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Winter 2013 -14 Nº 27 Magazine of the Solvay Group in the UK Towards a New Solvay Safety Milestone for Oldbury A Culture of Innovation Connects

Winter 2013 -14Nº 27

Magazine of the Solvay Group

in the UK

Towards a New Solvay

Safety Milestone for Oldbury

A Culture of Innovation


Happy New Year!

Communications Manager: Martin Griffiths. Magazine Editor: Julie Hitchin. Lostock Co-ordinator: Julie Evans. Polymers Co-ordinator: Helen Plant. Novecare Co-ordinator: Kirsten Parrish. Contributors: Frédéric Bouchat, Valérie Braut, Victoria Cassidy, Emma Clogg, Raquel Diaz, Erica Kornijenko, Collin Powers, Alan Pritchard, Debbie Pyke, Taunya Renson, Bob Tyler, Vic Walters. Design Layout: Paula Vickers Limited. Contact us at: Solvay Connects, Solvay House, Baronet Road, Warrington WA4 6HA E-mail address: [email protected] Website address: www.solvay.com

Magazine of the Solvay Group in the UK. Quarterly nº 27 Winter 2013 -14


3 Towards a New Solvay

4 Lostock Challenges

5 Warrington Projects

6 Making Halifax fit for the future

7 Oldbury achieves safety milestone

CoverSolvay Halifax sits at the heart of the Holywell Green community

8 A Culture of Innovation

12 New Digital Landscape

13 Solvay Business Services

14 Proactive Safety Culture

16 In the community

18 Work experience

19 Solvay people



Welcome to the latest edition of Solvay Connects, and I hope 2014 has got off to a great start for you. Whilst the economic recovery is not progressing as quickly as we would hope, I’m confident that, with continued focus on serving our customers effectively and managing costs tightly, we’ll be in the best position that we can be to face future challenges.

As Country Manager for Solvay UK and VP for Global Facilities, a major part of my role over the past two years has been supporting the integration of Rhodia into the Solvay Group. Work is still ongoing, but a milestone was reached during 2013 with the transfer of legacy Rhodia sites to Solvay branding, and prior to that, the unveiling of the new Solvay logo in December 2012. The Solvay brand is now proudly displayed at our ex-Rhodia Oldbury, Halifax and Watford sites, helping to forge a more united relationship with Warrington and Lostock.

Bringing two global players together is about far more than flying a new logo over buildings – but I do think the change is not only a sign of how far we have come, but conveys the ambitions we have for a stronger future together.

Continued on next page

Bob Tyler

2 SOLVAY Connects[ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]


There has been a lot of work behind the scenes to get this far. All businesses rely on various functions to support their operations, and Solvay is no exception. So, as soon as the acquisition of Rhodia by Solvay was announced in September 2011, the integration methodology for functions was quickly established. Rule number one was that the integration should be achieved without disrupting daily operations of the global businesses units (GBUs).

During 2012 a roadmap was agreed and following this in 2012 and 2013 some key changes were put in place. In some major centres either Rhodia or Solvay facilities were closed. For example in Shanghai, Tokyo and Sao Paulo a new single centre of activity was created. In addition, unused office space in Brussels (NOH) was used to accommodate staff transferred to Belgium and two Rhodia Paris offices were closed, with staff moving to a revamped Solvay France office at Rue de Clichy. Bringing such facilities together provided a great opportunity to launch the rebranding exercise and encourage identification with the new Solvay.

Solvay has a very business-centric structure, therefore any country management needed to be “light touch”, focusing on governance and legacy issues. By the end of 2012 the country organisation was clarified, helping to further progress the integration of the two companies’ cultures and placing a strong emphasis on establishing a new Solvay culture during 2013.

Regarding industrial relations, whereas there was little difference between Solvay and Rhodia cultures, geographical practices did vary. The new group has a large number of industrial and administrative sites and there inevitably remains some variation in approach between businesses, sites and countries. Now a great deal of the functional integration has been completed, 2014 will provide a perfect opportunity to seek the right balance between integration and independence in this area.

Having been heavily involved in the detail of integration, and seeing how such activities are a key driver to achieving a new company fit to face the future, I hope meaningful change has been delivered with minimum disruption to the GBUs. There remain some significant operational implementations to complete in 2014 – which will be supported by Group-wide initiatives such as the Solvay Way and Management and People Models. I for one have enjoyed the challenges so far and am looking forward to working with you all to continue the journey towards the New Solvay.

Bob TylerCountry Manager Solvay UKVice President Global Facilities Solvay Group

I have been Involved, to a greater or lesser extent, In three IntegratIon streams: facilities, country management and industrial relations. Work started In late 2011 by quIckly IdentIfyIng facilities (defIned as offIce buIldIngs on non-manufacturIng sItes) Where opportunItIes for ImmedIate IntegratIon Were clear, gIvIng short term cost savIngs and creatIng offIce centres that could clearly IdentIfy themselves as the ‘neW’ solvay.

Towards a New Solvay

3SOLVAY Connects [ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]



Lostock Speciality Chemicals

More challenges ahead!

Despite lower sales, the team at Lostock managed to improve our financial performance through rigorous cost control and efforts to improve efficiencies, so whilst we are not yet meeting the necessary levels of profitability, at least things are heading in the right direction.

In early 2013 Arnaud Valenduc was appointed as head of the PCC division, and under his leadership there has been a detailed strategic review of the whole PCC business and the markets in which it operates. In line with this emphasis on new business development Jared Ireland, who was previously our Engineering and Maintenance manager, was appointed into a newly created role of Business Strategy Development Manager with effect from 1st October 2013. I would like to thank Jared for his contribution to Lostock site over many years and wish him every success in his new role.

2013 was another challenging year for Lostock and the PCC business. The slow pace of recovery in the Eurozone continues to affect the key markets for the products which use PCC functional additives, in particular those in the construction sector.

As a result of Jared's change of role, we took the opportunity to review our structure and put in place a leaner organisation designed to be more effective and empowering, with Jared's previous Engineering responsibilities being taken over by Robert Fitzsimons and his Maintenance responsibilities by Gary Boardman. I wish both great successes in their new positions.

Other developments during 2013 included a further improvement in our HSE performance with first aid injuries at an all time low with no lost time or medical treatment injuries.

We also decided to switch our external accreditation body for our ISO9001, ISO14001 AND OHSAS18001 registrations from BVC to BSI which was successfully achieved; again thanks to all those involved in achieving this successful transition.

Looking forward to 2014, current sales forecasts indicate demand at a similar level to 2013. Cost control will again be a high priority in order to maintain competitiveness and the pipeline of group and SBU projects looks as full as ever. So, whilst I expect 2014 to continue to be demanding, I have every confidence that the team at Lostock will continue to deliver to their usual high standards.

Finally I would like to wish everyone a safe, healthy and prosperous 2014.

Alan PritchardSite DirectorSolvay Speciality Chemicals Limited

Julie Evans laid the wreath at the 2013 Remembrance Service at Lostock Cenotaph

4 SOLVAY Connects[ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]



More challenges ahead!

At Warrington, the new process will be installed on “B stream” where the recovered energy will be used in the concentration / distillation unit. Until now, it has not been practical to recover much of this energy and excess heat has been removed from the process by cooling water. Recycling this energy will enable us to contain our increasing energy costs and also improve our carbon footprint. The safety aspects of the project have been assessed by a “Hazop” study and the major items, some of which are on long lead times, have been ordered. We anticipate installing and commissioning the unit in the second half of this year.

On 1st November Collin Powers moved to the position of Process Specialist Front Office for the UK in the Procure to Pay (PtP) section of Solvay Business Services (SBS). Collin will be responsible for all Solvay’s UK sites and based at Warrington.

To allow a smooth transition, Collin is currently training a number of Warrington personnel who will take over activities that are not part of his new role.

The “Terrao” project for thermal energy recovery and recycle within the hydrogen peroxide manufacturing process was recently recognised in the “Roadmap Innovation” category of the Solvay Innovation Awards. The project, led by former Warrington Process Engineering Manager, Steve Bloomfield and Lionel Jottrand, a Process Engineer from Jemeppe, aims to recover the low temperature reaction heat of the auto-oxidation (AO) process and recycle the energy.

Award-winning process coming to Warrington

The “Procure to Pay” process covers all activities which occur

after an internal customer has expressed a need to purchase goods or services until payment is made.

Currently new PtP processes are being implemented across Europe, harmonising processes and establishing a shared service centre in Lisbon. Warrington and Lostock sites will “Go Live” on 24th March 2014. Oldbury, Watford and Halifax sites have already gone live in December.

Collin’s new role involves the PtP processes of provisioning, accounts payable, travel & expenses and master data. Front Office manages the relationship between the SBS P tP organisat ion and SBS internal customers. He will have strong interactions with Local Procurement Representatives (LPRs) with improvement plans, best practices and new functionalities at site/country/zone level, ensuring internal customer satisfaction and PtP process performance.

Procure to Pay (PtP) Front Office – Process Specialist

Collin is pictured here with SBS colleagues Liz Cotterill, Carmen Aleixo and Lynne Hollyoake.

Steve Bloomfield (above) and Lionel Jottrand (R)

Hydrogen Peroxide

5SOLVAY Connects [ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]




Solvay invested €3 million in the site in 2013, and is anticipating another €3 million expenditure in 2014 to continue developing the infrastructure and further improve health, safety and environmental performance.

The investment is paying off: Solvay Halifax expects to hit 40,000 tonnes of sales in 2014 compared to 35,000 tonnes in 2013, and has seen a huge reduction in customer complaints, which were 50% down in 2013 compared to 2012.

the simulated chemical ‘emergency’, searching for and rescuing casualties and protecting the surrounding area.

Another exercise saw fire crews and an on-site emergency response team dealing with a simulated fire in a warehouse, followed by a search for ‘missing people’ in restricted visibility.

Steve Smith, who is responsible for Health, Safety and the Environment at Solvay Halifax said: “Incidents of this nature are of course incredibly rare, but there is no room for complacency, especially where you are handling and manufacturing chemicals.

It is vital for the emergency services and our own response teams that they are able to practice such incident-handling skills in a realistic setting, and we are happy to provide our premises for that important community use.”

Solvay Halifax regularly hosts emergency service exercises

Maintaining site profitability is good for the long term future of the business but, of course, safety and environmental protection are at the heart of operations. Solvay Halifax was one of the top performers in a recent Solvay safety and environment audit, receiving one of the highest scores in a group of over 100 sites worldwide.

Of course there is no room for complacency, which is why Halifax – along with other Solvay sites – runs regular drills, designed to give emergency services chance to practice in a realistic industrial environment, and Solvay staff the opportunity to test their own procedures.

An example was “Exercise Foggy” run alongside the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, involving a mocked-up release of chemicals followed by a fire, requiring ‘support’ from nine fire engines and the command unit. Fifty fire-fighters were able to practice containing

Novecare Novecare

keepIng up WIth the demands of 21st century manufacturIng means unrelentIng focus on gettIng the best performance out of the sIte: not only to produce the hIgh qualIty products customers expect, but to do so safely and effIcIently.

Solvay Halifax’s history can be traced back to its origins as a textile mill, and it has seen a lot of change since then! Today, the site is part of the Novecare business, manufacturing surfactants (for shampoos, detergents and industrial processes) and biocides, which remove bacteria from water.

Making Halifax fit for the future

6 SOLVAY Connects[ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]



Yet far from sitting on their laurels, just a few days later all employees were called together for the annual Site Safety Day, during which everyone from process engineers to secretaries, warehouse staff to laboratory technicians take time out from

Mark Burrows, demonstrating the effectiveness of predictive maintenance at Oldbury Site Safety Day

Solvay Oldbury produces 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.

their day jobs to talk about specific aspects of staying safe.

This year’s theme was “Piecing it Together”, illustrating the way in which people from different functions all contribute to the common goal of looking after themselves and others.

“We wanted to show how each and every job done on site represents a barrier against things going wrong, and to raise awareness of what has to be done routinely to make sure such barriers remain effective,” explained Wayne Barratt, Safety Systems Advisor.

“The Oldbury Site employs a host of people operating in different functions, but if the jigsaw is to fit perfectly and create an overall picture of health and safety, each and every one of those pieces has to do its bit!”

The importance of carrying out basic, routine tasks well was highlighted through a DVD

which demonstrated what could happen if too many ‘barriers’ failed, resulting in a loss of containment.

Practical demonstrations – ably carried out by volunteers in the workshops, offices and plants – showed the importance of maintaining discipline and vigilance at all times, even during what might appear to be mundane tasks.

“We have a responsibility to ourselves, our colleagues and the community we work within to maintain an unrelenting focus on safety, and our annual Site Safety Day is probably one of the most important events in the calendar,” said Jean-Francois Berthiuame, Site Director.

“Coming together as a site, across functions, really does demonstrate how much we all rely on each other to maintain safe operations and the jigsaw theme was a simple but effective way of demonstrating that.”

Oldbury achieves safety milestone… but our focus continues with Site Safety Day


manufacture of such chemIcals requIres the use of hazardous raW materIals WhIch must be handled WIth care, and as such the sIte places hIgh emphasIs on safety, health and envIronment traInIng. the focus paId off When oldbury achIeved three years WIthout a lost tIme or medIcal treatment accIdent on november 8th 2013 – a sIgnIfIcant achIevement.

Oldbury’s laboratories regularly make product samples for potential customers

– safety comes first here too

7SOLVAY Connects [ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]




ur G



One interesting lecture investigated the very culture of innovation. "Culture always plays a key role in innovation," said Professor Shlomo Maital of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. "You have to breed a culture that encourages innovation ecosystems."

To achieve that, the role of failure is crucial, the professor argued. Innovative companies must have a tolerance for failure. As Thomas Edison once said, 'failure is simply a series of steps along the road to success'.

"Some societies regard failure as an inevitable part of creating success. Do you at Solvay?" Professor Maital asked.

The professor also explained that one of the hardest balances to strike in building a culture of innovation is that between Discovery and Delivery. Some organisations are great at Discovery, but lack the skills, processes and systems to take their Discovery to the masses. Likewise, some companies grow process-oriented, so much so that they lack the creativity and flexibility needed for Discovery. "Creativity and delivery need to work together," said Professor Maital. "At Solvay, are you able to prevent the discipline of delivery from killing the creativity of discovery?"

A final point dealt with where inspiration comes from. "It's not enough to benchmark yourselves against other companies within your industry. Companies should benchmark way beyond their sector," said the professor. He advised to be cautious with market research too. "One of the enemies of radical innovation is market research. Because if you ask the market what it wants, people tend to want more of what exists."

In October, Solvay celebrated a spirit of discovery, development and delivery during the Inspiring Innovation event held in Brussels. The 2-day Science for Innovation conference brought together almost 300 Research and Innovation colleagues from around the world for dynamic lectures from eminent visiting professors. It also offered an opportunity to exchange with colleagues about the numerous scientific and technological developments taking place within and outside the Group. Moreover, on Day 3, the attendee list expanded to celebrate award-winning projects identified to be amongst the most inspiring in Solvay.

A Culture ofInnovation

Are we innovating services and processes as well as products?Do we feel the urgency to innovate?Do we have a tolerance for failure?

"A lot of questions," said Professor Maital. "But as Richard Feynman once said, ‘It's more important to have questions that can't be answered than to have answers that can't be questioned.’"

8 SOLVAY Connects[ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]

Our G


Inspiring Innovations@SolvayThe crowd filled the dome erected on the Brussels campus to celebrate the nominees and winners of the Group's Innovation Awards.

Technological Breakthrough

The Technological Breakthrough Awards went to projects that jury members felt were the most "outside of the box" in terms of new processes and new products. "We had seven criteria in total to rank each project, among them novelty, collaboration & open innovation and sustainability. Keywords around breakthrough innovation include high risk, high reward and the exploration of new territories. High reward was particularly important because we want to go after the big fish," explained jury president Pascal Métivier, Asia Pacific R&I Director.

Transparent Electrodes (TE) R&I Function (Team leader: Victor Soloukhin) Transparent Electrodes (TE) are thin layers that are both optically transparent and electrically conductive. They are used in a spectrum of applications, ranging from displays and smart phones to solar cells and smart windows. At present, the TE market is dominated by Indium Tin Oxide (ITO), which is in rare supply and must be replaced. Thanks to Solvay’s portfolio of new TE formulations, the Group is already seen by prominent electronics companies as a preferred chemical partner.

Seed boosting Novecare (Team leader: Benoît Abribat) The objective of this project is to develop a method to increase crop yield. Seed treatment based on biopolymer derivatives by GBU Novecare offers a novel way to optimise production. The treatment could lead to the increased affordability of food by boosting yields and minimising water irrigation.

Tecnoflon® Low T: a big jump beyond Low Temperature limits GBU Specialty Polymers

(Team leader: Giovanni Comino) Responding to a trend in market seal applications asking for improved performance at very low temperature, the GBU aimed to identify a solution that would make available a new monomer and a new process to produce it. After a year of research, the challenge was met. Use of this technology can help improve the overall efficiency of engines, significantly lowering car emissions.

9SOLVAY Connects [ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]





Mobile Electronics: REBITDA growth through world-class innovation, speed and collaboration

Specialty Polymers (Team leader: Tom Wood) Following the loss of Ixef® PARA sales in early mobile phones, Specialty Polymers changed its marketing strategy, created a new brand - Kalix®

HPPA - and grades to address product issues, and focused wholly on a new smartphone maker that it envisioned would be a future leader of the market. The project leveraged sustainability and accelerated innovation to meet exactly its customers’ needs.

Fertiliser ProtectionNovecare (Team leader: Marivi Ortiz-Suarez) This project focused in part on the development of an eco-friendly and safe alternative to a CMR solvent needed to process a urease inhibitor based on n-Butyl Thiophosphoric Triamide (NBPT), which protects Urea as fertiliser with an average 20% more “N”-based nutrients available for plants. In parallel, the GBU is studying the manufacture of the NBPT active, and the third part of the project is the formulation of DCD (Dicyandiamide), which can be used as nitrification inhibitor. NBPT and DCD contribute to a more efficient use of Nitrogen-based fertiliser, reducing greenhouse gas emission and eutrophication.

Augeo Products: bringing sustainability to solvent technologies Coatis (Team leader: Antonio Leite) The Augeo family of products is a new wave of renewable-based, Health Safety and Environment-friendly solvents for coating applications. These new molecules are derived from glycerine

a n d h a v e l o w t o x i c i t y ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s f o r t h e environment and for humans. The Augeo family is the first line of renewable base solvents for the Group.

Govanil™: a new generation of vanilla flavour

Aroma Performance (Team leader: Dominique Giannotta) Govanil™ is a breakthrough vanilla flavour based on a new process technology designed for bakery and chocolate applications. It combines a rare intensity and unique long-lasting character, enabling differentiation for food customers. It also permits fat or sugar reduction in recipes, offering cost reduction for industrial producers and improved well-being for consumers.

Terrao: thermal energy recovery & recycle AO Essential Chemicals (Team leader: Stephen Bloomfield) This is the first time that the low temperature reaction heat of the auto-oxidation (AO) process has been captured and recycled. As such, the project saves an average of 12.5% of the variable cost of production of hydrogen peroxide. The ability to be replicated by other S o l v a y m a n u f a c t u r i n g processes is technically p o s s i b l e a n d w i l l b e economically evaluated.

DE-Tow Acetow (Team leader: Emmerich Sackers) DE-Tow is a more environmentally friendly cellulose acetate tow solution. Its distinctive feature is the synergy between biodegradation and enhanced photo degradation, using the natural effects of solar light. This significantly accelerates the process of decomposition compared to standard cellulose acetate filter tow. Thus, it accounts for less waste and less visual pollution.

The Roadmap Innovation Awards were given to projects that best exemplified new technologies, products and applications that are expected to yield important returns within the coming three years, thereby contributing greatly to the GBU Roadmaps to 2016. "We started with 32 really diverse projects," explained Louis Neltner, Head of Research & Innovation. "Following a stimulating discussion within the jury, we cut it down to 12 nominees and then to six winners."

Roadmap Innovation

10 SOLVAY Connects[ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]

Our G


This category celebrated the Group's Managerial Innovations, which identified new ways of working, excellence, sustainable development, transversality and collaboration. Jury president Michel Defourny, Corporate Secretary and General Manager of Communications, highlighted that the projects submitted were very diverse, which made judging quite a challenge. "It was also a lot of fun," he added.

Managerial innovation

Audience Prize

E2P2L - International Joint Lab in China dedicated to Eco-Innovation

R&I Function (Team leader: Floryan DeCampo) E2P2 is the first and still only international joint lab ever set-up in China between Solvay, France’s National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS), and Chinese and French universities. Dedicated to Eco-Innovation, it interfaces between industry and academia. E2P2L has three main objectives: to invent and demonstrate breakthrough concepts in Eco-Efficient catalysis & Eco-Formulation to deliver Eco-Innovation projects to GBUs or platforms; to support the strong growth of GBUs in Asia; and to carry out high-level research to develop a strong academic network in order to leverage local opportunities.

Striving for ExcellenceGBU Specialty Polymers (Team leader: Sabina Stoilova) In 2011, Specialty Polymers’ commercial organisations built a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management system for more than 500 users worldwide. Then the GBU began a journey towards Commercial Excellence with a diagnostic project that identified potential improvements in Transactional Pricing, Value-Based Pricing and Salesforce Management. In January 2013, the GBU formed a Commercial Excellence team to rollout innovative tools across its

business lines. The return on investment is expected to deliver €44m by 2016.

AIM - Acetow In Motion, All In Motion (Team leader: Michael Kohl) AIM is a project that encourages people to think 'outside of the box'. The programme facilitates the GBU’s Operational Excellence ambitions by contributing to continuous improvement. All employees are involved in defining, prioritising and executing projects to help the business meet its targets.

Sustainable Portfolio Management Upgrade: the 2.1 version

Sustainable Development and Research & Innovation (Team leaders: Dominique Debecker & Guy Noël Sauvion) In order to deliver on the Solvay Way commitment "Innovating while integrating Corporate Social Responsibility", a new reference tool was developed. Key features of the Sustainability Index from Rhodia were integrated into the Sustainable Portfolio Management methodology of Solvay to create a single tool, SPM 2.1.

Solwatt: asking more from energySolvay Energy Services (Team leader: Alain Michel) T h e S o l w a t t programme was launched in 2011 to help Solvay plants reduce their e n e r g y b i l l s , through intense collaboration between them and the Solwatt team. Thanks to its successful deployment across the Group, the Solwatt service is now starting to be sold to external customers.

Bicar Academy: manufacturing excellence

Essential Chemicals and Industrial (Team leaders: Joao Gouveia & Michael Klumpe) In 2012, Essential Chemicals in Europe together with the General Service - Manufacturing Excellence (GS-ME) and R&T Soda Ash and Derivatives began an Overall Equipment Effectiveness programme (OEE) across its Bicar® (Sodium Bicarbonate) production units. It aimed to support market growth by building additional production capacity of 100 kt by end 2014 with no or a limited capital expenditure; to align existing portfolios to market needs; and to build a Manufacturing Excellence community to support further operational initiatives. A year later, the project already shows success, with a 14 % capacity increase (+75

kt/y) over the 2011 baseline.

Proprietary materials developed for Organic Light Emitting DiodesResearch & Innovation (Team Leader: Dominique Bascour) Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) is revolutionising the world of the flat panel display and lighting applications, and its commercialisation is gaining momentum in smartphones and TVs. To address this emerging market, Brussels' Functional Organic Materials team is developing new proprietary materials, which are then upscaled in Lyon to support sales to Asian manufacturers who test the product at pilot stage.

11SOLVAY Connects [ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]




to integrate a new Solvay eMagazine on the site. It will serve as a place to t e l l s t o r i e s a b o u t Solvay’s activities all over the world, and to show, in a concrete way, what the Group is doing. "We don’t want to simply say we are innovative. We want to demonstrate it through actual tales and examples," says Massimo De Vecchi.

Geneviève Gourichon is coordinating this new approach and Marie-Beatrice Du Cray has been appointed the Group’s new Corporate External Communications Community Officer, responsible for bringing different digital channels to life.

"Actually we want our website solvay.com to become a focal point linked to a number of other places such as a Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube," explains Massimo Devecchi.

The web team is also working on guidelines for Social Media, which will offer rules and

Exploring Solvay’s new digital landscape

Digital Media

"There are three key trends in digital media t o d a y , " e x p l a i n s Massimo De Vecchi, the Corporate External Communications Manager overseeing the development and management of the

Group’s web presence, in close collaboration with Information Systems (IS). "The first is that visuals – images and video - are increasingly important. On the website you’ll see that we’ve reserved a lot of space for images. The second trend is mobile. We wanted to have a site that is fully viewable on most devices, not just PCs. We’ve done that using a technique called responsive design. That means the design of the website adapts in accordance with the size of the screen it is being viewed on. The third trend is Social Media, two-way communication. In that sense the new storytelling approach we are developing is really important."

By the end of this year, the web team aims

Social Media and Storytelling:

Solvay.com has not only a new look, it has a new attitude! Launched last September, the website takes a leap forward to meet the expectations of today’s generation of web visitors.



3Social Media

best practices. "Nothing bureaucratic! We simply aim to provide support and training for those who’d like to have it," explains Massimo.

With this project, the Communications and IS teams have bumped Solvay to the edge of digital communications.

"The Internet of course is still evolving, and there will probably be completely new trends two years from now. But for today, we’ve really pushed to the edge of the envelope," adds Massimo. "As for tomorrow, Samsung is launching an Internet watch, and there are Google glasses... It’s difficult to say what will be the next hot trends. In any case, the social aspect will remain. It meets our very human need t o s h a re a nd e xch a ng e , a nd accordingly will serve as a backbone for all that we do in future."

12 SOLVAY Connects[ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]

Our G


This September, 150 colleagues from across the globe within the newly formed Solvay Business Services gathered for the first time to begin laying the foundations for the Group’s global business services platform. "This was the beginning of a new story," says Gregory Mestrone, Head of SBS Communications. "Our September meeting was the first major milestone for the impact we hope to make on the Group."

Expectations are high, however. As Xavier Lancksweirt, SBS General Manager emphasised during the kick-off meeting, stakeholders from across the Group are calling out for services that support the optimal functioning of the business without interruption to day-to-day activities.

"Launching a global organisation with 2,000+ people and numerous processes is not an easy thing to do," says Paul Harding, Head of Human Resources, GBU Specialty Polymers US & Integration Senior Manager. "My wish, therefore, is that in the process, SBS remains focused on its core value, which is customer centricity and the skillful handling of transactional processes. I hope it will be mindful of business continuity, ensuring that my organisation and the other business units are able to do what we do best,

which is managing our customers and growing the business in line with our very aggressive roadmap and ambition for 2016."

"We’ve heard from our stakeholders, and our objectives are evident: customer satisfaction, process effectiveness, cost competitiveness and value creation," responds Guy Mercier, Head of Worldwide Business Relations & Services Delivery.

This value will be delivered through a comprehensive service portfolio that includes Information Services (IS), Hire to Retire (HtR), Order to Cash (OtC), Procure to Pay (PtP) and Record to Report (RtR). And whilst the list might

read like "alphabet soup", SBS is clear in its aim to be transparent and straightforward in its approach.

"Because few people in the Group have come to fully understand what SBS is so far, it may have the appearance today of being complex, which perhaps makes some people doubtful," explains Emmanuelle Vendeuvre, SBS Finance Director. "Once you begin to really understand something, however, you feel more comfortable about it. Consequently I hope in time colleagues will discover that SBS is simple yet effective, made up of committed professionals who are doing our utmost to help the Group thrive."

Great Expectations: Solvay Business Services

takes off


Solvay Business Services’ (SBS) ambition is to deliver added-value shared services to every business and function in the Group worldwide.

Xavier Lancksweirt, Solvay Business Services

General Manager

Guy Mercier, Head of Worldwide Business

Relations & Services Delivery

Xavier RambaudHead of Worldwide

Information Systems

SBS in numbers


Annually, SBS interacts with 20,000 customers

customer orders

supplier orders






people are paid

ensures that

13SOLVAY Connects [ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]




An increasingly proactive "safety culture"


The commitments made under the Safety Initiative, launched in 2012, have demonstrated that Solvay’s number one priority is its people’s safety. Whilst the measures which were taken have quickly produced positive results in terms of the incidence rate of work-related accidents, some indicators require further monitoring and improvement. Joël Quintart, Occupational Safety Corporate Process Manager, outlines the issues and goals for 2014.

Goals achieved ahead of timeThe first recorded improvements in accident prevention are clearly reflected by a lower MTAR (Medical Treatment Accident Rate), which decreased from 3.3 to 1.3 in two years. "This result has already exceeded the goal we had set for 2014. This is due to the increased safety awareness of managers in their own sectors, thanks to the Safety Initiative and the sharing of best management practices. Yet, despite the encouraging results, we still have much to do," says Joël Quintart.

Significant room for improvementCurrent concerns are the prevention of two types of accidents, those causing irreversible physical injuries and those resulting in chemical contact. For the former, the Group must raise awareness among managers and stakeholders to improve the prevention, detection and management of the sources of risk. A more thorough and systematic study of accident-prone scenarios should help sites to better anticipate and ultimately avoid accidents.

Safety first : A meeting of the HSE management team in September 2013, from right: Antoine Leplay, Guy Migault, Laurent Sapet, Sophie Meura, Joël Quintart, Pierre Coërs,

Greta Van Marcke, Géraldine Ala (HR) and Patrick Cleret.

Process Safety Defining a common acceptability and risk analysis matrix for the Group’s 130 plants

Process Safety also belongs to the Group’s safety "family". Its aim is to prevent accidents resulting from technical equipment failure. For Guy Migault, Corporate Process Safety Manager, the goals for 2020 are very ambitious indeed:

"To achieve an optimal level of process safety, we must identify the inherent risks in each production sequence and then implement the appropriate protective measures. The quality of the prevention, at the level of risk we are willing to accept, depends on the meticulousness and completeness of this survey. Just like the nuclear industry, Solvay has chosen to set very high standards. To achieve and be in line with our commitment to sustainable development, we have begun to define a unified matrix of acceptability, analysis (methods) and risk control (risk sheets): it will be in place in all our plants by 2020."

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Our G


An increasingly proactive "safety culture"Accidents involving chemical contact have undergone a systematic analysis over the last 12 months and recommendations have been sent to the sites. "We aim to reduce accidents in these two categories by 30% by 2014," says Joël Quintart.

Improving behaviours and putting in place an HSE internal management system

To achieve the expected improvements, it is essential that sites adopt safety measures linked to human and organisational factors. For Joël Quintart "routine, carelessness and risk denial are the main culprits, and we will allocate a significant portion of our efforts to prevent these factors." Accident or incident feedback will also be examined in detail... also to understand technical failures: "We must adopt the improvements made to faulty equipment to the entire Group’s assets."

Line Managers are also involved in this action plan. "We need them to make profound changes. We ask them to act in an exemplary fashion on site, and to support dialogue in workplaces with operators," concludes Joël Quintart.

Finally, the Group will establish an HSE management system, combining in one reference system all the requirements it wishes to deploy at sites, a reference system which will also integrate the requirements of major international standards (ISO14001, OHSAS18001, etc.), as well as some voluntary requirements.

Industrial hygiene aims to identify all the heal th r isk factors inherent to workstations, and to evaluate and ensure that the necessary safeguards are in place.

"As an industry, our first priority is to identify and evaluate the chemical risks of the products used in our processes to help plants control them better and protect operators," explains Antoine Leplay, Industrial Hygiene Corporate Process Manager.

As of 2014, new standards and related protection systems will be provided and deployed by 2016.

"We have also defined a second version of Medexis (‘Medexis 2’), the information

management tool to record exposures data at each workstation, and we are about to offer the (re) deployment of the tools to structure this process from 2014 to 2017.

"From 2015, the third part of our activity will consist in the development of a structural programme of noise prevention, for example in choosing quieter technologies than in the past for our new facilities.

"The fourth part of our action plan will focus on improving posture and movements at workstations. Given our ageing population, this is a major health issue that we intend to take into account with the utmost care," he concludes.

Industrial HygieneA multidisciplinary action plan for 2017

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The scheme gives employees the opportunity to make regular donations to charity through the payroll. Administered by the Charities Aid Foundation, the donations build to create a pool of funds, which a committee of Solvay employees then distributes to nominated charities every six months.

Chairman of Oldbury’s Give as You Earn committee is Glenn Clewes, Quality Assurance

Solvay Halifax Site Director John Hamnett presents cheque to Clare Normanton of the Shaw Park Restoration Group

L-R, Glenn Clewes, Vic Walters, Sue Sutcliffe and Janice Hallahan celebrate their award

Solvay Oldbury has been awarded a Gold Payroll Giving Quality Mark by the Charities Aid Foundation in recognition of its commitment to regular charitable giving and its promotion of the Give As You Earn scheme.

Gold- standard giving


Manager. “We’re really proud of this award as it reflects the on-going commitment of people on the site to helping others less fortunate than themselves,” he said. “We estimate we’ve raised over £150,000 for charities through this scheme alone, and that’s on top of the various fundraising that lots of people get involved in as individuals.”

Oldbury has a list of 12 charities that it donates to through the Give As You Earn scheme, ranging from St Basil’s Youth Hub in Birmingham to the West Midlands Lupus Group. The key focus is on supporting local charities and giving to causes which have personal connections for the site’s employees.

Work is now underway on restoring a historic well in Shaw Park, Holywell Green, thanks to a £1,000 donation from Solvay Halifax. The Solvay site’s history is intertwined with Shaw Park, as it occupies land and buildings formerly

used as a mill by the Shaw family, and shares much of its boundary with the park today.

Shaw Park was given to the community in 1955 by mill owners’ descendent Raymond Shaw, and it has been in public ownership ever since. The Shaw Park Restoration Group was set up in 2010 to try and restore it to its former glory, and fundraising continues in earnest today.

Solvay Halifax donated several pallets of stone toppings to aid restoration of the well, along with a donation towards the works which will include a new wrought iron gate for the tunnel entrance.

Restoration rescue!

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Solvay style for Greetland Goldstars

Solvay makes a mark A neighbourly gesture!


A proud Charlie presenting the first ever Dave Baldock Memorial Trophy to Jas Singh

Colleague remembered in charity football matchStaff at Solvay Oldbury have raised over £1,250 for the British Heart Foundation and Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust after staging the first ever Dave Baldock Memorial Cup in memory of their colleague who tragically passed away last year.

Dave Baldock was just 45 when he died at home of a sudden heart attack. He started at Oldbury as an apprentice and worked in the maintenance department for 28 years. He was also a lifelong football fan and player, and Aston Villa season ticket holder – the club kindly donated shirts for the occasion.

“We were really shocked and saddened to hear of Dave’s death, and wanted to show his family our support,” explained Tony Pontillo, Electrical and Instruments Engineer. “He was a huge football fan, and it seemed natural to celebrate his life as well as mark his passing with a match between his colleagues.”

Young Charlie Baldock, Dave’s son proudly presented the trophy to winning captain Jas Singh, representing the process team. A replica of the trophy was also given to Charlie in memory of his father.

Encouraging youngsters to step away from the computer and enjoy the benefits of exercise isn’t always easy, but at least one young team is running onto the football pitch in style thanks to Solvay Halifax.

The Solvay logo is appearing on brand new strips for the Under 12's Greetland Goldstars this season, with a £1,000 donation also boosting the team’s fortunes. The team is also putting in a respectable performance in this year’s league, with a healthy mid-table position.

The junior football club is heavily reliant on sponsorship in order to pay for pitch hire, training equipment and strips, according to team manager Steve Coukham. “We need to make sure that subscription fees remain as low as possible, particularly in these tough times, as it’s really important that children who want to play for us can afford to do so,” he said.

“We’re really grateful to Solvay and other local companies who continue to support us and help to make Greetland Goldstars a successful, inclusive and fun club to be a part of.”

Reaching out to neighbours is important to Solvay, particularly for sites which have important safety messages to convey, such as what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency. Solvay Halifax made sure local residents would have an extra reason to read its latest community newsletter by including a prize draw to win three fabulous Christmas hampers: readers just had to return a reply slip to enter. The lucky winners – Tracy Jennings, L u c y C r o w d e r a n d S a r a h Charlesworth – all live in Holywell Green, where Solvay Halifax is based, and had the chance to visit the site and meet Site Director John Hamnett who presented them with their special gifts.

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Firstly, I want to say a big THANK YOU to everybody at Warrington site. I was thinking of naming individuals but, to be honest, there are so many people who have helped me that the list would be huge and I don’t want to forget anyone. Thank you to Solvay for this opportunity. You have all helped me so much because if ever I had a problem everybody went out of their way to help me and teach me new things. Some of them very useful phrases like "to be a billy no mates", "okey dokey" and that midday meal is "dinner" and in the afternoon: "tea"!! They didn't appear in my English books!

I take with me great friends and fantastic memories. Shortly after arriving from Santander in Spain, I met Wolfie at a Young

Enterprise event but fortunately he doesn’t speak so I didn’t have to converse with him! But I will never forget my first day in the canteen with the girls, when I couldn't even understand the topic of the conversation! Some months later I was participating as well and even progressed to making a presentation at Priestley College (Issue 25) and to students and teachers visiting the site. There were also moments in the office when I was trying to pronounce a word and saying something completely different (sometimes swear words, sorry!)

Professionally, I have developed a lot of interesting projects surrounded by good professionals. I was afraid of the projects at first because I had no idea how to start them. Fortunately I had a fantastic boss who lent me a hand when I needed it and who gave me independence and believed in me; because of this I learned a lot.

And to finish I want to make two myths clear: Before I arrived in England I thought that English people were cold and that I was

not going to make friends at work because they were very serious – whoever made me think this had never been to Warrington site! I could never have imagined just how friendly and helpful people could be with me, and I made a lot of friends.

The second myth is about Spanish people: We don't have siestas everyday, only when on holiday or at the weekend! Or if one day we go to bed too late and the following day we get up early, if we can, we have a siesta after lunch, sorry, dinner!

Thank you again and I send a big hug to you all and will always remember you!

Raquel Diaz

Muchas Gracias!

Work Experience

It was nice to hear from Raquel Diaz who recently spent 10 months working in the Technical and Engineering Department at Warrington.

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Sophie McQuillian Customer Service


The Lostock Long Service Dinner was held in Chester in November.

Guests included L-R Darren Washburn, Will Yarwood, Wayne Flaherty, Peter Taylor and Ged Cassidy

Chris Astles (right) 35 yearsSteve Peach (centre) 20 years

Sandra Langdon 30 years

Ray Lambert (centre) 35 years

Warrington Warrington Lostock

Lostock – Long service certificates, for this quarter, were presented to the following employees:

Long Service

Oldbury has said farewell to Roger Paxton, pictured left, who retired after 14 years of service with Albright and Wilson, Rhodia, and latterly, Solvay. We all wish Roger a very happy retirement.



Solvay People

New Starters

Catherine Andrews

Laboratory and

Regulatory Chemist

Emma Clogg (Helen Plant’s daughter) thanked Solvay for their contribution to a fundraising event that she organised in aid of Parkinson’s Disease and said: “The race night was a great success, we had loads of prizes donated and raised £500 in total.” www.parkinsons.org.uk


Roger is presented with a memento by Martin Port, Engineering Manager

19SOLVAY Connects [ Winter 2013-14 ] [ nº 27 ]

Texts cost £5 plus your network charge. We receive 94p of every £1 donated in this way. Obtain bill payer’s permission first. Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604). MAC14175_0213

No mums. No dads. No cool aunties or mad old uncles. No sons or daughters or grandmas or grandpas. No big brothers or little sisters or long lost cousins. Not the ones who cheat at board games or the ones who raid your wardrobe. No one whatsoever. No one should face cancer alone.

Text FAMILY to 70550 and donate £5 today.

MAC14175_Cushions_IM_Take it easy_207x250.indd 1 14/03/2013 10:50

Solvay is pleased to raise awareness for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Texts cost £5 plus your network charge. We receive 94p of every £1 donated in this way. Obtain bill payer’s permission first. Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604). MAC14175_0213

No mums. No dads. No cool aunties or mad old uncles. No sons or daughters or grandmas or grandpas. No big brothers or little sisters or long lost cousins. Not the ones who cheat at board games or the ones who raid your wardrobe. No one whatsoever. No one should face cancer alone.

Text FAMILY to 70550 and donate £5 today.

MAC14175_Cushions_IM_Take it easy_207x250.indd 1 14/03/2013 10:50Texts cost £5 plus your network charge. We receive 94p of every £1 donated in this way. Obtain bill payer’s permission first. Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604). MAC14175_0213

No mums. No dads. No cool aunties or mad old uncles. No sons or daughters or grandmas or grandpas. No big brothers or little sisters or long lost cousins. Not the ones who cheat at board games or the ones who raid your wardrobe. No one whatsoever. No one should face cancer alone.

Text FAMILY to 70550 and donate £5 today.

MAC14175_Cushions_IM_Take it easy_207x250.indd 1 14/03/2013 10:50