Sustainability Index for Product Development
In accordance with ICL’s commitment to sustainable development, as well as its effort to reduce environmental impact along the value chain, the Company includes environmental and health criteria in analyzing its products, beginning from the initial product development stage. These criteria form the basis of a Sustainability Index in which each product is assessed and graded during the development process according to defined parameters. Based on the results, changes are incorporated into the development process of the products.
Environmental and health criteria are integrated into the developmental stage, together with commercial and operational considerations. All products under development are comprehensively and rigorously tested to specify their physical properties, their efficiency, their toxicity to humans and the environment, and more.
To assimilate environmental and health criteria, ICL Industrial Products has developed a Sustainability Index for products under development. In accordance with the Index, each product is assessed and graded during the development process according to defined parameters. Based on the results, changes are incorporated into the development process.
The Sustainability Index considers the impact of the product throughout its life cycle. It assesses everything from the properties of the material and raw materials used, to the use of solvents in the synthesis process and the waste produced in the process. The objective is to develop products made of materials with a high molecular weight so that the molecules are too large to penetrate biological membranes, and thereby reduce the potential for the substances to be absorbed into organisms and to accumulate in the food chain. Furthermore, “no go” properties have been defined. The development of any product having any “no go” characteristic is halted and the product is not commercialized.
In the ICL Industrial Products segment, the Sustainability Index is a tool that is used daily during product development. Various parameters of the index are evaluated throughout the product development process. If the final score is below the required score, appropriate changes are made to improve it in order to continue with the development of this product.
The Company aims to introduce the index in all of ICL’s segments. It should be noted that, product stewardship management is subject to regulation in all regions were ICL operates, and ICL companies closely track relevant regulatory developments.