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.
Our environmental activities focus on two areas:
- Product portfolio: 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, mercury emission reduction solutions for coal-fired power stations, water purification and treatment products and systems, and a wide range of advanced and/or organic fertilizers.
- Operations: To make our company as sustainable as possible, we evaluate – and, where necessary, redesign - our internal processes, whether large or small. Besides reducing our environmental footprint, this 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 2015, we have invested approximately $101 million on issues related to environment and environmental protection projects, and in 2016 we plan to invest a further $120 million in the same field.
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 2008-2015, these efforts have reduced our sulfuric acid emissions by 43% and our nitrous oxide emissions by 84%.The organization's total particle emission was reduced by 99% between 2005 and 2015. Furthermore, we have adopted a policy to close any plant that fails to comply with regulatory requirements.
- Reducing our GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions:
- By 2015, we reduced the total greenhouse gas emissions of our global plants by 40% 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 CDM* 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 2016 report **.The 2016 score is the highest score achieved by any Israeli-based company, is among the top 25% scores of all the 2,400 global reporting companies, and is the second-best among all global fertilizer-producing companies. 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.
- 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 for the last 6 years, 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 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 $320 million 245MW combined cycle cogeneration power plant that will be fueled by natural gas.
- Green Building: All new construction and renovation of our facilities is now conducted according to green building principles. To date, we have built a number of green office buildings and facilities in Israel and Germany..
- 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.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.
- Coordinating our environmental activities: Each of our segments’ Boards have appointed committees made up of directors and executive management to coordinate our environmental protection activities. In committee meetings, all activities relating to environmental protection and safety are reported, including work plans, objectives, meeting schedules and reports regarding relations with the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Issues for discussion are raised and operative decisions are made for continuation o the Company's performance.
- 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) of community representatives with those of the plants. To date, ICL has established three such community advisory panels (CAP). These panels include the participation of the Sdom and Mishor Rotem plants and the Bromine Compounds plant in the Ramat Hovav Industrial Council.
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.
* CDM= Clean Development Mechanism.
** The CDP 2016 report includes 2015 data.