Ecology & Environmental Protection

Environmental awareness is driving extensive positive change in our industry. More stringent environmental regulations are creating the need for new, more sustainable products, while also requiring the structured management of every aspect of our product development and organizational operations.

ICL is unconditionally committed to sustainable development and environmental protection. As part of this commitment, we collaborate as full partners with governments, regulators, customers, academia and industry bodies, working together to achieve our joint goal of balancing environmental responsibility with civilization’s needs for natural resources and products. We believe that this is the key to our future success and the long-term sustainability of our operations.

ICL operates according to the following environmental guiding principles¹ :

  • Transparency and reporting of environmental and economic data.
  • Complying with all laws and regulation in all global operating locations, and adopting standards and regulations beyond requirement.
  • Reducing the consumptions of energy, water and raw materials, and reducing air emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, wastewater and wastes, through corporate-wide efficiency and operational excellence programs, and through using best available technology (BAT).
  • Commitment to landscape restoration a biodiversity preservation in the organizations operational locations (with emphasis on mining sites).

To make our company as sustainable as possible, we evaluate – and, where necessary, redesign – all stages of our production processes, to minimize environmental impact. Besides reducing our environmental footprint, this process makes our operations more efficient and has been found to reduce costs.We make significant investments to reduce, control and manage the environmental risks associated with our activities. In 2016, we have invested approximately $76 million on issues related to environment and environmental protection projects, and in 2017 we plan to invest a further $112 million in the same field.

In addition, we focus on the development of new products designed to contribute to the world’s long-term sustainability. Among others, we have launched new lines of flame retardants which increase usage safety, mercury emission reduction solutions for coal-fired power stations, water purification and treatment products and systems, and a wide range of advanced fertilizers which help to maximize the nutrient plant usage and minimize pollution

¹These principles are valid to both the entire ICL organization, and specifically to all daughter companies in which ICL holds operational control, as detailed in p. 419 of the ICL 2016 annual financial report.

Some examples of our environmental activities include:

  • Reducing our environmental footprint: Our environment-related investments have enabled us to achieve a significant reduction in emissions. Through 2008-2016, these efforts have reduced our sulfuric acid emissions by 34% and our nitrous oxide emissions by 86%.The organization’s total particle emission was reduced by 99% between 2005 and 2016. Furthermore, we have adopted a policy to cease operations in any facility that fails to comply with regulatory requirements.


  • Reducing our GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions:

> By 2016, we reduced the total greenhouse gas emissions of our global plants by 25% as compared with 2008. This reduction was mainly achieved due to the strategic transition from fuel oil to natural gas combustion, energy efficiency programs and utilization of new technologies at the DSM and F&C plants (both registered as CDM² projects.

> We have mapped the carbon footprint of approximately 60 of our leading products, and annually measure the GHG emissions of virtually all of our global facilities. As a result of our comprehensive reporting and efforts and of the significant reduction in ICL’s emissions, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has awarded us the second best possible score, A-, for our 2017 report³ .The 2017 score places us among the top 25% scores among over 2,000 global reporting companies. Our score is the second best among global fertilizers producers, and is tied for best score of an Israeli-based company. In 2014, ICL was also included in the CDP CPLI (Carbon Performance Leadership Index) – an exclusive list of global companies that have excelled in emission reduction and climate change mitigation. ICL is the only Israeli-based company that was included in the exclusive CPLI list so far.


²CDM= Clean Development Mechanism.
³The CDP 2017 report includes 2016 data.

> ICL is also one of the first companies to voluntarily report its GHG emissions to the environmental protection ministry of Israel. The organization has been reporting to this mechanism since it’s foundation in 2011, and continues to report and to contribute from our extensive experience in the field to the development of the voluntary reporting mechanism, through dialog with the ministry’s representatives.


  • Compliance with REACH directives: In recent years, we moved forward with accelerated activities to comply with the next phases of the EU’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) directive.


  • Responsible Care®: We adhere to the principles of Responsible Care®, the global chemical industry’s environmental, health and safety (EHS) initiative to drive continuous improvement in performance. One of the most important cornerstones of Responsible Care® is product stewardship, the methodology through which we apply the Responsible Care principles throughout the life cycle of our products.

  • Implementing environmental criteria in our product development: We have adopted the use of a ‘sustainability index’ to ensure that our products have a minimum negative and maximum positive environmental impact throughout their lifecycles.


  • Green Chemistry: We develop products according to the principles of Green Chemistry to inherently reduce waste and accidents and to minimize environmental impact.


  • Transition to clean energy: The conversion of ~97% of our fuel consumption in Israeli production sites to natural gas has reduced our petroleum based fuel usage by 80%. In addition, during 2012, we finalized our plans for building a 240MW combined cycle cogeneration power plant that will be fueled by natural gas and is designated to operate at high efficiency and supply the majority of power needs for the ICL Israel sites. The plant is expected to become fully operational during 2018.


  • Green Building: All new construction and renovation of our facilities is now conducted according to green building principles. To date, we have built and/or renovated a number of office buildings and facilities according to these principles, in Israel, Germany and the U.K.


  • Responsible use of natural resources: All of our mines implement comprehensive restoration projects according to plans prepared in coordination with environmental authorities and organizations. As part of the process, we use advanced simulation tools in order to help us restore mines to their original topography. See elaborated details regarding all our specific mining sites in pages 54-73 of our 2016 CSR report. In March 2015, and in recognition of its extensive and innovative activity in the reclamation of Phosphate mines, ICL Rotem was awarded the 2nd Place in IFA’s 2015 Green Leaf Award contest. The Green Leaf award was established to promote and recognize extraordinary activity and innovation in the Sustainability fields, throughout the global fertilizers industry.
  • Maintaining biodiversity: We work in conjunction with the International Fertilizers Association (IFA) to train farmers in effective and sustainable fertilization methods as needed to help maintain biodiversity. To this end, we have adopted Fertilizer Best Management Practices, and teach the principles of the 4Rs: the use of the Right Fertilizers at the Right Time, in the Right Place and at the Right Rate. In addition, we operate our own plants in ways designed to minimize their environmental impact. For example, ICL Fertilizers’ Cleveland Potash unit works with the Industry Wildlife Conservation Association (INCA), the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and local authorities to assure protection of local flora and fauna. In another example from Israel, ICL has provided funding for a multi-year project, in cooperation with the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority, which has significantly increased the number of vultures and other birds of prey in the Negev desert. The project includes the establishment of feeding stations, bird monitoring and education for conservation. Also, ICL support a program for renewing the free roaming population of white Oryx in the Negev desert.


  • Encouragement of community involvement in environmental protection: We maintain a dialogue with stakeholders through several channels, with the primary avenue being joint meetings (Community Advisory Panel – CAP). These CAP panels include representatives of ICL factories, the community and green organizations. The purpose of these forums is to discuss environmental issues,develop joint programs for the benefit of the environment and the community, create a relationships between industry and various stakeholders, and to develop an intelligent and productive dialogue based on reliable information. ICL plants in Israel and abroad have been active in such joint forums for many years. Issues that have been discussed include: emergency preparedness, workers’ safety, environmental impact and performance, community involvement, and occupational possibilities.


  • Dead Sea salt Recovery Project: In 2012, we finalized an agreement with the Israeli government to fund and implement the Dead Sea Salt Recovery Project, a permanent solution for stabilizing the water level of our Dead Sea Works’ Pond #5. The solution is based on removing 20 million tons of salt annually and transferring it to the northern basin of the Dead Sea. The Pond’s dikes will also be raised and strengthened. Removing the salt will stabilize the pond level, secure the future of hotels located on the shores of Pond #5 and promote the development of tourism sites in the area. The project will be implemented over a 15 year period by Dead Sea Works at a cost of approximately $2 billion, 80% of which will be funded by ICL. The project will directly employ hundreds of employees and create jobs for more than 1,000 residents of Negev towns.


** The CDP 2017 report includes 2016 data.