A tradition of leadership and responsibility since 1863.
The story of the Solvay group began in 1861, when Ernest Solvay discovered the key to the »industrial manufacture of soda ash using sea salt, ammoniac and carbonic acid«.
In 1863, Ernest Solvay patented a revolutionary ammonia-soda process for producing sodium carbonate which is still widely used today for glass, washing powder and flue gas cleaning.
The first soda factory started operating in Couillet, Belgium in 1865.
From 1870 to 1880, Solvay promoted the global expansion of the company. Factories were set up in Belgium, France, England, Germany, Russia and the United States.
Today, Solvay is an international industrial Group active in chemistry, with two sectors of activity: Chemicals and Plastics.
Ernest Solvay was born in 1838, in Rebecq-Rognon in Belgium.
He believed deeply in the positive role that science and industry played in society, establishing a first-of-its-kind pension for Solvay workers in 1878, an 8-hour workday in 1897, and paid vacations in 1913, long before it became accepted practice in the rest of western societies.
He founded several scientific, philanthropic, and charitable foundations, including the Institutes of Physics (1895) and of Sociology (1901), as well as the prestigious School of Business (1903) in Brussels which still bears his name.