolio decisions have been made with both economic value creation and sustainability in mind. We also build on our stakeholders’ feedback to improve our report over the years.

In November 2020, we went one step further. Our CEO signed a commitment with the World Economic Forum International Business Council (IBC) to pilot a new set of metrics for stakeholder capitalism aligned with the Manifesto published at Davos in 2020. Solvay already discloses most of the core sustainability information and accounting metrics in the WEF report “Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism – Towards Common Metrics and Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation”.

2020 Integrated Report

As part of the Group’s integrated management journey, Solvay’s Integrated Report is the result of a close collaboration between the Communications, Investor Relations and Sustainable Development functions. The 2020 Integrated Report has been approved by the Executive Committee.

Solvay’s Integrated report is fully digital and aligned on the guiding principles and content elements of Integrated Reporting, as defined by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). The Management report provides further details and is available as a downloadable document (Annual Report).

Scope of this report

Solvay’s 2020 Integrated Report provides material information on Solvay for the year ending December 31, 2020. Based on the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) principles and elements of content, it builds on last year’s report, integrating feedback from our stakeholders, including recognized bodies such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). It is aligned with the GRI Standards and the WBCSD’s ESG Disclosure Handbook. Solvay has been reporting alignment to the TCFD recommendations for four years.

Solvay bases its materiality analysis on the SASB Materiality Map® list of material aspects and prioritization criteria, and discloses most of the sustainability disclosure topics and accounting metrics listed in the SASB Chemicals Sustainability Accounting Standard version of October 2018. The report contents also serve as a progress report on the implementation of the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Extra-financial statements (extract 1)

Extra-financial statements (extract 2)

2. BASIS OF PREPARATION

Main reporting frameworks used to prepare the Annual Report and the Integrated Report:

  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): The GRI standards are the main reference for Solvay’s sustainability reporting;
  • United Nations Global Compact: the information provided serves as a progress report on implementation of the United Nations Global Compact’s ten principles;
  • International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC): Solvay adheres to the principles and content elements of Integrated Reporting, as described in the “International Framework” published by the IIRC;
  • 2014/95/EU: Solvay uses the GRI Standards to comply with Directive 2014/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 amending Directive 2013/34/EU as regards disclosure of non-financial and diversity information. The Directive was transposed into Belgian law in September 2017;
  • Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB): Solvay aligns its materiality analysis with the SASB approach to prepare the SASB Materiality Map™. For more details, see the Materiality Analysis section of this chapter.
  • World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD): Solvay’s report aligns with the WBCSD ESG Disclosure Handbook guidance in terms of process and content selection.
  • World Economic Forum: Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism – Towards Common Metrics and Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation – September 2020: Solvay reports on the WEF report Core Metrics and Disclosures.
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Solvay has identified the 9 Sustainable Development Goals on which it can have the most impact, through its operations or throughout the value chain, in line with the materiality analysis.
  • TCFD – Task force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures: Solvay’s report includes the alignment to the 11 recommendations of the TCFD.