The last decade has provided ICL with an opportunity to learn new ways of thinking and to improve our performance. Over this time, our awareness of corporate responsibility has evolved, resulting in an expansion of our strategies in the areas of contributing to the community and protecting the environment. As this CSR report demonstrates, we have internalized an approach that integrates commitment and action on a daily basis to benefit the environment and the society in which we live.
With a strong belief that monitoring and accountability are necessary for progress, we took upon ourselves the ongoing task of measuring our Corporate Social Responsibility, and reporting the results regarding a broad number of parameters as transparently as possible.
The first level includes strategy, planning and infrastructure. Implementation of this level required us to develop systems for gathering and analyzing environmental and social data, in addition to existing financial systems. These tools enabled us to implement a multi-year process of identifying, mapping and addressing social, environmental and economic risks as the basis for determining strategy and long-term planning. Today, our social and environmental impacts are also measured and managed as a unit within the corporation.
Over the last few years. ICL has significantly expanded its international operations, including the acquisition of companies that are enabling ICL to establish itself as one of the world’s leading companies in its field. The company has set performance targets for itself that reflect a strategy which emphasizes social and environmental responsibility in all activities, acquisitions and product development.
Acquisitions in the field of fertilizers and specialty fertilizers are enabling us to offer farmers around the world better and more environmentally compatible solutions for increasing and improving global agricultural production, contributing to an enhanced food supply for the world’s growing population.
ICL industrial Products’ acquisition of the world’s largest phosphorus-based flame retardants manufacturer broadened the range of solutions that it offers to protect human life and the environment against fire and burn incidents.
ICL industrial products has also expanded its product range with the Merquel series solutions. These products provide a solution for the polluting mercury emitted from coal fired power stations, a further demonstration of product development that benefits people, and makes a significant contribution to the environment.
The activity, together with others under development, reflects ICL’s vision to develop products using sustainable green principles and to pursue environmental responsibility and product stewardship, from development, through production and until the end of the product life cycle.
ICL has also acquired a company whose core operation is water purification for both drinking and industrial use. In this way, ICL contributes to purification of water sources, making them safe for millions of people around the world to drink, particularly for disadvantaged populations in developing and third world countries.
All that is not by chance, but rather a reflection of a planned organizational strategy of which we are proud, and through which we are ensuring that we – our employees and managers together – will continue in this direction in the coming years.
The second level of corporate responsibility is execution and change in practice. Over the last three years, ICL has invested over one billion shekels in carrying out our significant environmental improvements. No other company in Israel has invested so heavily in this field. This immense investment has enabled ICL employees and managers to act simultaneously in several areas: energy systems were reengineered to reuse by-products previously considered to be waste but now used as resources in production; new and advanced equipment was installed in a range of plants; new procedures were enacted; and additional safety measures were adopted.
The Company’s strategic change, together with its considerable investment in the environmental sector, has made ICL one of the leading and most advanced companies in social and environmental responsibility. For example, this year for the first time in Israel, we are voluntarily reporting the Company’s carbon footprint as part of a broader process that includes mapping the carbon footprint of the company’s plants and product. Rotem Amfert Negev was awarded Product Stewardship Certification and rated “Outstanding” by the international Fertilizer Association (IFA), the first fertilizer company in the world to be so honored.
In addition. We have initiated a unique process to certify ICL facilities as “Green Plants”. As there is no Israeli standard for this, the Company has formulated and adopted an internal standard for this purpose.
None of the processes described above could have been carried out without the commitment and responsibility of the Company’s human capital, namely its managers and employees. We are proud of their willingness, diligence and commitment to this process and the great effort invested in improved efficiency, professionalism and high standards.
The decrease in the number of occupational accidents is the result of training, increased awareness and the day-to-day activities of both managers and employees. Safety and environmental protection managers work day and night to integrate these values as a culture and way of life in the organization, and we are committed to continuing in this direction.
The third layer of corporate responsibility include the Company’s reporting to – and dialogue with – the public and with the expanding number of groups that have an interest in and connection to the Company’s operations. In recent years, we have maintained close dialogue without neighbors. Particularly those located near the Ramat Hovav, Sdom and Rotem plants. This dialogue has contributed greatly to our understanding internalization and change in approach to the main concerns raised by local residents. This report, our most comprehensive prepared to date, is a further expression of our acceptance of the need to maintain an open, Relevant and effective dialogue with all groups that have an interest on our operations, from civil, environmental and social organizations through each and every one of the Company’s suppliers, customers and employees.
We hope that this report will serve as a source of quantitative and qualitative information and as a basis for the many discussions that take place every day in our plants, among our employees and managers, with the general public and groups interested in our operations, with planning and standardization bodies, and among the various media. Indeed, the very process of preparing the report served as a basis for this dialogue.
If in the past, potential investors requested only financial information. Today many are also interested in an analysis of the Company’s environmental and social performance. Over the past two years, several analysis that specialize in ethical investments have used information about corporate responsibility published by ICL. In addition, we have provided another tool for ethical investors: we are reporting on carbon and water issues through the international Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for the second consecutive year.
Due to growing indications that we are facing a period of significant global economic, social and environmental challenges, this report is submitted to you as evidence of ICL’s robustness, ability to learn and face the challenges of the era and to contribute our capabilities in support of a solution.
We welcome your feedback regarding the extent of the report’s contribution, use of content and manner in which the company has chosen to act in this important and significant area.