Solvay launches new growth platform focused on renewable materials and biotechnology

The fourth growth platform will increase the share of renewable carbon in Solvay’s product offering and open up new business opportunities for multiple markets.

Brussels, 3 May 2022

Solvay is launching a new Renewable Materials and Biotechnology platform, dedicated to developing innovative and sustainable solutions for a range of markets, using renewable raw materials and biotechnology. The company is already a market leader in certain bio-based products, including guar, bio-based solvents and natural vanillin, the latter made possible by biotechnology.

The new platform will bring together several Solvay activities to help meet the growing demand for sustainable solutions by increasing the share of renewable carbon1 in Solvay’s product offering and the development of new business opportunities made possible by biotechnology. It complements Solvay’s three existing growth platforms, Battery Materials, Green Hydrogen and Thermoplastic Composites.

“The sustainable use of renewable resources and biotechnology has gained momentum in industry and has the potential to help solve some of the most pressing challenges facing society today,” Ilham said. Kadri, CEO of Solvay. “Through our new growth platform, we aim to connect with our partners to reinvent progress, as we have done throughout our 160-year history, playing a key role in the transition from chemical industry towards the bioeconomy and helping to create sustainable and circular solutions demanded by society.”

The platform will accelerate the integration of sustainable renewable raw materials into Solvay products. It will also make it possible to develop new approaches to manage the end of life of these products, which includes biodegradability from the design stage. This presents enormous potential for innovation, which Solvay is well placed to exploit, both through its internal expertise and through strong links with its customers and external innovation partners. Through open innovation and strategic alliances, Solvay aims to create new growth businesses that will benefit multiple markets, while helping to meet key societal and environmental needs. This includes providing food and personal care formulations, food and flavor solutions, and advanced materials for transportation and aerospace.

By enabling the development of sustainable solutions based on renewable carbon, the platform will also play a fundamental role in achieving Solvay’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, defined in the Solvay One Planet sustainability roadmap. These objectives include increasing the share of sustainable solutions in Group sales to 65% and doubling the share of Solvay products based on circular raw materials or energy in Group sales compared to 2018, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030. .

1Renewable carbon includes carbon sources that prevent or replace the use of fossil carbon. This definition includes carbon from biomass, CO2 and recycling.

Background

The transition to a carbon-neutral future requires a radical transformation in the design of chemistry. Renewable materials and biotechnology offer Solvay an exceptional opportunity to reinvent the way it produces chemicals, combining chemistry and biology to convert raw materials into valuable and sustainable solutions. These can then serve as a starting point for the creation of new growth activities that will allow Solvay to expand its customer base.

Renewable raw materials and the use of biotechnology also have the potential to provide solutions to many of the challenges facing the world, including pollution, resource scarcity and overpopulation, while helping to meet demand. growing number of consumers for sustainable products.

Biotechnology is a disruptive technology that has the potential to bring about profound changes in the chemical industry. It uses enzymes or living microbes to transform renewable or fossil raw materials into valuable molecules. These can then be used to produce renewable products or help manage end-of-life products. In recent years, rapid advances in synthetic biology have revolutionized the field, leading to the improvement of biological microorganisms through the use of new gene editing methods that use computational tools, artificial intelligence and advanced laboratory automation.

By the end of 2030, synthetic biology will represent more than a third of the world’s production of manufacturing industries. Biotechnology is expected to have an estimated economic impact of over €2 trillion per year by 2040.

About Solvay Growth Platforms

  • Batteries: Solvay is one of the only companies to have the wide range of technologies needed to both create and recycle Battery at the end of their life cycle. The company recently announced a partnership with Veolia and Renault to create a circular process for electric and hybrid vehicle batteries. Solvay has the expertise to extract and purify metals and transform them into high-purity raw materials for new batteries.
  • Green hydrogen: the Solvay platform brings together all the solutions that the group offers to contribute to the green hydrogen economy. These include Solvay’s ion-conducting polymer membrane technology, which is at the heart of electrolysers and fuel cell systems, and plays a key role in their efficiency and sustainability.
  • Thermoplastic composites: Solvay thermoplastic composites brings together its specialty polymers and composite technologies to meet demanding lightweighting applications across many industries. Thermoplastic composites are 30-50% lighter than metals, inherently more recyclable, and offer lower total cost of ownership for automakers.
  • Renewable materials and biotechnology: Solvay’s new platform focuses on the development of innovative and sustainable solutions using renewable raw materials and biotechnology. The platform aims to meet the growing demand for sustainable solutions by increasing the share of renewable carbon in Solvay’s product offering and developing new business opportunities enabled by biotechnology.

About Solvay

Solvay is a science-based company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 21,000 employees in 63 countries, Solvay brings together people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, in particular through its Solvay One Planet roadmap articulated around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and promoting a better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, aircraft, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and achieved net sales of 10.1 billion euros in 2021. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (SOLB). Learn more about www.solvay.com.

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