Our mission

The mission of the European Solvents Industry Group (ESIG) is to promote the safe and sustainable use of oxygenated and hydrocarbon solvents in Europe and to ensure that the regulatory framework relevant to the manufacture, storage, distribution and application of these solvents is based on sound science and best practice.

We provide our members with advice and guidance to comply with the latest legislation, while encouraging members to share ESIG insights and advice with all parties that use or handle their solvent products.

ESIG only deals with ‘organic’ solvents, specifically oxygenated and hydrocarbon varieties. These two types are the most commonly used in Europe. Halogenated solvents consist of chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents, which fall outside of ESIG’s mission.

Oxygenated solvents are used when high solvency power is needed. They include substances like alcohols, ketones, esters, and glycol ethers. They can also be used in water-based formulations such as detergents and water-based paints.
Hydrocarbon solvents are typically used in applications where there is low solvency power and separation from water is required. They include substances like paraffinic, aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons.

Our management

ESIG is run by a secretariat from our headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. We work closely with our colleagues at the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic).

Cornelia Tietz

Secretary General

Hélène Colbach


Angelina Sterlina

Communications Manager

Thomas Vanfleteren

Technical Manager

Our members


Our structure

Working Groups

This group supports the European solvents industry and solvents users to protect health, safety and the environment when using solvents. Our programme includes:

  • Best Practice Guidelines, videos and training on the safe handling and use of solvents
  • Tools and templates to perform health and environmental exposure assessments and communicate the results along the Supply Chain on Safety Data Sheets
  • ESIG Solvents Award to recognise excellence and innovation in the use of solvents
  • Partnerships with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and the UK Solvents Industry Association (SIA)
  • Generic Exposure Scenarios (GES) concept maintenance.

This group represents the views of the hydrocarbon and oxygenated solvents manufacturers vis-à-vis regulators, key stakeholders and downstream users. They collaborate with EU Institutions to develop or review key pieces of legislation and work with members to develop position papers. Key topics include: air quality (including VOC emissions and Indoor Air Quality), Sustainability, REACH, Occupational Health and Safety and CLP.

The group’s programme aims to share information and increase awareness for ESIG activities towards members and external stakeholders. They produce communication materials including:

  • Solutions (ESIG’s newsletter)
  • Printed publications (brochures and posters)
  • Digital media (videos)
  • Website pages
  • Social media Linkedin
  • Newsflash
  • Petrochemicals Europe social media Linkedin and Twitter

The group was created to streamline the European solvents industry’s approach and activities regarding solvents VOC emissions and air quality and to tackle the upcoming challenges and opportunities of the European Green Deal.

It oversees the Solvents VOC emission inventories and maintains constructive working relationships with all stakeholders including UNECE Taskforces. In addition, it works closely with the ESVOC platform to ensure alignment and co-operation with the activities of the downstream users of solvents.

ESVOC Coordination Group

ESVOC, the European Solvents Downstream User Coordination Group (originally European Solvents Volatile Organic Compounds Coordination Group) is a unique platform that brings together manufacturers and their downstream users trade associations to facilitate the implementation of relevant existing legislation. It currently consists of representatives of almost 30 different associations that meet once a year in the CORE GROUP to review the workprogramme and define strategies.

In addition, two working groups work on harmonising approaches and collecting data. They also provide advice and exchange best practices in different areas. One of them deals with industrial applications and is involved in the review of the BREF Surface Treatment using Organic Solvents (STS). The other one deals with professional and consumer applications and addresses topics such as indoor air quality and secondary organic aerosol formation.