Solvay SPM Methodology

WHY is ANN EVA using the SPM Methodology as a corner stone?

ANN EVA has advocated and disseminated the SPM Methodology since the birth of the tool, a decade ago in the Solvay Group.

Laurence first encountered the tool while working for the Solvay Group in the three phases of its development:


She contributed as a Life Sciences expert in her role as Global Marketing & Sales Manager

Pilot testing

She applied the tool to her own Product Portfolio in her role as Global Healthcare Market Manager


She participated to its implementation throughout all Business Units of the Solvay Group in her role as Corporate Sustainability Advisor.

Applying the methodology to her own product portfolio was an eye opener for Laurence and a firsthand insight about the encompassed benefits, not only in terms of portfolio but also in key processes management during the deployment through the Solvay Business units.


WHAT is the SPM Methodology?

The SPM methodology is an analytical tool. It measures sustainability in business terms and gives information on 2 axes:

Vertical axis

The operations vulnerability or manufacturing footprint. Based on 19 impact environmental indicators leading to a monetized LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) profile for a given product (from cradle to gate)

Horizontal axis

The market perspective: How your company products in their specific applications bring benefits or face challenges in the market place. Assessment based on 60 questions going down a decision tree

The output of the analytical exercise with the SPM tool is a graphic visualization of your Company’s product portfolio on the two above mentioned axes.

How does the SPM Methodology work?

“The SPM tool in Solvay is often referred to as a camera as it takes a snapshot of product’s sustainability risks and opportunities in their business environment. It develops a dynamic vision of sustainability market signals and their potential impact on portfolio and strategic projects helping the business:

• Take the right decisions to address successfully sustainability needs of the marketplace
• To meet clients and stakeholders’ expectations both today and tomorrow.”


Source: Solvay “SPM reference guide”, developed by Solvay and to be consulted here.

Taking a structured approach to apply the tool to your product portfolio in a nutshell:

1. Prepare

– Segmentation of your business into PACs (Product-Application-Combination).
– Definition of criteria – manufacturing process, location, equipment…for LCAs (Life Cycle Analysis).


2. Run

– Running each PAC through the tool (answering 60 questions for each PAC going down the decision tree)
– Development and monetization of LCAs

3. Visualize

– Fixation of the instant picture of your aggregated data into a visual map where the different PACs appeared positioned in relation with the two axes.
The associated turnover per PAC is adding a quantified financial information related to risk and opportunities.


4. Analyze

– Identify and prioritize the opportunities and challenges revealed by SPM
– Define action plans to mitigate risks and accelerate value capture from opportunities

Applying the methodology to her own product portfolio was an eye opener and a firsthand insight about the encompassed benefits, not only in terms of portfolio but also in key processes management during the deployment through the Solvay Business units.

How does the SPM Methodology integrate into the key processes?

As a commercial organization, assessing your product portfolio with the SPM Methodology is the starting point of your sustainability journey. It gives you a first insight of the benefits of integrating the sustainability dimension in your key processes: Strategy, Research & Innovation, Investment (CAPEX), Marketing & Sales, Merger & Acquisition.


The integration process requires commitment at all levels, starting with the top management. To make it stick, your Company DNA will go through a transformational journey. We will support you in implementing and sustaining change.


How does the SPM Methodology support you in your Key Processes?

Applying the methodology to your product portfolio makes you discover not only your products from another angle but also makes you re-visit your strategic and operational decision-making processes.

The methodology has overall benefits valid for all key processes:

a. It fosters consistent investment in sustainable options with positive bottom-line impact by structurally aiming at higher added value solutions solving society’s big issues.


b. It supports you in optimizing your product portfolio by identifying and prioritizing challenges and opportunities on the market alignment axis


c. It supports you in aligning your operations by identifying and prioritizing challenges and opportunities on the operations vulnerability axis


d. It supports you in aligning the resources to achieve higher and sustainable growth by orientating your R&I according to revealed challenges and opportunities.


e. It brings objectivity in internal and external discussions. As a science-based tool, it eliminates the green washing effect.

f. The structured approach allows repeatability and comparison with a constant set of criteria throughout the entire business


g. It improves decision-making and business orientation beforehand by increasing awareness about sustainable area for improvement


h. The graphic representation facilitates discussion and exchange. The aggregated version of the portfolio brings clarity about opportunities and challenges at a glance


i. It improves and fosters dialogue with your external stakeholders. Addressing opportunities and challenges implies another type of dialogue going beyond bottom line


j. It embarks your employees with a vision and improves their alignment by mobilizing them around a common cause close to daily concerns


Integration of the Methodology in the Key processes

We guide you following the principles of Kotter’s “Eight Steps of Change” model and make it happen by declining, with you, each step of the change into actionable plans for the involved stakeholders.

Creating a climate for change

– Creating a sense of commitment, shared need and urgency

– Building the guiding team

– Get the vision right

Engaging and enabling the whole organization

– Communicate for Buy-in

– Empower action

– Generate and celebrate short term wins

Implementing and sustaining change

– Consolidate gains and build on successes

– Make it stick

“What gets measured gets done. What gets rewarded gets repeated.”
John Schnatter