In 2008, ICL adopted 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 whereby we apply the Responsible Care principles throughout the life cycle of each of our products.
These principles include identifying environmental impacts and health concerns when developing products, testing and evaluation when purchasing raw materials, an effective and safe production system, appropriate marking of product packaging while complying with legal requirements and adaptation to customer requirements, product distribution, sales and marketing including training and qualification programs, product information manuals and technical support. We support our customers in order to maximize the benefit from our products and to minimize adverse environmental impacts during use.
Following are some examples of product stewardship within ICL:
Product development: Health, safety, environmental and regulatory issues are incorporated as an integral part of the product development process. We invest heavily in designing and developing products and processes that make minimal or no use of hazardous substances and generate a minimum of hazardous by-products. We have also adopted the chemical industry’s principles of Green Chemistry which are aimed at designing chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances.
Sustainability Index: Our ICL-IP BU developed and is using a “Sustainability Index” for its R&D teams. The index is comprised of a set of parameters and life cycle considerations that are used during a product’s development stage to assess whether the new product will be “sustainable”. The index includes a rating system that helps research teams to decide whether to continue with the development of the product. Depending upon the potential product’s rating and the “Go, No-Go” criteria, the R&D team may proceed with the product’s development as originally envisioned, or, if necessary, prepare an alternative development plan. Similar sustainability indices are under currently development for R&D departments at other ICL BU’s.
VECAP: Our ICL IP BU, which is a major producer of Flame Retardants (FRs), has developed VECAP (Voluntary Emissions Control Action Program) together with two other large FR producing companies, as part of its product stewardship activities. VECAP is aimed at reducing environmental emissions of FRs beyond existing legislation, by promoting environmental and process best practices throughout the value chain, from producers through downstream users.
VECAP achieves its goals by:
Systematic Assessment for Flame Retardants (SAFR®): In 2015, ICL IP launched the SAFR® program – a framework that provides a rigorous evaluation of specific flame retardants in their applications, thus enabling users to choose the most sustainable product for the intended use As such, SAFR® is committed to the sustainable management of chemicals from the very first stage of the product design See elaborated details here.
Agricultural training programs: ICL Fertilizers operates Agricultural training programs such as “Potash for Life” in India, which include the creation of thousands of demonstration plots, educational activities with farmers, emphasis on appropriate fertilizer application techniques at the district and farm levels, and addition forms of training. These programs are created in collaboration with local governments, academic programs and local fertilizer companies and/or trade organizations.
See further details regarding product stewardship in pages 94-107 of our 2016 CSR report.