25 years of Responsible Care
Nobel Prize Winner visits Catalyst
Royal appointment
Magazine of
the Solvay Group
in the UK
Autumn 2014
Nº 30
Hello and welcome to the autumn
edition of Solvay Connects, the
magazine for Solvay’s employees in
the UK, their families and our many
business partners.
Jean-François Berthiaume, Oldbury
Site Director introduces himself and
his site to us on page 3 and Oldbury’s
Semi Work Plant features on the front
cover. Meanwhile, our Halifax site has
welcomed four student placements
and two Local Councillors.
There is nothing
as constant as change
Len Sharpe talks about the changes
taking place at Warrington on page 6
and thanks our recent leavers for
their contribution to the success of
the Warrington site over many years
and embraces the launch of a new
organisational structure. He also bids
a fond farewell to Bob Tyler, who is
retiring from Solvay, after a 40-year
association with the UK Chemical
On page 8 our corporate pages present
four more of our Global Business Units
along with articles on Water Stress
and Safety. Staying safe is Solvay’s
number one priority and we encourage
everyone to “Think Safety”, not just
at work but, in your everyday life
outside of Solvay too.
I have been in contact with Clarence
House this week for ‘Royal approval’
of a very interesting story featured on
page 16. They were happy to sanction
our article and will receive a copy of
this magazine, so you never know who
may be reading Solvay Connects!
On page 17, Catalyst Science Discovery
Centre in Widnes hosted a reception
for Nobel Prize Winner, Professor Sir
Harry Kroto which was attended by
Solvay’s Mark Sullivan and Martin
Griffiths, trustees of Catalyst. And our
Solvay colleagues have been very
busy in the community with lots of
fundraising and support for various
I do hope that you enjoy reading Issue
30 of Solvay Connects and we are
always grateful to hear from you with
any feedback or suggestions for
future articles.
Julie Hitchin
The Semi Work Plant at Oldbury makes chemicals used in mining, industrial and pharmaceutical applications
7 Responsible care
8 GBU ID Cards
10 Sustainable Development
12 Water Stress
14 Safety
16 Royal appointment
17 Nobel Prize Winner
18 Community
19 Solvay People
Magazine of the Solvay Group in the UK. Quarterly nº 30 Autumn 2014
Communications Manager: Martin Griffiths. Magazine Editor: Julie Hitchin. Lostock Co-ordinator: Julie Evans. Specialty Polymers Co-ordinator: Helen
Plant. Novecare Co-ordinator: Andrew Baud. Contributors: Jean-Francois Berthiaume, Frédéric Bouchat, Valérie Braut, Victoria Cassidy, Deborah Cook,
David Gallimore, David Morris, Guillaume Peron, Taunya Renson, Len Sharpe, Vic Walters, Warrington Gymnastics Club. Design Layout: Paula Vickers
Limited. Contact us at: Solvay Connects, Solvay House, Baronet Road, Warrington WA4 6HA E-mail address: [email protected]
Website addresses: and
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
Steve Walters, Kilo Lab Senior Scientist,
responsible for synthesising Methyl
Duphos which is used as a catalyst in
the manufacture of fragrances and
pharmaceutical intermediates.
Oldbury – a proud heritage and
exciting future
If you’ve met me since I joined the team at Oldbury two years ago, you’ll no doubt be fully aware
of my passion for Solvay, the Novecare business unit and our unique 60-acre site (above) close
to Junction 2 of the M5 motorway near Birmingham. We are home to 165 full time employees
and also host approximately 70 Solvay business, administrative and R&D employees.
I feel privileged to continue a tradition of
chemical manufacturing on the same site
since 1851. Since that time, the focus has
been on phosphorus primarily, and a number
of our production plants continue to produce
phosphorus-based intermediates which are
used in the manufacture of a wide range of
products including pharmaceuticals, paints,
detergents, water treatment chemicals and
flame retardants.
As part of the Solvay family, it’s striking
how all of the business units and sites
face very similar issues. We are now
just at the start of a process that will
engender much closer joint-working
and sharing of skills and experience.
We must do more though, and make
an effort to collaborate, as I believe
that there is much mutual benefit.
In addition to ensuring the ongoing
commercial success of Oldbury, there are
two areas that I’m giving significant
attention to, namely community relations
and UK-wide cross-working.
Our site sits within a densely packed
resi d e n t ia l n e i g h b o u r h o o d a n d we
recognise that, while our history and track
record is excellent, our reputation as a
responsible operator is not to be taken for
granted. We have developed close ties with
community groups and have recently
launched a calendar design competition
with the local primary school. I hope to be
able to report more on this front in the next
issue of Solvay Connects.
Jean-François Berthiaume
Oldbury Site Director
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
The site here has thrived over a
long period through recognising
and responding to changes in the
needs of the market. That focus on
the customers’ needs continues
today, with a growing focus on
added value speciality chemicals
and a move away from low margin
commodity chemicals. Our “Kilo
Lab” where we produce very small
quantities of highly prized
chemicals, is a great example of
this quite different business
As part of our realignment, we announced
earlier this year a restructure of the site.
Two of our twelve production units proved
to be consistently unprofitable, meaning
we had to take the difficult decision to
mothball them. It meant we had to make a
n u m b e r o f re d un da n ci es , a l t h o u g h
thankfully this was achieved on a voluntary
ea r l y re t i re m e n t basis , a f te r cl os e
consultation with employees and unions.
(L to R) David, Laura,
Belinda and Sophie
For a decade, Halifax site
has taken student placements
from regional higher
education establishments.
More recently, Solvay’s
relationship with
Huddersfield University
and its Applied Science
department has blossomed,
with four students now
on placement.
Student placements pay dividends to all
Laura Lo, Sophie Jones, David Austin and
Belinda McEvoy form the latest intake and
they have rapidly become an important part
of the site team. Having been thoroughly
inducted and given ongoing, high level
on-the-job training, their roles range from
process development to technical solutions
and laboratory testing work.
Graham Cox, Technical Manager, said: “We
have always enjoyed good relationships with
several university chemistry departments,
and this year we’ve been delighted to welcome
four students to the company on year-long
placements. They are doing really well and
are already making a genuine contribution.”
“We receive excellent feedback from both the
students and from the universities. They tell
us that having exposure to the realities of a
busy commercial and industrial environment
offers significant development opportunities
and it firmly opens the door for a career in
chemistry” Graham added.
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
The complexity of the work undertaken by the students increases
during the year, but they are already involved in processes and testing
that supports the work of the company and improves relationships
with customers. By the end of the placement, the students will be able
to devise their own method development, calibrate tests and run their
own mini-projects.
In-process lab improves safety
Changes to the layout of the Halifax site have
meant the relocation and upgrading of the
in-process laboratory facilities. Designed
with safety at the front-of-mind, they have
been installed with the latest extraction
systems and air conditioning units.
QC Chemist, Alan Morgan, said: “The
changes mean that we now have both site
labs in one building, making us more
Deborah Leah, Quality Control Manager efficient. The improvements mean an even
safer and more comfortable working
and Graham Cox, Technical Manager
environment and, with additional office
space being created, staff also have a separate work area”.
“The improved operating conditions should also see improved reliability of
lab equipment and prolonged lifetimes of the systems. The laboratory is also
better located for the new DAB ULS plant which is currently being commissioned”.
(L to R) Marilyn, Guillaume and Malcolm
Halifax Hosts Calderdale Councillors’ Visit
Our Halifax site recently welcomed two local councillors for an introductory talk and facility
tour. They were hosted by Guillaume Peron, Site Director, who explained how the site has
experienced significant change in recent years, including the large scale transfer of
technology from Solvay in Leeds and investment in a new production plant.
With Solvay’s site lying near the centre of their
ward, Councillors Marilyn Greenwood and
Malcolm James, the Greetland and Stainland
ward representatives on Calderdale
Metropolitan Borough Council, took great
interest in the company’s processes and its
community activities.
After the tour, Councillor James said: “Having
had a career in chemicals before retiring and
entering local politics, I found the tour really
fascinating. The site is well masked by the
surrounding hills and established woodlands,
and I had little idea of the true scale of the
Councillor Greenwood added: “We’re very
pleased to have Solvay in our ward, as there
are many benefits to the community and the
economy as a whole. Given the close proximity
of residents, it was also particularly interesting
to hear about the company’s swift handling of
any complaints”.
[email protected]
[email protected]
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
Guillaume said: “Halifax site is undergoing
significant change and, coupled with my recent
appointment, we are keen to engage with our
local councillors. We explained how the new
lines have resulted in Halifax becoming a top
tier COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards)
site; doubling in size in terms of both employees
and manufacturing output.”
(L to R) Alexis Brouhns (Corporate Governance),
Bob Tyler, Melvin Dawes and Len Sharpe
H48 demolition in progress
“For the times they are a-changin’…”
As Bob Dylan reminds us,
change is constant and our
Warrington site is certainly
putting on a new face. The
physical look of the site is
beginning to undergo great
change with the gradual
demolition of the H48 Plant
and erection of the Process
Heat Recovery Unit. We
expect both projects to be
completed this year.
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
Another aspect of change begins as we say
farewell to some familiar faces. With the
re-structure of the site, following the closure
of the PCS Plant, an offer of voluntary
redundancy was made. The times have seen
us saying farewell to the first group of
volunteers under this programme. See page
19. I thank each and every one of them for their
contribution to the success of the Warrington
site over many years. The future will bring
further changes in personnel as we complete
the programme of decontamination required
prior to the demolition of the PCS Plant.
An extensive training regime is already well
underway for the introduction of the new roles
and shift pattern. Again, my thanks to all those
involved in making this a smooth transition.
Manager, a position he took up following
Solvay’s acquisition of Rhodia in 2011. In his
time, Bob has experienced many changes,
with Solvay being the fourth owner of the
business he has been associated with. He has
fulfilled many roles within Group Purchasing,
HR, Facility Management and as a Director
of several Business Units. Bob has also had
a 40-year association with the UK Chemical
Industries Association, serving a term as its
President. Our best wishes go with Bob as he
begins this new chapter in his life.
Congratulations to Melvin Dawes who will take
up the position of UK Country Manager whilst
continuing with his Solvay UK legal activities.
Recent excellent performance and on-line time
has seen the volumes of Hydrogen Peroxide
transported off site increasing to higher levels
than ever before.
After what has been the best summer since
my arrival in the UK, it seems the change of
seasons is upon us and winter fast approaches.
As we all know, this means making appropriate
changes to ensure we all stay safe and manage
the hazards “blowin’ in the wind”!
At the national level, Bob Tyler is retiring after
26 years with the company. Bob will step down
as Head of Global Facilities and UK Country
Len Sharpe
Managing Director
Solvay Interox Limited
Responsible Care
This year the Chemical Industries
Association (CIA) is celebrating 25
years of its Responsible Care (RC)
programme in the UK. The September
conference was attended by a wide
range of HSE professionals from CIA
member companies and other key
25 years of Responsible Care
Can you remember 1989? Who was the US
President and the UK Prime Minister? What
was the UK Christmas number 1 single? Who
won Sports Personality of the Year? John
Roche, CIA Head of Responsible Care,
welcomed everyone to the conference with
these questions. 1989 also saw Tim
Burners-Lee launch the Blueprint for the
World Wide Web and the first trial Text
message was sent.
Responsible Care was launched by the
Chemistry Industry Association of Canada in
1985 and was adopted by the UK in 1989. It
helped our industry contribute to sustainable
development whilst meeting growing
demand for essential chemicals. In 2006 the
International Council of Chemical Associations
(ICCA) launched the Responsible Care Global
Charter. This is sponsored by our own CEO,
Jean-Pierre Clamadieu.
John Roche was pleased to welcome Dr. HansJurgen Korte, chair of the ICCA Responsible
Care Leadership Group (RCLG) and a member
of Solvay’s Corporate Governance and Public
Affairs department.
Presentations by CIA
specialists illustrated the
improvements made
within the industry during
the past 25 years, but
recognised that we still
have scope for further
improvement. The
perspective of the
chemical industry
regulator was also
presented whilst there
was an opportunity to
hear from the winners of
four of the industry leadership awards made
earlier this year (see Solvay Connects no. 29).
Finally, Dave Topliffe, Shell Production
Manager, outlined the CIA Responsible Care
Strategy Group’s vision for the future to close
the conference.
Conference Delegates
(L to R) John Roche (CIA),
Hans-Jurgen Korte (ICCA and
Solvay), Martin Griffiths (Solvay)
and Dave Topliffe (Shell)
How did you do with the questions? The
answers were: George H W Bush and Margaret
Thatcher, Band Aid II “Do they know it’s
Christmas” and Nick Faldo.
Dr. Korte explained the evolution of the RCLG
which now includes 57 member associations
throughout the world, each committed to
achieving the Group’s vision that “The global
chemical industry will be widely valued and
supported for its economic, social and
environmental contributions to society.” RC
awareness continues to grow with interest
shown by associations in China, India and
Africa. ICCA’s RC charter, released in 2005,
was reviewed in 2013 and is expected to be
endorsed at the ICCA
conference to be held
later this year in London.
The updated charter will
give a clearer message
and add explicit
commitments to
improvement in Process
S a fe t y, S ta ke h old e r
Co m m un i ca t i o n a n d
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
GBU ID Cards Series 2014/ 9 of 16*
GBU ID Cards
GBU Silica
GBU Silica provides innovative solutions for tyre manufacturers, in addition to applications for
many other market segments: toothpaste, food, industrial products and rubber goods.
The GBU develops its activity in close partnership with customers, fed by innovation and
leveraging a strong global presence.
End Products
Key Figures for 2013
EUR 416million
Not Reported
% of R&I spend from total revenues
Not Reported
Our Group
"Silica is a team proud of its results, focused
on innovation and committed to excellence.
These qualities have permitted us to double
our EBITDA over the five past years and has set
the momentum for our future."
Tom Benner
GBU President
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
Highly Dispersible Silica (HDS), marketed in
the Zeosil® range, has become a reference in
the tyre industry. Zeosil®HDS products help
reduce the energy consumed by tyres and,
therefore, vehicle fuel consumption and CO2
The GBU’s Tixosil® silica range is used for
oral care, animal nutrition and food
applications. It has remarkable absorption
capacities and is widely used to transform
liquids (Vitamin E, organic acids, flavours…)
into free-flowing powders. Its anti-caking
properties enable better dosing for products
like sugar, and silicas are also used to
improve dispersion in soups, powdered milk,
etc. When used in oral care applications,
Tixosil® silicas allow high quality polishing
and cleaning performance.
GBU Strategy
Silica aims to deliver on its promise of doubledigit REBITDA growth over the next few years.
In 2014 the business is targeting a 10%
increase compared to last year. The GBU
admits that achieving this, particularly when
it already holds such a high market share,
will be a challenge.
Organic growth and innovation are the major
pillars of its roadmap. The GBU is leveraging
the opportunity provided by the
implementation of new tyre labelling
regulations in different markets. It also
regularly invests in capacity to meet growth
opportunities and maintain its market
leadership while reinforcing proximity to
The GBU has implemented a Voice of the
Customer (VoC) initiative (a Commercial
Excellence programme) in order to defend its
market with existing customers. This initiative
has allowed it to assess customer concerns
on issues such as quality, on-time delivery,
reliability, innovation, and safety, and has
highlighted some areas for improvement.
Innovation is a critical lever. For example, the
GBU is going to soon launch a new product
called Efficium ® that will help tyre
manufacturers reduce their manufacturing
cycle-times by up to 50%. This product could
also be used to address new segments such
as the truck tyre market.
*This series will introduce 4 new GBUs each issue of this magazine throughout 2014.
GBU ID Cards Series 2014/ 10 of 16*
GBU Acetow
Solvay Acetow is one of the top four producers of filter tow, the key component for cigarette
filters. Its products and particularly its flakes , Rhodia® Acetol, are also used in plastic
applications and textiles. Solvay Acetow’s cellulose acetate is produced from bio-sourced raw
material in the form of wood pulp obtained from renewable and carefully managed forests.
Key Figures for 2013
EUR 658 million
% of R&I spend from total revenues
Not Reported
"What makes Acetow unique and strong is a
high level of team spirit, highly motivated
employees and entrepreneurship. We are proud
of our good achievements to develop a strong
and robust global business. We work on that
every day. We have a clearly defined growth
strategy and vision for our business."
End Products
GBU Strategy
• The GBU’s key product is Rhodia® Filter
Tow, a product attained from the
acetylation of cellulose. It is available in
a wide range of technical specifications
to cover all varieties of cigarette filters.
• Acetow offers innovative products and
services to the filter industry, such as Filter
Tow for Micro Slim cigarettes, Rhodia
Coloured Tow™; Rhodia FilterSorb™ and
Rhodia DE-Tow™.
• Rhodia Acetol®, a bio-degradable polymer
material, is used in the production of
specialty textiles and bio-sourced plastics
•Accoya® wood is a long-lasting, non-toxic
wood, sourced from sustainable FSC*
certified wood. It is a high-performance
wood, ideal for outdoor use. *The Forest
Acetow’s growth strategy has two key pillars:
reinforcing the Tow Business and diversifying
its product portfolio. To reinforce its Tow
Business, Acetow provides customers and
partners with high quality, innovative
products, an increasing range of Tow
specifications, and active customer support.
The GBU also develops new products within
Acetow’s core know-how: acetylation. The
business’s first acetylation project is Accoya®.
Acetylation greatly reduces the ability of wood
to absorb water, making it more stable. As
an acetylated sustainably sourced timber,
Accoya® wood is ideal for outdoor use and
challenging applications. Ocalio™, a cellulose
acetate bio-plastic manufactured by using
wood pulp from sustainably certified forests,
is designed for a wide range of consumer
goods, with end-uses such as cosmetic
packaging and consumer electronics.
Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international
not for-profit organisation that promotes
responsible management of the world’s forests.
Our Group
Olivier Ferrary
GBU President
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
GBU ID Cards Series 2014/ 11 of 16*
GBU Emerging Biochemicals
GBU Emerging Biochemicals produces and supplies chlor - alkali derivatives such as PVC,
caustic soda and bio-based epichlorohydrin Epicerol® to a wide range of industries in Asia.
Key Figures for 2013
EUR 423 million
% of R&I spend from total revenues
"In 2013, GBU Emerging Biochemicals
sustainably sailed through headwinds with a
full commitment to economic, ecological and
social responsibilities. We thank the entire staff
and management for their dedication to further
enhancing the GBU’s performance and image
in its markets, safety results, local environment
and social responsibility."
Our Group
Bruno van der
GBU President
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
End Products
GBU Strategy
The GBU operates via the Thai company
Vinythai Public Company Ltd., and its
subsidiaries, managing the Group’s
chlorovinyls and Epicerol® activities in Asia.
The GBU produces and sells:
The GBU strives to increase value creation through:
• PVC or polyvinylchloride resins under the
trademark - Siamvic®, a high-quality range
of products used in a variety of industries,
including automotive, building &
construction, consumer goods, electrical &
electronics, healthcare, packaging, plumbing
and wire & cable.
• Caustic soda, or sodium hydroxide, a strong
base soluble in water. It is used in various
applications that are part of daily life, such
as pulp and paper, aluminum, detergents,
fibres and food & feed, among others.
•Epicerol®, a bio-based epichlorohydrin that
is an essential feedstock for the production
of epoxy resins. It is increasingly used in
applications such as corrosion protection
coatings, as well as in the electronics,
automotive, aerospace and wind turbine
industries. Epicerol® is a new production
process, developed and patented by Solvay,
which has demonstrated significant
economic and environmental advantages.
• Continuously improving the cost competiveness
of the well-integrated industrial site of Map Ta
Phut, through secured raw material supplies,
research and development activities and
operational excellence programmes.
• Increasing PVC share in the domestic Thai
market and refocusing export in selected
markets with a high contribution margin;
developing targeted applications to support
market growth.
• Establishing and stabilising Epicerol ®
market share with profitability in the Asian
epichlorohydrin market, and developing
alternative export markets to other regions for
further growth. Also, leveraging the product’s
bio-based and CO2 reduction value to capture
volume in the short and medium term, and
securing a bio-based price premium in niche
• Consolidating the sustainable development
activities of the GBU through further emission
reductions, the improvement of raw material
and utilities consumption, the broadening of
well-established corporate social responsibility
projects and further involvement of all GBU
employees in those activities.
• GBU Emerging Biochemicals intends to
double its REBITDA between 2013 and 2016.
GBU ID Cards Series 2014/ 12 of 16*
GBU Fibras
Fibras is Latin America’s number one manufacturer of polyamide (nylon). The GBU produces
polyamide 6.6-based yarns and fibres used in many textile and industrial applications.
With a strong focus on innovation, Fibras has developed specific expertise in designing yarns
for smart textiles.
Key Figures for 2013
EUR 138 million
% of R&I spend from total revenues
Not Reported
"Fibras is experiencing a notable moment in
its history. For the first time, our international
ambitions can be effectively realised, thanks
to global demand for our unique innovations
EMANA® and AMNI® Soul Eco. Alongside that,
intense foreign competition in our key markets
has required a thorough review of our strategy.
Our customers demand top quality products
and high productivity. Our response is to
invest in new processes and technologies.
Innovation and productivity: these are our
answers to the challenges we face, building
a new, revolutionary GBU Fibras."
GBU Strategy
Textile Yarns
The GBU provides high quality textile yarns,
notable for their excellent performance,
comfort, raw materials and functionality.
Marketed under the AMNI® and EMANA®
brands, these innovations are recognised by
Brazil’s health authorities. The EMANA® fibre
includes bio-crystals that interact with body
heat. EMANA® is well regarded by textiles
manufacturers for its beneficial cosmetics
effects on skin and ability to enhance athletic
performance. In 2013, the integration of
EMANA® into denim resulted in the world’s
first "technological jeans", opening new
global prospects for the brand.
GBU Fibras’ strategy focuses on three main
Industrial Yarns
Durability, fatigue resistance, high abrasion
resistance, dimensional stability and
mechanical strength are some of the
characteristics found in the GBU’s industrial
yarns and fibres, which are used in products
such as nets, ropes and ship cables, sewing
thread, and the structural reinforcement of
tyres, conveyor belts and transmission hoses,
as well as fibres for abrasives, such as
dishwashing sponges.
1. Innovation: solve unmet/ unforeseen end
customer demand through the
development of intelligent yarns such as
EMANA ® and AMNI ® Soul Eco; new
products and new applications;
2. Differentiation: value proposition and
brand promotion to offer enhanced
consumer experiences to end users;
3. Competitiveness: reinvent the GBU’s
industrial footprint, focusing on
productivity, flexibility and superior
Innovation, technological expertise, high
quality products and reliable logistics are
Fibras’ major assets to serve its demanding
markets. The development of close
relationships with its customers is the key
factor to its success.
Our Group
Francisco Ferraroli
GBU President
End Products
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
Solvay Way
Sites vulnerable
to hydric stress under survey
Water scarcity is a challenge Solvay is confronting head on.
Water stress occurs if the freshwater renewal in a particular
area is low in comparison to the needs. "It’s not a matter of
water quantity per se. It’s a matter of fulfilling requirements
for all users, be it for agriculture, drinking water or industry,"
explains Koen Vermeiren, Health Safety & Environment (HSE).
"Should water shortages occur, there could be competition for
these resources. We don’t want to enter into that."
The sites of Map Ta Phut (Thailand, 2005)
and Rosignano (Italy, 2011/2012) have been
affected by drought periods and urgently
had to find alternative water sources to
maintain operations. In a more recent crisis,
some operations that have open water
circuits had to be stopped for three weeks
at the Paulinia plant (Brazil).
In review
Solvay has initiated a study for 35 of the
Group’s sites, selected by the use of water
risk screening tools. The study comprises 20
general questions covering various types of
water risks, the way water is managed, rainfall, and the demographic and economic
development in each region. It also queries
data on the various water sources a site uses,
in terms of long-term availability, cost, and
Solvay’s share among all users.
Our Group
During the Paulinia crisis
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
From the 35 sites under investigation, 11 have
indeed suffered water scarcity episodes and
three had to slow down production as a
Early results show that 60% of the assessed
sites have effective water consumption
reduction plans aligned with Solvay’s water
policy. Additionally, a third use more than
one source to cover their water needs. There
is room for improvement in terms of best
practices. The following key best practices
are in place at only 10 – 19% of the sites
surveyed: water audits, recycling water from
external companies such as municipal wastewater treatment plants, getting sites involved
in the management committees of local water
"The recent water supply crisis in our region of
Brazil made us all aware of the need to discuss
the management of this
resource, together with
Recovering from Paulinia crisis
the urban population,
a g r i c u l t u ra l s e c t o r,
industrial community and
governmental authorities,"
says Jorge Galgaro,
Solvay Environment
Manager at Paulinia.
"Collectively, we are
working to ensure that
water remains available
to future generations."
Koen Vermeiren: "A full analysis of the
survey is in progress, and the coming
months will be dedicated to developing
dashboards and drawing conclusions."
The study at Group level completes the local
water resource efficiency evaluations, which
are a requirement of the Solvay Way framework
for continuous improvement in sustainable
development. "It will feed the Group’s water
management strategy," explains Abdoul Razak,
a trainee from ENSEEG* in France who
contributed to the survey.
Blue water footprint
For 18 of the sites studied, water use impact
at the level of individual water basins was
calculated using data available from
UNESCO**. Results show that 10 of the 18
river basins, where these sites are located,
are over-exploited: during part of the year,
more water is taken out than is returned to
the basin. This seasonal scarcity could result
in increased competition between users, and
could impact local eco-systems and bioavailability.
"One of the Group’s 12 key 2020 sustainability
targets is to achieve viable water management
in each of the sites located in regions under
hydric stress," says HSE Director Patrick Cleret.
"We must ensure that there is fair access to
water among the various users who rely on
the same source."
(*) The École Nationale Supérieure d'Électrochimie et d'Électrométallurgie de Grenoble
(engineering school)
(**)The Institute of Water Education UNESCO-IHE, A.Y. Hoekstra and M.M. Mekonnen,
September 2011, Research report series No. 53
Solvay Way
Solvay and Sustainability,
how are we doing?
In 2013, Solvay developed a set of sustainability targets for
2020 that aim to address social, societal and environmental
challenges. What progress has been made? The answer to
this can be found in the Group’s 2013 Sustainable
Development Report…
Energy reduction
Thanks to the introduction of the Group’s energy
efficiency control programme "Solwatt", Solvay’s
overall energy intensity has been reduced by 4%
since 2009.
Sustainable products and solutions
By the end of 2013, 64% of Solvay’s revenue had
been assessed for market alignment, and it was
determined that 36% of the revenue came from
solutions that help improve the sustainability
profiles of customers and deliver environmental
benefits to end consumers.
Holding ourselves accountable
Since 2013, 10% of the annual variable bonus of
the 7,500 managers and of the CEO relates to CSR
criteria. "To my knowledge, the Social and
Environmental Responsibility bonus, as introduced
at Solvay, does not exist elsewhere," explains
Jacques. "Other similar practices generally only
concern top management, but this is not the case
in our Group since more than 7,000 of our
employees are eligible."
Solvay CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu signs IndustriALL Global Agreement
A major step towards fulfilling the Group’s sustainability priorities was the signing
of a global agreement on social and environmental responsibility with IndustriALL
Global Union in 2013.
"With this, Solvay has committed to respecting international social
standards as defined by the International Labour Organisation
and has promised to comply with the principles of the United
Nations Global Compact in all of its operations worldwide," says
Jacques Kheliff, Sustainable Development Group General Manager.
"The Agreement creates a structure for information and dialogue,
and for affirming our commitment to good industrial and labour practices," adds
Jean Christophe Sciberras, Human Resources Head of Industrial Relations.
Another milestone was the launch of Solvay Way, which defines the Group’s
commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), implemented through best
The results of that self-assessment, concluded at the start of this year, are included
in various parts of the 2013 Sustainable Development Report.
"These positive assessments should encourage
us to continue our efforts on the way to the creation
of responsible development," concludes Jacques.
Download a copy of the Sustainable
Development report on WeLink:
Who is IndustriALL?
IndustriALL Global Union represents
50 million workers in mining, energy and
manufacturing in 140 countries. It is a force
in global solidarity for better working
conditions and trade union rights.
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
Our Group
"In a short period we have been able to – as a Group – construct and formalise the
Solvay Way policy, deploy it and achieve a first self-assessment with 100% of our
entities," explains Jacques. "This could only have been achieved through the
successful mobilisation of employees. Solvay Way is a culture of responsibility."
Sustainable development performance is
recognised by international, non-financial rating
agencies. Solvay is well referenced in the 2013
indices of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and
FTSE4Good, among others.
Let’s avoid learning
safety by accident!
One of the key objectives of Solvay’s Safety Initiative, launched in 2012, was
to reduce, by the end of 2014, the number of irreversible accidents by 30%,
compared to mid-2012. This would mean a move from three accidents to no
greater than two over a 12-month timeframe. Unfortunately, a fatality in India
this August marks the Group’s second irreversible accident this year, and serves
as a stark reminder that there’s just no room for complacency.
An irreversible accident is more specifically
an accident with irreversible consequences,
such as a loss of limb, incapacitation or death.
The year 2013 was a particularly worrying year
for the Group with no fewer than nine
irreversible accidents, including two deaths.
Accidents most often involve
moving parts
"In reviewing the accident investigations, one
sees that there is no unique cause or common
explanation for irreversible accidents. This is
why safety management poses such a
challenge," explains Jean-Bernard Savoye,
Industrial Function / HSE, Corporate Process
Manager, Occupational Safety. "What is
relatively similar is that in most cases the
accidents involved equipment with moving
parts, be it operations on equipment already
in motion, moving parts that suddenly start
motion during operation, or operations
involving vehicles."These accidents most often
impact the extremities of upper limbs.
Jean-Bernard Savoye
"Lock out, tag out, try out"
Our Group
To avoid such dramatic consequences, Solvay
operators apply a range of safety procedures
promoted by the Industrial Function, such as
LOTO – lock out, tag out and try out. "This
means you have to cut off the equipment’s
energy, ‘lock’ it and try it out to ensure that it
is inoperable. Then the operator should ‘tag’
the equipment indicating why it has been
isolated," says Jean-Bernard.
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
Another effective practice is the Last Minute
Talk. "Just before work starts, the foreman
talks to the team explaining what work is going
to be done, what risks they face, how they
can protect themselves and what they should
be aware of. This is a simple but worthwhile
reminder just before everyone starts their
activities, to heighten the awareness of risks
and safety precautions," he adds.
A culture of safety
A building block of safety culture is raising
awareness about irreversible accidents.
"People must be well prepared for the job at
hand; there can be no improvisation," JeanBernard emphasises. A living safety culture
also means that in any unexpected situation,
reassessing the risks is a must.
Irreversible accidents are
unacceptable. “You hear of some
workplace environments in which
workers brag about a missing tip of
the finger or a damaged limb as if it
is the result of a colourful workplace
war story. But losing a finger should
never be ‘the cost of doing business’.
At Solvay, the well-being of our
colleagues and the communities in
which we work should be valued
above all else.”
How Accidents Happen
Fingertip crushed when pushing a crane’s stabiliser
During the removal of a crane’s stabilisers, the operator had his fingertip crushed between the stabiliser bolt and the truck
chassis. Unfortunately, part of his fingertip had to be amputated.
Belt conveyors are particularly dangerous
Amongst equipment with moving parts, belt conveyors are particularly dangerous. An accident occurred in the Group last year,
injuring an operator. It happened while cleaning a rotating drum of a conveyor in operation. The operator’s right arm was trapped
between belt and drum, and had to be amputated above the elbow.
Our Group
Belt conveyor at the time of the accident
Belt conveyor after corrective actions
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
Royal appointment
David explains the bottling
process to Prince Charles
Apple Juice
Each year Warrington employs an environmental sandwich student to assist with our
ground remediation monitoring programme and other environmental work. David Morris
was our intern in 2012-13 and returned in June this year to assist with the training of this
year’s student, Daniel Lansley. David received his degree from Manchester Metropolitan
University in July and started full-time work in August. Before
he did so, he returned home for a very special appointment.
He sent us this report.
juice. The organically grown apples are all
sourced locally and picked by hand to ensure
the product is of the highest quality. Many of
the orchards we use contain ancient and often
rare types of apples that possess unique
qualities that give us a wide spectrum of
flavours depending on which apple we use.
The handshake
Over the past five years my family’s apple juice
company – Welsh Farmhouse Apple Juice –
has been juicing and bottling for a wide variety
of clients. The Prince of Wales recently visited
the farm to see how the process works. Of
course we were delighted to welcome The
Prince to the family home and show him how
this award winning juice is produced.
Our family-run company, nestled in the
picturesque Brecon Beacons National Park
just outside Crickhowell, produces upwards
of 30 different types of single variety apple
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
The process
A single variety of apple is picked by hand
when ripe and juiced, using a press, the same
day to ensure the quality is not compromised.
At this point a small amount of vitamin C
(ascorbic acid) is added to prevent the juice
from browning. The juice is then pumped into
tanks where it is left over night to allow the
sediment to settle. The following morning, the
juice is put into bottles and heated up to 70
degrees Celsius for 20 minutes (pasteurised)
to prevent the juice from turning into cider.
Once the tops are put on and the bottles have
cooled they are stored away to undergo
labelling and boxing for delivery. From tree to
bottle, the process takes less than 24 hours
to complete and ensures that the juice is of
the highest quality possible. No sugars, colours
or preservatives are added to the juice, the
only addition is a tiny amount of vitamin C.
For more information visit:
Prince Charles sampling
David Morris
Former Environmental Trainee
Meryl Jameson (Catalyst), Harry
Kroto and John Roche (Chemical
Industries Association)
Trustees and staff at Catalyst
Science Discovery Centre in
Widnes were delighted to
welcome Nobel Prize Winner,
Professor Sir Harry Kroto, to
two recent events at the
Centre. Professor Kroto grew
up in Bolton before studying
chemistry at Sheffield
University where he gained his
BSc and PhD.
Nobel Prize Winner at Catalyst
He was knighted in 1996 for contributions to
Chemistry and later that year, together with
Robert Curl and Richard Smalley, received the
Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the discovery of
C60 Buckminsterfullerene, a new form of
carbon. It has a cage-like structure which
resembles a football, earning it the nickname
Professor Kroto is a Fellow of the Royal
Society, former President of the Royal Society
of Chemistry and is currently a professor at
Florida State University. As a Patron of Catalyst,
Professor Kroto and his wife Margaret were
delighted to accept an invitation to an evening
reception where he was taken on a guided
tour of the Centre and met trustees, sponsors
and invited guests.
The following day, Professor Kroto returned to
Catalyst to present a workshop to over 100
schoolchildren from West Bank and St Bede’s
Catalyst Trustee Andrew Ritchie with Harry Kroto
Phill Day, Education Manager at Catalyst said
“It was amazing to see children from three
local schools in the presence of a Nobel Prize
Laureate for Chemistry, who clearly
remembered what it was like to be a child with
an aspiration to succeed. Professor Kroto’s
enthusiasm rubbed off on these children as
they then constructed the ‘Buckyball’ models
of the carbon that he so famously discovered”.
Sir Harry, who travels extensively around the
world delivering these workshops, said “I am
so pleased that the children were inspired, as
that makes our travels worthwhile”. Having
just returned from teaching children in
Columbia and Rome, Professor Kroto also held
sessions at Sheffield and Bolton. After Catalyst
he was travelling on to Sussex before leaving
for Moscow.
Catalyst Chairman, Bryan Davies said
“Catalyst had the most prestigious day in its
history when Sir Harry Kroto agreed to teach
local pupils”. He added, “Sir Harry is
Lancashire born and his presentation to the
assembled school children was inspirational
and reinforced the values of studying STEM
(Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
subjects as a route to future interest,
stimulation and employment. As the UK’s only
Science Discovery Centre dedicated to
Chemistry, it was an honour and a privilege
to host a Nobel Prize Winner at the Centre.”
More information about Catalyst can be found
Alan Tulley (Friends of Catalyst) and Trevor Rhodes
(Harman Technology) with Martin Griffiths
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
West Bank Primary pupils Abi Kelly and Stephen
Downey with Prof. Kroto and a Buckyball model
Primary Schools in Widnes and Didsbury CE
Primary School in Manchester. A presentation
was followed by an interactive workshop in
which pupils built their own model of C60
Buckminsterfullerene, ably assisted by student
volunteers from Liverpool Life Sciences UTC.
We received this unique thank you from
Warrington Gymnastics Club for our donation.
Stockton Heath Festival thanked
Solvay for sponsoring their Box
(L to R) Julie & Louise with the cheque
they donated to St Luke’s
£625 was donated to St Luke’s
Hospice in recognition of achieving
‘No lost Time Accidents’ over a 10
year period, at the Solvay Lostock
Site. The donation was to support
St Luke’s “Recording Memories”
service, which St Luke’s Hospice
were campaigning for funding from
local businesses, so they could buy
essential equipment for their
volunteers to use for this project.
Solvay saw a way of putting their
“reward” for safe working to good
use within the community.
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
Vic Walters (centre) and helpers
Oldbury site held its annual Macmillan Coffee
Morning on Friday 26th September. Employees
and contractors alike enjoyed the great range
of home-made cakes on offer. This year's event
was a resounding success, raising a total of
over £1,200 for this very worthwhile cause.
Congratulations to Robert Fitzsimons
who married Charlotte Gibson on 30th
August, 2014 in Moraira, Spain.
Solvay People
New Starters
Long Service
Vasco Castanho
Utility Operator
Paul Skitt
40 years
Mark Wotham 35 years. (L to R) Alan Pritchard, Mark and Robert Fitzsimons
Ian Greenway
40 years
Lostock – Peter Dutton, 40 years
Eduardo Leandro
Laboratory Analyst
Keith (centre), with Jon Pannell, Maintenance
Services Manager (left) and Jean-François
Berthiuame, Oldbury Site Director (right)
Gereon Ploenes
Laboratory Trainee
Oldbury Site said farewell to Keith Waterhouse
in July. He retired from his position as Safety
Store & HSE Technician after 24 years of service
with Solvay. We wish Keith a very happy
Alan (3rd right) hands over to members of the
new Tank Farm team, (L to R), Ashley Fleet,
Andrew Keir and Clare Longden
We would like to thank Reg Humphreys,
Chris Easton, Paul Berwick, George Garside
and Alan Rushworth for the service given
to the company over the last 30 to 40 years.
They have left as part of the current
restructuring process at the Warrington site
and we wish them all good luck for the
[ Autumn 2014 ] [ nº 30 ]
Well done to Louise Williams for gaining a BSc First Class
Honours degree in Health & Safety Management from Bolton
University in June.
Solvay is pleased to support Acorns Children's Hospice.

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