ICL is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and sets a standard for other industrial companies in Israel and the world.
Most of us are used to thinking about industry and the environment as two worlds on a collision course, but this is no longer true. Many contemporary corporations, even in the chemical and mining industries like ICL, find themselves collaborating and putting much effort toward achieving a sustainable present and future. One such example is ICL’s alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
The term “sustainability” is no longer completely unknown outside of environment-related circles. However, not everyone realizes how comprehensive it is, and to what extent it impacts all our lives. Sustainability is the process through which different human fields of activity — such as economy, culture, technology and society — come together to achieve balance in the environment. It means that each of these fields separately, and all of them together, must operate in a manner that will help maintain a sustainable world and will promise a healthy future for humans and wildlife on earth.
In 2015, the UN set up what is known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) — they include 17 major challenges which all nations and industries must collaborate with one another to achieve. These include ambitious goals — including Zero Hunger, Quality Education for All, No Poverty — alongside major environmental issues such as Climate Action and Reduced Consumption of Resources.
ICL was one of the first companies in Israel to fully embrace the SDGs. Roy Weidberg, Global Sustainability Manager for ICL, explains that in 2019, the state of Israel will submit its first periodic report on its progress towards the SDGs to the UN — after many other countries have already reported. Weidberg said that ICL, as a leader in Israeli industry, has fully integrated the SDGs into its Corporate Responsibility digital report. The report includes an innovative SDG search engine — allowing all stakeholders to quickly find extensive details on the company’s significant contribution to each specific SDG. ICL’s transparency on this issue serves as an example for other large companies to follow.
The SDG where ICL has had the largest impact is Zero Hunger. ICL’s fertilizers are vital for ending world hunger, allowing farmers to produce more food using less land, and avoiding the need for further deforestation of land for agriculture. Furthermore, ICL’s innovative agricultural solutions significantly increase nutrient uptake efficiency and reduce agricultural pollution in the field.
Other SDGs that ICL focuses on are Good Health, Decent Work, Affordable and Clean Energy, and Economic Growth. The company reports annually on the programs and actions taken to align with the SDGs, and has appointed employees like Roy Weidberg to focus specifically on these goals.
When we asked Roy what attracted him to the position and to working in the field of sustainability, he said: “I truly believe that the increased involvement of large companies in the field of sustainability, initially caused by outside pressure from various stakeholders and now embedded within the business culture of companies such as ICL, creates a win-win situation for all. When major corporations act to increase the sustainability of their operations, products, services and supply chains, it has positive effects on the entire world and all the people in it. I am delighted to be part of this process.”
Striving for better sustainability may be a slow and complicated process, but it is a necessary one, and one that promises benefits not just for our health, well-being and quality of life, but also for future generations.