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People WINTER 2016 Issue # 2

The breathtaking views of the evaporation ponds at the Dead Sea remind David Shurki how proud he is to be a part of ICL’s vast enterprise (8)

Growing to Meet Evolving Needs

Sustainability: A Part of Our DNA

What’s behind our growth strategy (10); the YPH joint venture in China takes shape (14); and ICL Brazil strengthens its hold in South America (30)

Launching the innovative bromine based technology for energy storage (18); and our achievements in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (42)

How Dr. Ute Höötmann and Dror Tevet celebrated the holidays – and survived to tell about it (48-49)





Personal Columns

10 Company On A Journey. H  ezi Israel, EVP

48 Lab n’ Life. 

ICL Global Business Development & Strategy, recounts ICL’s efforts to grow its business

Dr. Ute Höötmann

14 Hit The Road. Michiel Versuij, Plant Manager in

49 Home Is Where

the Netherlands, is recruited for a new job in a distant land

WINTER 2016 Issue #2

Needs Take You.  Dror Tevet

16 The Innovation Leap. Dr. Ingrid Picas, R&D

Manager in Spain, reminds us how innovation is key to our business

Executive Editor: Avital Prokopef

34 Marathon Man. Tadashi Sasaki, Operations Manager (and marathoner), opens up the company’s activities in Japan

Editor in Chief: Rika Lichtman, Textura

36 IT Is Now. Miri Mishor, SVP, ICL Global IT,

Assistant Editors: David Kahn, Shira Shibolet Bali

introduces the cool new tools that will enable us to communicate better

Design: Studio Noam Tamari

38 The Mentor. Dr. Sergei Levchik, R&D Director

Photography: Nataly Cohen Kadosh, Shy Adam

at Ardsley, US, produces next-generation technologists

Illustration: Ayala Tal Translation: Dorit Attar, Ruth Guther Production Management: Textura

Global Editorial Team


ICL Glossary‫‏‬ ICL F

ICL Fertilizers (ICL Segment)


ICL Industrial Products (ICL Segment)


ICL Performance Products (ICL Segment)


ICL Specialty Fertilizers (ICL F Business Unit)


ICL Microbial Solutions (ICL IP Business Unit)


ICL Flame Retardants (ICL IP Business Unit)


ICL Advanced Additives (ICL PP Business Unit)


ICL Food Specialties (ICL PP Business Unit)


Shared Services Center


Global Executive Committee


Chief Executive Officer


Executive Vice President


Senior Vice President

Marjan Jaasma

Sagi Bashan

Sigrid Brachhold

Efrat Behar

Arne Padt

Silvia Ramon Cortes

Doron Orgil

Michal Shitrit

Manami Kobayashi

Rosa Vilajosana

Avi Ben-Zvi

Daniella Gez

Ellen Chen

David Mcluckie

Moshe Dana

Royie Mashiah

Deb Kolenc

Kristina Reintanz

Roy Weidberg

Tzachi Mor

ICL Europe

ICL Europe

ICL Japan

ICL China

ICL Performance Products & ICL Americas



Where needs take us

ICL Corporate Relations

ICL Iberia

ICL Iberia


ICL Germany

ICL Germany

ICL Rotem

ICL Flame Retardants BU


Sustainability and Climate Change

Chief Technology Organization

ICL Fertilizers

ICL Industrial Products

ICL Specialty Fertilizers BU

Environment and Sustainability

From the Executive Editor

Special Features 4 Trust Geordie. A  n exemplary ICL employee who continued to fight a massive forest fire while his own home burned down

8 150 Square Kilometers of Responsibility. David Shurki, Plant Manager, ICL Sdom, Israel. A Day in the Life

18 A New Energy at ICL. T  he cross-segment effort to find a promising new use for bromine. Zoom In

22 “I Need a Hundred Laptops”. S  uzanne Dalzell, Global Sourcing Manager ICL GPO, the Netherlands. A Day in the Life

24 Common Bonds. ICL’s night owls around the globe shed some light on a company that never sleeps

30 “O Que Esta Acontecendo”. W  hat’s happening at ICL Brazil as it strengthens and broadens its operations. Spotlight

40 A Bronopol Plant Rises In Jiaxing. Jessica Xue, Project Engineer at JX ICL China, Zhejiang Province. A Day in the Life

42 Outstanding in Sustainability. ICL makes remarkable progress

and wins awards for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. Zoom In 

47 Getting It Right. T  he Ethics Corner 50 Picnic In The Rain. C  EO Stefan Borgas meets Agnes Schier, Global

Key Account Manager, ICL Food Specialties . A Casual Meeting with the Boss

Global Photography Team

Ron Guy

Ziva Finkel

Norbert Brussel

Nir Moskovich

Amir Avramovitz

Doron Orgil

Rachel Wheeler

Stacy Broner

Sergey Fishbakh

Christy Barker

Michal Aviram

Jasmijn Kuijper

ICL Microbial Solutions

ICL Magnesium BU

ICL Food Specialties BU

Global IT

Michal Finkelstein Global Procurement Organization

Global HR

ICL Corporate Relations

Compliance and Ethics

ICL Dead Sea

ICL Fertilizers Europe, The Netherlands

ICL Rotem, Israel

ICL Neot Hovav, Israel

ICL-IP Terneuzen, The Netherlands

Armin Etzel

ICL Ladenburg, Germany

Half a year has passed since we published the first issue of “Many People, One ICL “, and it is gratifying to see how quickly it has become an integral means of communicating within the organization. While working on this issue, we were especially excited to discover much artistic talent – including professional photographers and wonderful writers – among our ICL employees, who have contributed their talents to the magazine. Your involvement, as well as your anticipation regarding the second issue, proves that there is a strong desire among all of you to become better acquainted with your company and your 14,000 colleagues, each of whom is realizing ICL’s vision to fulfill the evolving needs of humanity. I am delighted to take this opportunity to inform you that over the past few months our new global intranet has joined this magazine as an additional platform for furthering the development of internal communications at ICL. The intranet marks another important step in our transformation into “One ICL”. During 2016 we will make it available to all employees so that you can receive information about key company developments in real time and in an inclusive manner. In this issue you will find a new feature, “Common Bonds”, which seeks to find similarities – and differences – between our employees throughout the world. In addition, you will find inspiring personal stories, surprising behind-the-scenes revelations into our global strategic processes, our “Zoom In” and “Spotlight” features, and, of course, a casual meeting with CEO Stefan Borgas, this time with Agnes Schier, Global Key Account Manager at ICL Food Specialties in Germany. I would again like to express my appreciation to everyone who played a role in producing this magazine – including our editorial team, photographers and talented writers, as well as all of our interviewees who have shared their stories with us. I appreciate your contributions and encourage you to continue to be a part of this magazine which has been created by you and for you. Pleasant reading!

Avital Prokopef, Head of Internal Communications


Trust Geordie

Even after learning that his home had burnt to the ground in a massive forest fire, Geordie Ferguson continued fighting a fire that was threatening the lives and property of thousands of people in British Columbia, Canada. “I just couldn’t place my fate ahead of others - an entire community was relying on me,” recalls the loading technician, an ICL employee who provides fire retardants to fire extinguishing aircraft at a Canadian air tanker base in Puntzi Mountain. The devastating fire season of 2015 provided ample work for ICL Canada and its Fire Safety unit which is part of the Advanced Additives business unit of ICL Performance Products. In this particular case, however, the wildfire managed to reach a bit too close.

uly 8, 2015 began like any other day for Geordie Ferguson. Before leaving his small home on the shore of Puntzi Lake, he took his dog, Molly, for a short morning walk and refilled the plate of Buster, his cat. He then drove 15 minutes to the Royal Canadian Air Tanker base on Puntzi Mountain in Cariboo Lake district, his workplace for the past eight years. Geordie, an ICL employee, works as an air tanker loader technician. His job is to provide fire retardants to the firefighting air tankers commissioned with preventing and fighting wildfires in this fire-sensitive region. The wildfire season in the forests of North America began earlier than usual this summer because of a harsh drought that has been




Where needs take us

plaguing Canada and the Western US for many months. The Chilcotin and Cariboo Lake districts, which are surrounded by thick woods, have experienced massive wildfires in the past few years, which have devoured hundreds of hectares of forests and endangered the lives of thousands of people. Eddie Goldberg, commercial director at ICL Fire Safety, says the wildfires during the summer of 2015 were unusually violent, and nearly record-breaking. “The total use of fire retardants was nearly twice the average of the previous five years. What made this season especially challenging was that the fires were rampant in several districts at the same time,” he says. As many as nine giant wildfires plagued British Columbia. The air tanker base on Mount Puntzi worked

unrelentingly as the loading station for the multiple air tankers that fought the fires. Producing fire retardants, supplying them to the air tanker bases and loading aircraft provided ample work to ICL Canada, which is located in Sturgeon County. The morning of July 8th was no different than any other mornings this past summer. By the time Geordie arrived at the base, the fire had already been detected. It took it only two hours for it to reach the lake shore and begin destroying houses that stood in its way, including Geordie’s own home. “As soon as I saw the direction the smoke was rising, I realized my home was in the fire’s range,” he recounted later. He immediately thought of Molly, his dog. “I called a friend who confirmed to me that my home had burnt down,


Performance Products

ICL Canada


ICL fights the wildfires The fire safety business, which forms part of the Advanced Additives unit of the ICL Performance Products segment (ICL PP), manufactures fire retardants and fire extinguishing foams for the markets around the globe. “We sell fire retardants and help firefighting in open areas and industrial fires across the globe,” explains Business Manager Roberto Wurst. “Our clients include firefighting organizations, municipal firefighting department, as well as industrial and retail organizations.” The unit is headquartered in California and Idaho for the US market and in British Columbia and Alberta for the Canadian market. Due to the seasonal nature of this region, ICL employs seasonal workers alongside regular employees and subcontractors. “At the peak of the wildfire season we can have over 500 associates”, says Roberto. The wildfire season of 2015 in Canada was especially tough. “Having so many fires at the same time stretched the resources of the firefighting agencies. In addition, as the work period continued, employee dedication became increasingly critical for success,” says Eddie Goldberg, Commercial Director, ICL Global Fire Safety.  What causes fires of this scale? Eddie: “Wildfires are caused by a range of factors, with lightning and the human factor being the most common reasons. The prolonged drought in the western part of North America and the heavy weight of dead trees that were badly damaged by insects make the region vulnerable to wildfires. Any spark can start a fire, and winds and extreme heat cause a fire to spread quickly.”  How are the efforts of this season different from your work during the “regular” season? Eddie: “When wildfires endanger human lives and property, as was the case this year, urgency prevails. When this is the case, firefighting is really about saving lives.” Massive wildfires inflict huge destruction and damage on people, property and the environment. ICL’s fire retardants and other products help the firefighters prevent loss of human lives and minimize the damage. “June and July were the busiest months in Canada since ICL acquired Fire-Trol in 2007,” says Eddie. “But it’s not about the financial gain alone. There is something far more important: fighting the fires reinforces our clients’ confidence in us. We will continue to rise to the challenge, regardless of the workload, and respond to their needs.”

but that Molly escaped and was in good hands. At that time I didn’t yet know that Buster, my cat, was trapped inside the house.” From that moment and for the next five hours, Geordie refused to leave his shift. He loaded 29



Where needs take us

airplanes, never stopping to mourn his personal loss.  You had lost your home - you had lost everything… how could you carry on working? Geordie: “In fact, I even struggled with

anyone who tried to get me off duty. What could I rescue? A few objects? You can always get new items for the home. This is not what matters in life. Persisting in the battle against the fire was more important. I had a duty to fulfill and I needed to carry on loading the aircraft. All I could think of were the homes that needed saving, even the lives of some people. I could not place my personal grief before all the rest. What’s the point in surrendering and sinking into my agony and crying? An entire community was relying on me to do my job, so I did it. Nothing else mattered.”  How can one concentrate on work under such circumstances? “I thought what the others were going through. I said to myself that getting angry would mean I was beaten twice by the fire. The fire took my home. Will I

Eddie Goldberg (above), Colin Cameron and Roberto Wurst

let it depress me too? No way. This isn’t me. I had to stay cool for all the others.” As the son of a World War II veteran, Geordie learned what courage is at a young age. Even later that day, when the British Columbia Wildfire Service flew in another technician to replace him, he didn’t hurry home to assess the damage. When he finally and involuntarily left the base, he immediately put on his other hat as the president of the Puntzi Lake Community Society to ensure that the people who had been evacuated from their homes for fear of the fire were being taken care of. “My father, Gordon Ferguson, taught me to think about others. He’s the one who instilled in me the old values of not complaining and not thinking about yourself first. Had he been here with me, he would have said, ‘let’s do the work right and handle the rest later.’”

A Very Big Hug “I have known Geordie since he took over the primary position of loader technician at Puntzi,” says Colin Cameron, who heads the Puntzi Air Base and manages the field operations in Canada. “He’s one of our most dedicated and committed employees. He took on that role in April 2008 when Les Friend retired. Les also lost his home in the last Puntzi Lake wildfire.” “Geordie is keen on doing his work in the best way possible and at all times. He also takes his responsibilities a step further and learns about a fire’s status to prepare for additional operations that may be required,” adds Colin. “That’s why he is so highly regarded by the British Columbia Wildfire Service which made a point of acknowledging

him in that terrible fire: on top of the comprehensive operational support, from the senior commanders of the firefighting operations to the pilots from Conair (another contractor), the commanders in the field and the district program managers – anyone who parked their air tanker in the loading dock saluted Geordie before refilling the aircraft with fire retardants.” Steve Thomson, Canada’s Forests Minister, also thanked Geordie for his dedication and so did other government officials who came to visit the base. But the recognition did not end there. After learning about the scope of the damage to his home, all of Geordie’s friends rallied to help him rebuild it. “The ICL team responded immediately; shortly afterwards they started a donations collection page on the Go Fund Me website. Management, employees and even complete strangers sent in donations, which eventually totaled over CAN $28,000. The fire was ultimately curbed only a month later, on August 6, after it had wiped out over 8,000 hectares. Geordie, who spent the wildfire season at the base, moved in temporarily with friends in Vancouver. He will spend the winter in British Columbia and use the time to plan the new home he will begin building in the spring. “I’m touched by the generous support I received from ICL management and workers across the globe, but I’m just a simple man. I only mix the fire retardant, load it into the air tanker and take care not to bump into the propellers. The others deserve much more praise than me. The aircraft and ground crews, the firefighters, they are the real heroes. Nothing would be more painful for me than learning one of them was injured or killed.” ///


A Day in the Life

David Shurki Raw Material Plant Manager

ICL Dead Sea, Israel

04:30 I live in Metar, a suburb of Beersheva, in southern Israel. I get up early every day, while my family is still deep asleep. The first one to say good morning to me is Luna, my beloved dog, who comes to check that I’ve gotten up on time. On the way to the shower, I check my cell phone to see if I received any unusual messages overnight. I go out with Luna for a short walk on a path near our house overlooking the wadi. There is nothing like a good stretch to start the day, and in 15 minutes I can absorb a lot: the quiet, the different smells from the fields, the sounds of birds, a jackal or fox, or hedgehogs and rabbits scouting around nearby ... I always meet someone nice along the way.

05:00 I get into my car and drive calmly on the sleepy road. At the end of the winding slopes of the Arad-Sdom road, I encounter the breathtaking views of the evaporation ponds, just as the sun is rising, reminding me every day of just how proud I am to be an integral part of this interesting enterprise and how much responsibility I bear on my shoulders managing it.

06:05 I open the door to the empty office floor, make my morning coffee with the special flavor that my father always brings me from the Old City in Jerusalem, and sit at my desk where I receive updates from the afternoon and night shifts.

07:15 I go out for my morning round of the plant where I enjoy a chat with the workers and unit managers, compliment their work and hear about routine events. 8


Where needs take us

07:45 I start my round of meetings: a morning meeting with four department managers, where we review the events of the previous day and prepare our daily schedule. Then I hold a production coordination meeting with several employees of the potash production section, where we coordinate activities between four production plants. Everything’s done based on proper communication which is the key to our success and reflects on everyone around us.

12:00 I go out for a walk-around of our large operational area, as part of my usual supervision together with working teams on the site. The appearance of the plant is very important to me – keeping the working areas clear of obstacles and garbage is a major challenge in a 150 square kilometer area of ponds, pumping stations, pipes, etc. Because of the size of the plant and the distances, once a quarter we use a helicopter to examine the area from a bird’s eye view.

13:30 More meetings: planning the next day with the entire team, making decisions and setting priorities, ongoing updates, etc. In between, I have another two cups of coffee, no sugar, but I have a sweet snack - to compensate…

13:00 Lunch in the main dining room. I don’t touch bread, don’t drink sugared drinks and avoid anything fried. I make sure to eat a lot of salad and a measured portion of food on my plate. Why? To avoid carrying the extra weight with me during long off-road bike trips during the weekends. They’re the highlight of my week, and I’ll never give up on them.

18:00 Towards the end of the day I usually go up to the control room to meet the shift workers. Music keeps me awake on the long drive home: from Pink Floyd and Dire Straits to Mozart and Beethoven – music helps me “reset” my brain and arrive home relaxed and smiling.

19:00 Sitting with my wife at the end of a long day and having a cup of coffee, with home-made cookies that she regularly makes. Sarit is my twin soul. We met in high school and have been together for 29 years. Our sons, Noam and Guy, 18 and 14, are already older and busy doing their own thing. They spend many hours outside of the house.

21:30 On Wednesdays, after dinner and relaxing in front of the TV, I play basketball with my friends and some colleagues from work. We sweat a lot but have even more fun.

23:30 At this point, I don’t waste a whole lot of time reading or counting sheeps, but just fall asleep right away. In another five hours, a new day begins! 9

Hezi Israel

E  xecutive Vice President, ICL Global Business Development & Strategy

“WE’RE A COMPANY ON A JOURNEY” Growth through acquisitions is an essential element of our ‘Next Step Forward’ strategy eetings that last through the night, emotional drama and strategic restraint, bridging extremes and contrasts, tradition and progress, East and West - behind every mega-merger or acquisition of a company there’s a world of drama where “the human element is critical,” says Hezi Israel, Executive Vice President, ICL Global Business Development & Strategy. As the person responsible for conducting ICL’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activities in its core business areas as part of its “Next Step Forward” strategy, Hezi believes that “without chemistry between people, you can’t create trust.”


 Let’s start at the beginning: what dictates ICL’s M&A policy? ICL is undergoing a process of change. We’ve embarked on a new strategy consisting of three pillars – growth, efficiency and enablers. With respect to growth, we decided to focus on the company’s core businesses of agriculture, food and engineered materials. This strategy defines the areas of business in which we want to invest, and



Where needs take us

finding better owners for those of our companies that are outside of those core areas. M&A is a tool that allows us to implement our strategy through the acquisition of complementary companies and technologies in both Western and emerging markets. We set out on a journey in 2012 and we are continuing on a path of change.  How do you find companies to acquire, those that fit your strategy?

Executive Vice President, ICL Global Business Development & Strategy


+2 BA in Economics and Political Science and MBA in Business Administration, with a specialization in Financing Tel Aviv \\\ With ICL since 2007


We constantly evaluate potential companies using information we receive from the field including from our business units and investment bankers with whom we work. Over the past two years, we focused on creating a bank of targets in those areas in which we want to expand. In the phosphates area, for example, China’s YPH was selected after a special team from ICL investigated phosphate deposits in various places around the world, with a focus on emerging markets. That is also how we worked in the food area when we acquired Prolactal in Europe after an in-depth review of companies in the sector. In every situation, the moment a potential company meets ICL’s strategic goals (see box) we establish an ICL project team to continue the process.  In addition to the two companies you mentioned, the company also acquired Hagesud, Fosbrasil and Allana Potash over the past two years, and, in fact, all of ICL’s acquisitions over the last decade were of foreign companies. ICL has evolved from an Israeli company into a global enterprise whose success derives from cooperation between all of its companies throughout the world. To what extent do considerations of language or culture play a part in M&A activity? They are serious considerations. The moment that a specific company is acquired, we need to take into account that its DNA is different than ICL’s and that we’ll have to deal with the resulting challenges. Within the framework of our integration, we augment local offices with the assistance of skilled integration teams so that they can transmit the “ICL way” of doing business. This challenge is especially great because, from a strategic perspective, ICL has decided to expand to emerging markets where there are major differences in culture and language.  Why does ICL choose to specifically focus on emerging markets? Isn’t it safer to expand in existing Western markets? We have to ask where the opportunities for growth are: in existing markets



Where needs take us

- where we maintain a leading position, but possibilities for growth are limited, or in emerging markets, where our footprint is relatively small, but where there are greater opportunities. Our strategy is to broaden and deepen our activities in Western markets as well in emerging markets. We have great faith in the opportunities for growth in our core areas of activity and we are aware of the challenges of emerging markets. All markets have

their own characteristics and we need to adapt ourselves to specific dynamics, but the effort is essential – and, in the end, worthwhile.  Sometimes it appears that beneath that dry legal term “strategic mergers and acquisitions” is a world full of drama and emotion – negotiations through the night, differences in language and culture, tradition versus progress. Can you tell us about an exceptionally dramatic negotiation?

Most Recent M&A Transactions Business and geographic growth Creating a world-scale phosphate platform in Asia YPH JV • Located in China • 2,400 Employees • Business: Fertilizers, Food, Engineered Material • Expertise: Phosphate rock and downstream producer

Diversifying sources of raw materials worldwide ICL Ethiopia (former Allana) • Located in Africa • 103 Employees • Business: Fertilizers • Expertise: Potash and SOP mining

Accelerating the growth of ICL’s food ingredient business ICL Austria, Hartberg, ICL Germany, Engelsberg (former Prolactal& Rovita) • Located in Europe • 210 Employees • Business: Food • Expertise: Wheyprotein producer Expanding ICL’s footprint in South America ICL Brazil (former Fosbrasil) • Located in South America • 90 Employees • Business: Fertilizers, Food, Engineered Materials • Expertise: Phosphoric-acid producer Broadening ICL Food Specialties portfolio of functional solutions ICL Germany Hemmingen (former Hagesud) • Located in Europe • 210 Employees • Business: Food • Expertise: Premium spice blends producer

The transaction with China’s YPH is a good example of negotiations that reflected those complexities. It lasted more than a year and presented many challenges. Since ICL and YPH are two stock exchange-listed companies, there was always a suspicion that information would leak out, and we would often change meeting places in order to maintain secrecy; we held marathon discussions and dealt with crises into the night, especially during the week before we signed the agreement. Differences in language and culture as well as Chinese regulatory issues definitely played a major role – more than once new information or inaccuracies in translation resulted in misunderstandings between the parties. Negotiations such as these also raised questions of identity – from the nature of things, it isn’t simple for a local company that is used to managing itself independently to become part of a joint venture with a global corporation. When I think about it, building trust and understanding was created meeting by meeting. There were times when we broke away for one-on-one discussions in a separate room, without the extended teams. Only there, when we were looking at each other in the eye, were we able to overcome obstacles in a businesslike manner and come to an understanding.  You mentioned the human element. Did you ever walk out on a negotiation because you didn’t get along with the management of the other company? The human element is vital! In any transaction you must create the right chemistry and establish trust with the other side. As you get nearer to signing an agreement, you can expect sensitive points that have a significant psychological component will arise. The pressure increases when, on the one hand, you want to close a deal, but on the other, you don’t want to give up on specific strategic principles or the justification for the transaction. Sometimes it happens that one side is just not ready to listen, and then you

Don’t “Fall in Love” with a Business Deal:

5 tips for a successful acquisition

According to the dry statistics, more than 60% of acquisitions do not achieve their strategic goals. ICL makes sure to engage in several activities in order not to be part of those statistics: Define a map of clear goals: What do we want to achieve? What are we aspiring to? How will the new company fit into our strategy? The acquired company must meet the strategic goals and financing conditions that we’ve established. Focus on deals related to your core business: Many companies choose to expand into areas about which they have no understanding just because it is a growing and profitable area. As a result, they pay full price for a deal but don’t fully benefit from synergies. When working on a large-scale transaction in a field that isn’t part of the company’s core businesses, the ability to create added-value is very limited. Map the risks and opportunities: Create transparency between working teams and decision makers. It’s forbidden to brush the risks under the carpet, rather you must find solutions, and whether it’s in the legal agreement or in the operative terms that are relevant for the company. Don’t fall in love with a deal: Negotiations must be held by a neutral, professional entity, and not by the business unit that serves as the “customer”; you must be able to walk away from a deal – even during very advanced stages of a negotiation – if it doesn’t meet your goals. Plan a process of integration: Planning must begin during the negotiation stage. No acquisition will result in enhanced value without the involvement of a senior manager from the specific area and a skilled integration team.

just need to accept their decision and walk away.  How does ICL absorb new employees resulting from an acquisition? Already when building an integration plan we take into consideration the absorption of employees who will become part of the ICL family. The sensitivity is greater on the managerial level – for example, when there is duplication in administrative functions. In general, from the moment a deal is signed they are ICL employees and we must select the right people for the positions that are best suitable for them and for the company, and we’re careful to integrate the managers of the acquired company into a consolidated unit. Sometimes there is no other way but separation, but that is a part of the natural process in order

to avoid duplication and to create synergies. In places where we have sold businesses, it is accompanied by a sense of responsibility for the employees who will be transferred to new owners of the business. We’ve accomplished this by reaching understandings with the new owners. The truth is that we weren’t always the best managers for those non-core businesses. Their options for growth and the attention they received were limited. I’m happy to say that to date we have found better owners for all the businesses that we’ve sold, which is also for the good of the employees. Take, for example, our former water treatment business. In recent years we realized that this field is not part of our core business. The selling process


related to this business was accompanied by suspicions on the part of our managers in Germany, and our employees in Ludwigshafen held protests and strikes. CEO Stefan Borgas stood by management in Germany in order to explain the decision to protesting employees and to promise them that we would be concerned about their future. In the end, the company was sold to Kurita, a leading player in the field and, undoubtedly, a better owner than ICL for this type of business.  What are your next steps for 2016? 2014 was the year of execution, when we began the process, and 2015 was the year of completion. 2016 will be the year of integration. Our integration teams are working around the world to ensure smooth transitions and utilization of synergies. In 2016, we must also adapt to changes in the potash markets and look for more efficiency opportunities.  By its nature, M&A teams must travel frequently. How do you still manage to find time to spend with your family? This is the most sensitive point about my position. During critical times, my family is recruited to the effort, but it’s not simple. My children understand what I’m doing, but they prefer more “Daddy time.” It is hard to explain to 8 and 11 year-old kids why Daddy isn’t home. But I have an iron-clad rule – I’m always home on the weekends (except in rare cases), during which I try to make up for the times when I am not. I also make sure to be with my family on holidays and to go on trips to remote places where we can disconnect from the world and work in order to devote quality time to listening to each other and being together. During our last family trip, I felt like I really re-discovered my family. Between deals I try to lower the pace and that is also the message that I give to my team – renew your energy and focus on your families because when the next deal comes around you’re going to need to be totally devoted to the effort. ///



Where needs take us

Michiel Verspuij

P  lant Manager, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

MICHIEL HITS THE ROAD The joint venture with Yunnan Yuntianhua is a reality and ICL people from throughout the world are being recruited for the project Part one of a series moment before moving to China to serve as the Fertilizer Manager of the joint venture with Yunnan Yuntianhua, Michiel Verspuij talks about his hesitations and excitement as he moves to the other side of the world. We, at “Many People, One ICL”, will join Michiel on his journey, as will his girlfriend and his bicycle.


 You’re moving to China to manage ICL’s integration of its China activities with Yunnan Yuntianhua’s (YTH) phosphate operations. What made you decide to move halfway around the world? I was asked to work as a fertilizer manager in the new JV in China at

Plant Manager Living together

35 MSc in

Chemical Engineering at UvA Amsterdam (at the moment) \\\ With ICL since 2005

One more thing: “During the weekends you can find me somewhere around Amsterdam, riding my bike. This is my main hobby, and during the summer I do road racing on a competitive level. During the winter, I like to play in the mud with my mountain bike. After exercising, it’s time to eat. Cooking is also something I really love, especially Asian food!”

the beginning of 2015. This was just before my first visit at YTH as a member of the technical work group. I was – and still am – very honored, but I realized that by saying yes my entire life would change. All of my family and friends live here in the Netherlands, and they have no plans of moving there with me. So while I saw it as a big opportunity, I wanted to discuss it with my girlfriend, Berdy. We traveled to China in April, really asking ourselves whether we could see ourselves living there. After that visit, we decided to go for it. We are very excited about the move and our families have reacted very well to our decision. They are actually very proud of us for taking this big step. Obviously, we won’t see them that often after we move, but, as my father said, “I know where my next holiday will be…”  What role have you played at ICL Fertilizers in Amsterdam? Will you still be involved in that business

Michiel (here on the Passo Giau in Italy, high in the mountains) loves to ride his bicycle wherever he goes, and is planning to take it with him to China. "This is my main hobby," he says. "During the summer I do road racing on a competitive level, and in winter I like to play in the mud with my mountain bike".



Amsterdam, the Netherlands


after your move? At this moment, I’m still working as a plant manager in Amsterdam. However, I already see a big change because I’m already working for China half the time. Beginning in December I will work for China exclusively. Because I have really enjoyed working in Amsterdam for 10 years, I’ll always be curious about developments there - and hopefully the people there won’t forget me.  What do you see as the primary benefit resulting from ICL’s new joint venture with YTH? I think there will be a lot of benefits for ICL. There will be new markets in which to sell our products, as well as the possibility of sharing knowledge between our companies. We can learn from the Chinese and implement their ideas at our existing sites in Europe and Israel, and vice versa.  Do you think you will encounter difficulties adjusting to life in China? I imagine that there will be some language issues. Most people in Kunming don’t speak English and I don’t speak Chinese - yet. But I’ve already met the entire team and I’m looking forward to working with everyone. It helps that a container with our personal belongings will be transported to our new Chinese home… and last but not least: the bicycles are coming to China as well! ///



Where needs take us

Dr. Ingrid Picas

R&D Manager, Catalonia, Spain

“LEAPING TOWARD INNOVATION” Relying on a combination of internal and external knowledge, ICL Iberia is zooming in on innovation to improve its production processes

ngrid Picas’ passion was classical dance, but her love of science (and a PhD in Material Sciences and Engineering) led her to a whole different place. As one of ICL’s most forward thinking Research & Development (R&D) Managers, she is empowering the Catalan business unit to continue its century-long tradition of mining by adopting innovative operating methods.


 How would you describe innovation at ICL Iberia? Potash and salt mines have been operating in the Catalan basin for more than a hundred years. Despite the long tradition of mining in this area, the company has faced plenty of challenges and it has consistently improved by innovating. Nowadays, ICL Iberia believes in innovation as the basis for our future growth. Today it combines the inflow and outflow of knowledge to improve and grow internally and externally. Innovation is best used to improve our production processes, products and by-products, as well as to reduce our impacts and costs.  Give us an example of an innovation project. ICL Iberia was recently granted a €7 million grant from the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - Horizon

2020, to lead a logistics project that includes eight companies from different European countries. The purpose of the project is to improve the rail freight transportation system, optimize the performance of freight wagons and increase the attractiveness of the rail sector by enhancing logistics, services, operations and flexibility. Overall, the project is

R&D Manager Single


PhD in Material

Sciences & Engineering


(Barcelona) \\\ With ICL since 2013

One more thing: My favorite hobby is dancing – I have practiced classical dance since I was 4 years old. Unfortunately, I had to stop two years ago, but it is my passion and what I believe in. I would have made it my profession had I not loved science so much! A secret: I love shoes, too.


meant to improve our logistics costs.  Do you cooperate with outside institutions? Yes, while some of our projects are developed within ICL Iberia, in cooperation with other BU’s from ICL, or together with ICL’s central R&D Institute, we also pursue projects with local national universities and research centers. Some projects are funded by Spanish national authorities. How


to undertake a project and with who depends on a range of technical, economic and logistic considerations.  How would you describe the process of creating a new product? It all starts from a production or market need. Before we do anything, we estimate a new product’s potential impact on our markets, as well as on our production processes. If we can really see the potential benefits, our

ICL Iberia - Suria & Sallent, Catalonia

R&D department will figure out what we need to do to make it a reality. Throughout the process, we validate our results, whether it’s through a labto-pilot scale or, doing quasi-industrial runs. And we always work closely with production and marketing. They are the ones that ultimately have to produce and sell the new product. It’s quite an effort!  ///




Energy Storage

A New Energy at ICL

An innovative bromine/zinc-based battery to store energy at industrial plants was recently unveiled at an ICL site in California. The “EnergyCell” system reduces electricity usage, minimizes polluting emissions and lowers operating expenses. The electrolyte used in the battery was developed by ICL Industrial Products (IP) in conjunction with a California-based company that developed the battery’s cell design technology. ICL Performance Products’ (PP) Fire Safety site in California is serving as the pilot industrial site for the promising new battery. In a joint interview, Sharona Atlas, Business Development Manager at ICL-IP, and Oscar Sanchez, U.S. Operations Manager at the Rancho Cucamonga, California Fire Safety site, demonstrate how, through their efforts to find new uses for bromine and engage in activities across ICL segments and continents, ICL is taking One more step along the path of “Where Needs Take Us”.


ou worked for two years on this project to store energy using a massive battery. Why do we need batteries? Isn’t there enough electricity in the world? Sharona: The rise in quality of life standards has resulted in a continual increase in electricity usage, but



Where needs take us

electricity production plants located around the world cannot cope with the demand. At peak hours they don’t produce sufficient electricity to provide all of modern man’s needs, while at low usage hours they are not fully utilized – and they produce surplus electricity for which there is no

use. One solution is to build additional plants – but this means making a major financial investment, increased emissions of CO2 pollution and more use of fossil fuels (coal and gas). Another option is to produce energy from renewable sources – but this, too, is not a perfect solution, because

Longer Battery Life Intelligent Battery Technology

Bromine 15 years

Lithium 7 years

Bromine $450 kWh

Self Manages Self Protects Self Informs

Extended Discharge Time Bromine 4 hours

Cost Effective

Bromine electrolyte can store energy better than any other electrolyte

Lithium $682 kWh

Enviromental Friendly Recyclable No Toxic Disposal Program

Lithium 2 hours

Increased Storage Capacity Risk Free

of fluctuations in electricity supply. After all, the sun isn’t always shining and the wind isn’t always blowing. The ultimate solution, therefore, is energy storage, i.e. storing excess energy produced during low-usage hours for use during peak hours, when there is increased usage. This is a

High energy density and small footprint

Tailor-made Design

double-sided solution: it reduces costs while protecting the environment.  In fact, you have found a totally new use for bromine. Sharona: Exactly. This project perfectly demonstrates our slogan, “Where Needs Take Us.” ICL is the largest supplier of bromine in the world. Thanks

to the surplus of bromine that we ourselves produce, we are constantly developing and applying new uses to respond to humanity’s evolving needs. We believe that bromine-based energy is the best solution for storing electricity, as bromine’s electro-chemical reaction is very quick. This is one of




Energy Storage

the reasons that the bromine electrolyte that we developed has greater advantages than all other alternatives.  This deployment project is one of the more successful examples of inter-segment cooperation at ICL. In fact, ICL’s IP personnel developed a product that is used by a site belonging to the PP segment. Oscar: We were lucky. Sharona and her team were looking for potential sites to conduct a pilot test. As our site is located in California, a state that encourages and provides incentives for energy efficiency, and it’s also where Primus Power, the company that

Oscar Sanchez

Sharona Atlas Business Development Manager 45

married + 3

U.S. Operations Manager, ICL PP Fire Safety Business

M.Sc. in Chemistry and an MBA Omer, Israel \\\ With ICL since 1995

One more thing: My son sais that I’ve got such a good memory that I even remember events that haven’t occurred… and this is a joke in our home, because I remember attending one of my son’s high school graduation parties, but he claims that I was on a business trip at the time…

married Chemistry


BS in Biology/ Chino, California, US

\\\ With ICL since 1998

One more thing: My hobby is cooking. I enjoy preparing homemade meals for my family and friends.

A Start-Up within a Well-established Company ICL is a large multi-national, global company. Working on the commercialization and launch of new technologies requires a slightly different style of work, says Sharona Atlas. “This is actually a type of start-up that works within an established company: one has to be dynamic, respond well and quickly to changes, and find creative ways to overcome obstacles.” The technology for the battery was developed by Primus Power, a company working in energy storage. “We produce long-term batteries for service systems, independent



Where needs take us

electricity microgrids and commercial and industrial clients,” says Tom Stepien, Primus Power CEO. “Public service systems use our solutions to provide flexibility in the electrical network and to improve the electrical conveyance system. The electrical microgrids rely on our batteries to provide voltage in the case of a power failure in the network. Commercial clients use Primus EnergyCells to minimize electricity expenses.”  How was the connection made between the two companies?

developed the technology, is located, they found us to be suitable partners.  The battery is the first of its kind in the world to be used for industrial purposes. How will it affect the site’s work procedures? Oscar: The ICL PP Fire Safety site in Rancho Cucamonga, California produces and packages long-lasting fire retardants, foams for extinguishing fires and a unique gel that we developed to contain fires. We supply the safest, most efficient and most environmentally-friendly products to control and fight fires in open areas. Using this battery is especially

important to us, not only because it will help to minimize our electricity expenses, but because it gives us a tool for energy management that will help us to continue to operate our facility even during emergencies. When we need to provide flame retardants in times of power failures, the battery will serve as our backup energy supply.  How did the teams work together? Can you describe the integration process? Sharona: The project team included representatives from IP & PP segments as well as Primus Power

Sharona: Primus first worked with another technology, which is not bromine based. But after we presented the advantages of bromine-based chemistry and our unique additions that improve the battery’s performance to Tom, we decided to work together on development. Now, after installing the EnergyCell system at ICL’s plant in Rancho Cucamonga, we are both supplier and client, which obviously deepens our relationship with Primus. Tom: This was the natural connection between two companies that both excel in their fields. As the largest supplier

company who worked together for about a year prior to the battery’s installation in October. Work included checking electricity bills and mapping payment components, making economic calculations, matching the size of the battery to the site, producing the electrolytes, producing the battery and transporting it to the site, receiving permits from the authorities and connecting the battery to the grid. Oscar: We communicated through email, conference calls and face-toface meetings. Sharona: We also worked during irregular hours – because we in Israel

of zinc-bromine, ICL is the optimal supplier of electrolytes for our battery. Primus developed a unique battery at a low price and it has the opportunity to lead the energy-storage market, which is constantly growing. I have no doubt that our partnership with ICL has put Primus on the map! The installation of the system at the California site is an important model for future clients, and ICL’s worldwide deployment also helps our plans for growth. With the help of ICL, Primus can become the most significant supplier of long-term energy-storage systems.


had to make ourselves available for conversations with people located in the US. Oscar: In the end, everyone met at our site at Rancho Cucamonga to decide what was the best, most efficient location for installing the battery.  This must have been a one-of-akind mission. Can you tell us a bit about the process from a personal aspect? Sharona: Managing such a project requires the synchronization of many activities and resources around the world, working with people in and outside of the organization, absorbing vast amounts of information and receiving continuous updates. The most beautiful element of such a project was working together on integrating the cell design and electrolyte technologies in order to create a product that responds to a need and that solves a real problem. And that is really exciting! Just like any other project, there were also difficult moments, but there is an amazing feeling and tremendous satisfaction in creating something totally new - a brand new business for the company. Oscar: I agree - it is a great feeling to be part of an organization that continues to innovate to improve people’s lifestyles as well as the environment. We are very proud to be one of the first sites to have integrated a battery that represents such a technological breakthrough. Our joint work was also an amazing experience. Sharona and her team fully embodied the meaning of “One ICL.”  The California site served actually as the pilot project. Where do you go from here? Sharona: The EnergyCell system responds to a real need and as a result, there is a growing market for it. Primus and ICL have already received orders for the systems from several US states. In the coming year we will also be sending systems to, Australia, Kazakhstan and South Africa. I have no doubt that the pilot system we integrated at Phos-Chek will be the first of many! ///



Where needs take us

A Day in the Life

Suzanne Dalzell

Global Sourcing Manager ICL Global Procurement Organization, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

07:00 Our day begins at 7 am. We always try to have breakfast together. We just bought a new apartment in Amsterdam after moving from Ireland in October 2014. I made an internal move from ICL in Ireland (Medentech) to Folkert Bloembergen’s Logistics and Packaging team in the Netherlands where I work as a Global Sourcing Manager. I moved here with my husband Peter and our 20 year old son, Alex, who’s studying at Groningen University in the north of the Netherlands.

08:00 I arrive at work at around 8 am. When I’m not travelling, my focus is implementing our requests for quotations process that we’ve just completed. I work closely with my colleague, Carine Vulliez, to coordinate the implementation plans in our global regions to achieve forecasted savings as quickly as possible while ensuring that we meet all the sites’ requirements.

10:00 Travel is a big part of my job, and I frequently visit our sites throughout Europe. This year, I’ve been to the States a few times and have visited Brazil and Israel, as well. With all these international contacts, I spend a lot of time on the phone.

12:00 At lunch time, I try to get out for a walk in nearby Rembrandt park I’m a familiar sight heading out each day despite the unpredictable Dutch weather. During the summer, if the sun is shining, I join my colleagues outside for a picnic.

14:30 Working on the legal documentation for each of the new Big Bag vendors and negotiating contracts terms for different regions is a challenge, and our team meets regularly to review the latest updates and requests from vendors.

17:00 I head home at around 5 pm. As I left my car back in Ireland last year, my only form of transport is my trusty bicycle – typically Dutch!

18:00 During the evening, I usually prepare dinner while Peter gets busy tackling the long list of jobs needed in the new apartment. Every Tuesday I attend “Dutch for Beginners” where some colleagues and I try to get our tongues around some typical Dutch phrases – Het is niet makkelijk. (It’s not easy!)

22:30 I head to bed and read for an hour or so before falling asleep.




ICL’s Night Owls Lab technicians, site operators and shift managers – in a company like ours, which is committed to fulfilling needs 24 hours a day, there are many employees who work at night. While they benefit from a quieter work environment and can sleep during the day, they may find it hard to align with family and friends on weekends. In the small hours of the night, the dedicated night owls carry on their work routine, preparing their plants for the next morning. They have developed their own ways of coming to terms with their biological clock and with fatigue, and even the absence of managers on their shift doesn’t compromise their safety practices. What do they share in common and how do they differ from one another? Every issue, our new column, “Common Bonds”, will talk with employees from different areas, and try to identify what they share in common.



Where needs take us



Operator, ICL Industrial Products, ICL Neot Hovav, Israel

Chemical Operator, ICL-IP Terneuzen BV, The Netherlands

61 Married + 3; With ICL since 1981; The shift begins at: 23:00 hrs | Bedtime: “It’s hard to stay up after a night shift. Thirty minutes after getting home I’m already in bed.”

46 Married The shift begins at: 23.00 hrs | Bedtime: "After driving home, which takes 40 minutes, I go straight to bed."


I’m in charge of production control which is done from a computerized control room with occasional visits to the production floor. Following a briefing by the day shift workers over a cup of coffee, my team and I continue the production process at the facility. WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT WORKING AT NIGHT?

There’s nothing good about it. Only the quiet. AND WHAT IS THE WORST?

It messes up your biological clock: day becomes night and night becomes day. DOES WORKING AT NIGHT REQUIRE ANY SPECIAL SAFETY PROCEDURES?

Working at night does not require special safety measures because the standards are high 24 hours a day. Yet, since lighting and visibility are different at night, you need to be more alert. In the same way that a night’s sleep is different from a day’s sleep, your body behaves differently, even more so when the managers are not around and there are just a few of us. But alertness and responsibility are already part of our routine.


As an operator I am responsible for different installations. My duties are to keep them all running, and for this purpose, I take samples and make adjustments where needed. Sometimes, we have to prepare parts of an installation for maintenance.


In the nightshift there are only a few people on site. That makes the work less hectic, and gives you more space to do things in your own timeline. AND WHAT IS THE WORST?

Because it is dark outside some things cannot be done and have to wait until morning. Also, I notice that your mind works slightly slower at night. This makes it even more important to think before you act. DOES WORKING AT NIGHT REQUIRE ANY SPECIAL SAFETY PROCEDURES?

We have strict safety regulations, so there is no need for additional safety procedures while working at night.


ICL’s Night Owls


Shift manager, rotary kiln plant, ICL Ladenburg, Germany

44 Married + 2; With ICL since 1988 The shift begins at: 18.00 hrs | Bedtime: “I return home around 6.30 a.m. when my wife and kids get up. I stay up with them to chat a little and read the newspaper and then go to bed around 7a.m. I usually drift off to ‘slumber-land’ shortly afterwards.” WHAT IS YOUR JOB?

The main task of a shift manager is organizing and supervising production processes and plant operation according to environmental and quality standards and work safety regulations. We produce sodium or potassium phosphate from ingredients that are injected into a rotary kiln under high pressure. The shift manager is briefed by the previous shift manager. In addition, I serve as ICL’s first contact person in the event of an emergency. WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT WORKING AT NIGHT?

The work processes are somewhat quieter and more organized, whereas in the day shift, the plans often need changing unexpectedly, which translates into additional work. AND WHAT IS THE WORST?

Fewer evenings with the family and, of course, holiday shifts are not welcome if you have a family. (On the other hand, my kids are sometimes happy because they can decide which TV program to watch in the evening…) DOES WORKING AT NIGHT REQUIRE ANY SPECIAL SAFETY PROCEDURES?

It is expected from the employer’s side that you go to work refreshed, i.e. you are not supposed to turn up exhausted and tired after a day’s work at home, or extensive sports activities. This is an understood prerequisite for this kind of job. 26


Where needs take us


Shift manager, ICL Rotem, Israel

49 Married + 4; With ICL since 1994 The shift begins at: 23:00 hrs | Bedtime: “I like to go to bed as soon as I get home, around 8 a.m. However, home life or the need to rescue trekkers as part of my volunteering in a rescue unit, often forces me to postpone my bedtime by a few hours.” WHAT IS YOUR JOB?

Some operators and I manage the production process of a complicated machine that makes a soluble fertilizer called MKP. The plant works 24/7 to meet production and quality targets and I run the shift. WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT WORKING AT NIGHT?

At night, you’re concerned only with production and ensuring the process runs as it should. There’s no noise of the maintenance works. During summer, the weather is also more pleasant, because this is the desert area. Most importantly, working at night allows me to volunteer in the daytime in a regional rescue unit that helps trekkers who’ve gotten lost or have been hurt during their trek in the Negev. This is difficult and challenging work, but very gratifying. AND WHAT IS THE WORST?

I have to admit that sleeping is the most natural thing to do at night. working at night is more difficult and often confusing, and it’s also not easy for the family.


Process operator, ICL Fertilizers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

31 Single; With ICL since 2006; The shift begins at: 22.30 hrs | Bedtime: “I drive home and go straight to bed. Falling asleep is never a problem for me, except when my neighbours decide to work in their garden with noisy machinery…” WHAT IS YOUR JOB?

As a process operator, I work in a team of six people where everyone has their own tasks and responsibilities. My focus is to monitor the entire fertilizers production process from the control room, and to make sure that the right raw materials are being put together in the exact amounts needed to make the final product. During the process, we receive results from the lab where samples are regularly being tested, allowing us to make changes if necessary. WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT WORKING AT NIGHT?

At night you’re alone at the site with only your team, which creates a special atmosphere. AND WHAT IS THE WORST?

To tell you the truth, I don’t really see any downside to working at night. Personally, they are my best hours, like they are for an owl. DOES WORKING AT NIGHT REQUIRE ANY SPECIAL SAFETY PROCEDURES?

If we need to do special work, I prefer that it’s done at the beginning of the night shift when everyone is still fit and alert, so there is less chance of an accident. As for me, I always feel awake at night. I’m much more tired during the day!


ICL’s Night Owls


Lab Technician, ICL Performance Products, Lawrence, Kansas, US

32 Single+2; With ICL since 2012 The shift begins at: 24:00 hrs | Bedtime: “I have a 2.5 year old boy and a 1 year old girl so I hardly sleep; I do when they do…” WHAT IS YOUR JOB?

I perform laboratory tests for all work-in-progress samples and final batch samples. I complete work for our acid and phosphate plants as well as contract work for Chemtrade. The plant has to know what it is producing so we can minimize scrap and maximize profit and product quality. WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT WORKING AT NIGHT?

There is less chaos working at night. AND WHAT IS THE WORST?

The hours. You miss out on a lot of family activities. DOES WORKING AT NIGHT REQUIRE ANY SPECIAL SAFETY PROCEDURES?

The conditions really don’t interfere with us in the lab as much as it would interfere with someone working out in the plant because we are protected from the harsh conditions that Mother Nature hands us. As with fatigue, everyone battles with it at all times of the day and night.



Where needs take us


Deputy Shift Manager, ICL Dead Sea, Israel

35 Married + 3; With ICL since 2005 The shift begins at: 23:00 hrs | Bedtime: “On weekdays I go to bed after the night shift, at 8:30 a.m. On weekends and holidays… when my kids let me.” WHAT IS YOUR JOB?

I am the deputy shift manager in a six-person team. We produce potash in a cold crystallization plant. At night we prepare the equipment for the morning shift as well as ongoing work that cannot be done during the day because there are too many people and the temperature is too high. WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT WORKING AT NIGHT?

It’s usually quieter at night and there are hardly any malfunctions. The weather is more pleasant and you can do your work in a relaxed manner with no interruptions. AND WHAT IS THE WORST?

Being tired.


S p o t L   g h t

Reaching for the Sky ICL Brazil’s “Cielo” projects (“Sky” in Italian and Spanish) are part of a comprehensive strategic plan to strengthen and broaden the South American operation’s manufacturing base, improve its cost position and bring added-value to ICL’s customers in Latin America and beyond. An inside look at how ICL Brazil’s dynamic management and motivated work force are strengthening ICL’s leading position in global markets for food additives, industrial products and fertilizers, while expanding its footprint across South America.


CL Brazil’s center of activity is located in Sao Jose dos Campos (SJC), a bustling city that is one of Latin America’s leading industrial hubs. Surrounded by the Serra da Mantiqueira highlands with peaks reaching 2,420 meters, ICL’s SJC site reflects the major changes underway at ICL’s South American business unit. The factory hums with newly installed equipment and an industrial robot that appears to package phosphates at the



Where needs take us

speed of light. Gleaming laboratories welcome ICL Food Specialties’ Latin America customers searching for customized solutions, and technologists experiment with transforming waste products into fertilizer. Newly arrived employees from acquisitions and consolidations work side by side with veteran workers, and everyone appears to be focused on how to make or market ICL’s products better. SJC is a place where change is in the air.

From left: Saulo Fonseca, Alan Fernandes, Ivan Lavez and Ana Paula Nakajima, ICL Brazil, S達o Jose Dos Campos

ICL Brazil Facts: Locations




Sao Jose dos Campos (SJC)



phosphates and food blends at SJC

Cajati and Sao Paulo

phosphoric acid and fertilizers at Cajati


S p o t L   g h t Change did not occur overnight. Several years ago, ICL’s South American business, led by Ricardo Neves, Vice President, ICL PP South America, took a long, hard look at the way it conducted business with its customers and realized that it needed to improve the way ICL was perceived by them. That meant re-orienting ICL Brazil’s activities from being product-led to customer-led. “We began to guide our decision making based on our customers’ expectations and to listen to our customers to meet their evolving needs,” says Neves. “For example, our customers wanted a single point of contact with ICL for all their suggestions, questions and comments”, says Stefano Kohlmann, Market Segment Manager. As a result, ICL Brazil began to personalize its services to its customers. “When you sell commodities,” says Stefano, “you worry mostly about commercial con-

Cielo I Transforms SJC

ditions, such as pricing and deadlines. But we were transitioning to specialty products. That required a much better understanding of our customers’ needs and current trends in the market so that we could offer them customized products. We became specialists. I’m convinced that the key to our future success will be based on understanding and responding to our customers’ specific, unmet needs.”

ner in SJC workers’ fight against lower back pain. In addition, ICL Brazil invested $800,000 to implement a 30% capacity expansion of the SJC plant’s calcium phosphate product, a critical element in ICL Food Specialties’ global growth strategy. Alan Fernandes, a process engineer at the site, says that the Cielo I project was vital for him and other employees. “Being hired by ICL



Where needs take us

ICL Brazil also focused on achieving cost efficiencies by consolidating its operations. Launching its “Cielo I” project in 2013, it ended a long-standing “host-guest” agreement that ICL had maintained with Monsanto at the SJC site. ICL Brazil assumed management control of the phosphate plant located on the site, and employed 31 of Monsanto’s employees. The effort resulted in a reduced cost structure and a lower tax burden for ICL. But that was only the beginning. ICL Brazil vastly improved internal processes at the SJC facility by investing $2.3 million in new packaging technology, including an industrial robot that workers affectionately call “Okudinha”, in honor of the Japanese automation engineer, Roberto Okuda. The new robot can pack up to five 25-kilo packages of product a minute and is a crucial part-

was a turning point that invigorated us to become more engaged in our work and enable us to propose our ideas and solutions”. Hiring the former Monsanto employees is good for ICL Brazil, as well, says Carlos Perizzotto, Plant Manager at SJC. “Our ‘new’ employees feel that we’re the right place for them to build their careers.”

Fosbrasil Creates Opportunities ICL Brazil then set about acquiring the remaining 56% of Fosbrasil that it did not own. Fosbrasil was a Brazilianbased producer of downstream phosphate-based products, including purified phosphoric acid for the food additives market and phosphate-based fertilizers in which ICL held a minority share. Says Djalma dePaiva, an ICL Brazil Accounting Manager who was involved in the purchase, “We acquired

all of Fosbrasil to enhance our position in phosphate-based, downstream products for the engineered materials and food additives markets. Owning all of it allows us to provide our customers with a broader line of phosphoric acids and phosphates, and it has also increased our customer support.” Fosbrasil was finally integrated into ICL Brazil in July 2015 after a lengthy regulatory process. Since then, ICL Brazil’s

Photos below, from top left: Roberto Bueno, Stefano Kohlmann and Alfredo Walter, Carlos Perizzotto, Arnaldo Sousa, “Okudinha” - the industrial yellow robot, Djalma de Paiva and Andressa Carravieri.

As part of the acquisition, ICL Brazil inherited a Fosbrasil plant located at Cajati that is engaged in the production of purified phosphoric acid. 25% of its production output serves as raw material for the SJC plant, says Cajati Plant Manager, Arnaldo Sousa. According to Sousa, Fosbrasil’s investment in technology and re-engineering at Cajati made it more competitive and profitable. One of its employees, Roberto Bueno, an ESH supervisor, is studying English so that he can expand his business network, better communicate with people around the world and become more involved in international projects. “We’re adapting to our new corporate culture and becoming familiar with ICL’s practices at its different sites, says Bueno. “We’re also preparing our plant for a Responsible Care 14001 quality certification, which will be adopted by all of ICL’s sites in the Americas by 2016.” ICL Brazil plans to establish a fertilizer

with people from different countries and cultures. “We can help to expand horizons and build structured careers,” says Adressa. Her own HR department migrated to a new office in São Paulo to increase the synergies between ICL Brazil’s and Fosbrasil’s HR employees. “Combining everyone in one office created a sense of unity, improved our internal culture and fostered a sense of belonging and partnership.”

operation at the Cajati site, says plant manager Arnaldo. “We’ve built a small factory to receive solid waste generated by our industrial processes, and we’re now extracting fertilizers as a byproduct. Nowadays, we’re striving to operate with zero waste, and I think this operation will serve as a benchmark for other ICL units. It has been an important element in structuring a fertilizer operation for ICL Brazil.”

Ricardo Neves, Vice President, ICL PP South America.

HR department has been working hard to create a smooth transition for its 90 employees. “It’s incredible how complimentary the abilities and talents of our respective employees are,” says Andressa Carravieri, HR Supervisor. She believes Fosbrasil’s employees’ integration into a large company like ICL represents a great opportunity for them because they have joined a global group and can benefit from working


Cielo II Makes Food a Focus Following up on its Cielo I project, ICL Brazil continued to pursue its focused strategy with Cielo II, a project to consolidate ICL PP’s Brazilian operations to make them more cost efficient, as well. ICL PP’s food blends production site at Sao Bernardo do Campo (SBC) is being transferred to the SJC site, and improvements are being made to its infrastructure and facilities to accommodate the move. When Quality Analyst Ana Paula Nakajima transferred from the SBC site to the SJC facility over a year ago, she didn’t imagine that someday all of her former colleagues would follow her to the new combined blending operation. “I can’t wait to work with them again side by side”, she says, happily. The move will result in logistics benefits, operational synergies and simplified processes, says Perizzotto, SJC’s Plant Manager. The Cielo II project included building a new applications laboratory and customer training area at SJC. The newly-opened lab includes separate work areas for customizing bakery, dairy and meat additives. “We’ve created this great space to invite commercial teams, customers and other visitors to our facility to demonstrate to them how our additives can be used to improve the production processes of sausages, ham and cheese, as well as their products’ taste, look and freshness,” says Alfredo Walter, Application Development Engineer. “The new facility also allows us to analyze samples with greater accuracy and to develop more customized solutions for our customers”. This is the new ICL Brazil: evolving to meet customer’s changing needs, working non-stop to create a modernized, cost-efficient operation, rapidly growing to produce everything from fertilizers to food additives, and bringing out the best in its employees.  ///



Where needs take us

Tadashi Sasaki

Operations Manager, Japan

“STEP BY STEP, LIKE IN A MARATHON” ICL’s positive reputation in Japan as a leading supplier of bromine and bromine compounds helps it to broaden its footprint in local industry

eepening the presence of ICL products in Japanese markets requires mostly patience and persistence – two qualities that aren’t foreign to Tadashi Sasaki, being the dedicated runner and a marathoner that he is. As a member of ICL's 21-person sales team based in Tokyo, he believes that demand for ICL’s products from all its segments will only increase in the future, whether for the engineered materials market: plastic, automotive and electronics, Food Specialties market or for the agriculture market - for Japan’s floral industry, the third largest in the world.


 Is there a particular sales etiquette that is unique to Japan? How do you mesh Japanese business practices with the global business culture? I don’t know if it is unique or not, but we Japanese emphasize politeness and good manners in our business dealings. For instance, we bow on many occasions and always add the word “san” after saying a person’s name, to be polite. “San” is similar to Mr. or Ms., but more personal. You can use “san” for either a male or female and you can use it as a first name. So, in my case, both Sasaki san and Tadashi san are OK. As far as meshing Japanese business practices with global business, I try to transmit not only language but also


Industrial Products

Tokyo, Japan

monomeric FRs, for instance, but polymeric FRs will eventually become more popular. They expect us to bring new sustainable products to the market.  What other ICL products do you sell in Japan? Our colleagues in the Food Specialties area are selling mainly blended phosphates for food applications, like dairy, meat, and bakery. They have begun conducting business in beverages and expect to be grow in that area in the near future. As for specialty fertilizers, Japan has a large market, because we are the world’s third largest producer of flowers. So there is room to grow in this market and we intend to penetrate it step by step.  As a marathon runner, do you find similarities between long distance running and conducting business? You should probably ask this question to a good runner. At my slow pace, it would take me way too long to conduct business. But, as a tortoise-like runner, I’d think there’s at least one similarity: without taking all the necessary steps, you cannot cross the finish line.  ///

Operations Manager Married



University: Bachelor’s degree of business

Tokyo, Japan \\\ With

ICL since 2012

each culture’s way of thinking and ideas. It’s not always easy. You need a lot of patience to communicate between different cultures.  What kind of reputation do ICL products have in Japan? We have a reputation as the number one supplier of bromine and its compounds. However, we have competition from two American suppliers as well as a domestic one.  To what kind of Japanese industries

do you sell ICL’s flame retardants (FR)? We sell FRs mainly to the plastics industry who use them for electric and electronics and automotive applications.  Are Japanese customers as concerned about environmental issues as are the Europeans? Japanese customers are very concerned about environmental issues. But they usually follow trends in Europe and the US. They are still using

One more thing: “I like sports and began running 8 years ago. I’ve completed a full marathon four times. I’m not a good runner, but I enjoy it. I’m hoping to run a fifth marathon this November, but I’m afraid I may not be able to finish it because I’ve got a backache now… I lived in Australia for one and a half years after leaving my first job 25 years ago and worked as a tour guide. I liked Australia’s outdoors and enjoyed taking care of people. This experience might be useful for my current job… customers are sometimes a bit selfish like tourists.”


Miri Mishor

 enior Vice President, Global IT S Organization, Israel

IT “

is Now ”

ICL’s Global IT organization unveils a new suite of advanced tools for improved communications between employees

y now, many employees at ICL can enjoy the company’s new “OneScope” IT infrastructure, an important enabler for ICL’s “ONE ICL” strategy and Harmonization efforts. Its new Office 365 cloud email system is easy to use and global teams are already working on the same documents together and communicating through Skype for Business and WebEx. Global IT has also introduced “MyIT”, a web-based user interface that provides a unified platform for requesting IT Infrastructure services and application support. Miri Mishor, Head of Global IT, discusses these and other changes that are transforming ICL into a company on the cutting edge of IT. 


SVP, ICL Global IT

  When you began working for ICL many years ago, did you ever imagine that one day you’d be responsible for establishing a Global IT organization for a company with operations worldwide? Not really, but in retrospect, many of my previous positions prepared me for it. Over the years, I’ve served as CIO of ICL IP, VP IT of ICL F and as head of ICL’s IT Center of Excellence. Working with ICL’s segments gave me



Where needs take us

broad exposure to different processes and solutions used across the organization, in many cases for the same needs. This helped me to understand the vital importance of creating one unified IT and appreciate the advantages that it will bring to ICL.  Global IT is all about communicating remotely between distant locations, but you still need to fly all over the world for your job, don’t you? Remote IT solutions, such as WebEx

Married +3


B.Sc in Computer

Science and MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva Israel \\\ With ICL since 1984

One more thing: I was born in Santiago, Chile, and came to Israel with my family when I was 7 years old. I speak Spanish and love to cook South American food, so if you want to eat the best empanadas in Beer Sheva, you are welcome to my house.

Global IT

Beer Sheva, Israel

Advantages of ICL’s OneScope Insfrastructure: “I can better manage my time by seeing the Lync availability of my co-workers in different parts of world when I need to schedule a discussion or meeting with them.

Skype for business

“I can quickly send a chat question to my co-workers and receive a fast

response instead of logging up my email inbox.” “I can now store huge amounts of files & emails, and share them with my co-workers in other parts of ICL. Since the data is being stored in the “cloud” I can be secure it is protected and backed up.”

“MyIT Portal enables me to request help from the IT service desk in a standardized way” “It’s easy and fast to set up the SharePoint collaboration tool for my team and our projects.”

and Skype for Business, connect us one to another, but as a leader of a global organization, there are times when I need to have face to face interaction with my team members on their own home turf. I believe my presence at different ICL locations also helps me to better understand their different business needs and identify the IT initiatives that can add value to diverse businesses.  The new infrastructure will include Office 365 email, Skype for Business, network bandwidth and improved security systems and storage. How long will it take for everyone in the company to benefit from these new tools? It is all happening. I admit that the complex migration process has been a challenge and has placed pressure on our team, but we have received good feedback from users. People at most sites have become familiar with the new tools within a few days and are utilizing its solutions more regularly.  How was your Global IT group able to undertake such an important change process while maintaining business as usual? This has really been one of our most challenging tasks. Our main goal has been to ensure that manufacturing, marketing, and global functions continue their activities, undisturbed. From their point of view, IT services should remain as is and we’ve had to carefully balance the development and implementation of our new harmonized applications and infrastructure with the need to maintain business as usual. It is challenging, and I’m well aware that we still face a few hiccups in our service levels. However, I can assure you that our IT colleagues are investing a lot of time and effort to provide the best service we can to support both our new and legacy systems. We continuously to learn and work hard to improve ourselves so that all of ICL’s employees and managers will receive the best service we can provide.  How is Global IT supporting the Wave 1 implementation of new Harmonized SAP applications at ICL UK and ICL EU?


I recently came back from the Go Live in ICL UK and ICL EU and we were all excited by the historic moment of the first Go Live of the Harmonization system. Global IT was part of the business team and led the technical and the infrastructure teams of Harmonization. The Harmonization project, headed by Amir Benita, began the Go Live process after many months of working closely with local and regional senior management, preparing them for the change and training their employees how to deal with the new applications and processes. I am proud that the IT team played a part in making Harmonize Wave 1 a success. We look forward to working closely together with the Harmonization project team in the coming waves. It’s a great opportunity to thank our dedicated users, the Harmonization project team and leadership, our partners, IBM and ATOS, and of course, our Global IT application, infrastructure and service teams, for making Harmonize wave a success.  Where does Global IT go from here? Our transition from ICL’s old decentralized organization to a unified global IT isn’t a one-time event, but an ongoing process. It is a huge undertaking that involves implementing new applications and harmonized systems to support ICL’s business units and the company’s shared services. It includes creating a new communications infrastructure with collaboration tools like One Scope, and building a global data center, as well as a highly responsive “Service Desk” for ICL employees throughout the world, to mention just a few of our activities. Our goal is to provide best-in-class IT services to the entire organization, and we’re dedicated to achieving that goal. We will continue to build a robust and highly professional IT community where there are no geographical boundaries or different languages, where we share the same culture and terminology and are committed to achieving the same goals. ///



Where needs take us

Dr. Sergei Levchik

Director R&D, New York, USA

“IGNITING THE IMAGINATION” In addition to investing in next-generation products and technologies, ICL is also helping to nurture a new generation of scientists

ergei Levchik will never forget his high school chemistry teacher in the former Soviet Union. Thanks to her, he was able to attend the Belarus Republican Chemical Olympiads where he won several prizes. Today, as Director of Research & Development at ICL’s research facility in Ardsley, New York, and as a mentor in an apprentice program developed by ICL IP America, Levchik is leading the students he is mentoring to scientific achievements of their own.


 What makes you most proud of ICL when you are showing kids around the company? ICL may be a global company, but most of the kids around here never heard of us before they speak with us. We tell them how involved ICL is in so many areas that are vital for humanity, such as flame retardants. They see how flame retardants save lives and that gives them an incentive to conduct research in this area.  How does the mentoring program work? Typically, we take on one or two high school students from local schools who work at our R&D center during their summer break. We also support a summer high school program at nearby Stony Brook University. We provide students in the program with advice and send them ICL products with which they

can conduct research. Some of their experiments are also performed at our Ardsley lab where the students are supervised by our additional mentors, Dr. Andrew Piotrowski and Dr. Seognchan Pack. At the end of the summer, the students give presentations on their research.  Some of the teams you have coached have won regional contests based on research they conducted

R&D ICL IP America married Chemistry


PhD in Croton on Hudson,

NY, USA \\\ With ICL since 2007

One more thing: Before joining the corporate world, I was a Professor at University of Belarus and then the University of Torino, Italy, so teaching and mentoring students isn’t new to me.


Industrial Products

in flame retardants. Did they discover something? Two of our high school kids, Christian Abraham and TJ Hurd, spent their 2013 and 2014 summers in our lab. They discovered that phosphate-based flame retardants penetrate inside halloysite nanotubes which, in simple language, means that they allow the slow release of flame retardants. They won a bronze medal at the International Sustainable World Projects Olympiad and were semi-finalists at the Siemens Competition and finalists at the Intel Engineering Fair. Not bad!  Is ICL allowed to use the results of the students’ research? We can use the data that our students

ICL America - Ardsley, New York, USA

produce at Ardsley, but we don’t own the research. However, we can always license it if we need to.  How much supervision do you need to give the students? Any of them ever (accidently) set fire to one of their high school or ICL labs? (Laughs) No! That’s because before doing lab work they undergo a lab safety orientation and training similar to any new ICL employee.  You must love kids. Are they easier to teach than managing adults? I really do love them. It’s easier to teach them because they’re so eager to learn. But in terms of managing them, well, let’s just say that adults need a whole lot less supervision.  Did you have a mentor when you

Christian Abraham and TJ Hurd - High school summer interns at ICL IP Ardsley were regional finalists in the Siemens Competition for their research on flame retardants.

were in high school? Yes, I had a chemistry teacher named Elena Kirpicheva who spent a lot of time with me. As a result, I won a few Belarus Republican Chemical Olympiads and participated in the USSR National Olympiads.  Have any of the kids you’ve coached gone on to work at ICL? I'm still waiting… ///


A Day in the Life

Jessica Xue

Project Engineer on Bronopol Project

JX ICL, Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China

06:30 In the morning, I eat a healthy breakfast with my husband while listening to the news, then tidy our apartment and read the newspapers or some professional material.

08:00 I drive to JXICL, hoping that I won’t get stuck in traffic and will get to the plant on time.

08:30 After meeting with personnel from the construction company that is developing the Bronopol project at our plant in China, I go out to the field to check on the project’s schedule and the quality of work. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Chemical Equipment so I feel fortunate that I can put what I have learned in the university into practice.



10:30 The construction company always asks questions about the design of the plant and the design firm usually requires field information for input into the design. I’m the contact person between the workers in the field and the design firm which enables me to communicate with engineers from different disciplines every day. Dealing with a variety of people is a very enjoyable part of my work.

12:00 Usually I have lunch together with colleagues from my department in the company cafeteria. We discuss work and also chat about the latest news.

Where needs take us

13:00 It’s time to archive. We always need to record and distribute daily documents. I also spend time preparing documents for government offices to obtain different types of permits for the construction project.

15:30 Another round of field work to check on the project’s schedule and work quality. I try to discover and solve problems during my field work duty. I then need to write a daily work summary. Sometimes I don’t have enough time to complete it, so I have to bring the work home.

18:00 After stopping to buy some vegetables in the market, I prepare dinner for my husband and myself. Once in a while, we make dinner together. After dinner, I usually take a walk for a half hour around my neighborhood. I believe that an active lifestyle will keep me healthy.

20:00 The happiest time of day for me is my video chat with my three-year old son who is currently being taken care of by my in-laws in another province. He will live together with us next year. He is such a happy boy and loves to play!

21:00 Before going to bed, I check my email again, and sometimes prepare reports or documents for the next day.




Environmental Responsibility Tzachi Mor Assistant to Executive VP & COO Single

Following years of preparation and negotiations, nearly 200 countries came to an agreement at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) held in Paris in December which aims to limit the rise in global temperature by reducing the countries’ carbon footprints. The conference placed squarely back in focus the global discussion of the climate change issue which for years has been one of the core elements in ICL’s strategy of sustainability. “Within global industry,” say Tzachi Mor and Roy Weidberg – one serving as the chief editor and person responsible for producing ICL’s annual report

39 BA and

MA in Economics Tel Aviv, Israel \\\ With ICL since 2009


on corporate responsibility, and the other the company’s sustainability and carbon footprint coordinator – “ICL has repeatedly proven its leadership in the struggle against greenhouse gas emissions, and in 2014 was even included in the exclusive list of companies leading the world-wide efforts in this field.” ICL’s remarkable achievements in the area of climate change prove, beyond all doubt, that sustainability is a part of our DNA. 42


Where needs take us

ICL Headquarters

Tel Aviv & Be’er Sheva, Israel

in sustainability Roy Weidberg Carbon Footprint and Sustainability Coordinator


Married + newborn boy B.Sc. in Environmental Engineering Tel Aviv, Israel \\\ With ICL since 2010

One more thing: I’m a member of a playback theater group (that performs improvisations based on personal stories from the audience).




Environmental Responsibility

ICL’s Global Map of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction

 You deal with various aspects of sustainability in the organization. Are you yourselves “green”? Tzachi: The truth is that until my current posiiton at ICL I wasn’t exposed to the issue of sustainability or to its profound implications on ICL’S activities and on us as individuals. I began working as an economist at ICL six years ago, and in 2013 I was appointed as Assistant to the Executive VP & COO, Mr. Asher Grinbaum, who is responsible, among other things, for the area of sustainability and environment in the company. Among my roles, I am responsible for producing ICL’s corporate responsibility report, and there is no doubt that this complex task has increased my sensitivity and awareness to the environment in general. Roy: For me it began earlier…I was a member of a Nahal youth group of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, and I continued to study environmental engineering at the Technion. Even today, I “take my work home” in the sense that I try to apply values of sustainability in my private life. I try to separate garbage and recycleable materials, limit our energy and water use, and purchase products that weren’t tested on animals. I recently placed a compost bin for organic waste in the yard of my building, and I discovered that my neighbors also use it occasionally.   Regarding our subject: when we talk about a “carbon footprint” we are referring to the responsibility of an entity for damage to the earth from greenhouse gas emissions resulting from its activities. Before we speak about ICL, can you explain what kind of damage results from these emissions? Roy: In the global scientific community there is a concensus that human activity, i.e. massive emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and primarily carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,



Where needs take us

ICL US Lawrence: Technological upgrade of steam, heat and light recovery systems, to increase energy savings.

ICL US Ontario: Integration of a bromine-based energy accumulating battery in October 2015, enabling the effective management and reduction of electricity usage. ICL US Gallipolis Ferry: Integrating a state-of-theart central cooling unit in production processes which has significantly reduced cooling gas leakage.

is the principle cause of the climate changes that we have been experiencing in recent decades. In most areas around the world significant rises have been recorded in average temperatures and in the frequency of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, storms or extended droughts. Additional and alarming side effects to these changes are melting icebergs, changes in lifestyles of flora and fauna, the re-appearance of diseases such as malaria, and others. There is also a concern that climate change will, in the future, result in rising sea levels, making large areas of land unsuitable for human life. In fact, climate

ICL Iberia: Reducing energy losses in fluid bed dryers and pumps using technological improvements.

ICL Mexico Nuevo Leon: Improving insulation and upgrading lighting and compressed air systems to reduce energy usage.

change today already is one of the causes of massive waves of migration from certain parts of Africa and other continents, because of the inability to engage in traditional agriculture in many increasingly-arid areas. Tzachi: Without the extensive and coordinated action by all governments and large comanies around the world to significantly reduce their global greenhouse gas emissions, these phenomena will just increase. The world expects companies like ICL to prove their determination in the fight against climate change, so we made greenhouse gas management a central issue in ICL’s policy of sustainibility from

ICL UK Nutberry: Examining the possibility of installing wind turbines at the plant as a source of reneweble energy.

ICL the Netherlands Heerlen: • Integrating an innovative cooling system that re-uses heat energy from combustion processes. •S  ubsidizing the purchase of bicycles for employees to reduce the use of private cars.

ICL Haifa SF BU, Israel: Integrating an innovative system that has resulted in a reduction of about 60% in Nitrous Oxide emissions per tonne of produced Nitric Acid.

ICL Germany Ladenburg: Operating a new co-generation facility in 2014, producing electricity and steam in a combined, productive process, saving energy and reducing emissions.

ICL China Shandong and Jiaxing: Full calculation of the carbon footprint of two ICL IP products in 2013 – for the first time at ICL plants in China. ICL Rotem, Israel: Strategic transition of the large majority of installations from the combustion of heavy fuel oil to natural gas. Transition to using external electricity mostly from the natural gas-based private power plant, OPC Rotem.

ICL Dead Sea: Massive reduction of ~ 1 million tonnes CO2e ,in the magnesium site, by switching from using SF6 gas to the much less-harmful HFC134a gas, as a cover gas in magnesium production.

its earliest days. We are obligated to prove – and we do prove – that we not only talk, but act.  Where do greenhouse gas emissions come from at ICL and what can we do to reduce them? Roy: More than half of the greenhouse gas emissions at ICL derive directly from fuel combustion at company facilities, and mainly from ICL’s power station at the Dead Sea. Direct emissions also result from chemical processes at ICL’s various plants, primarily emissions of CO2 from the acidulation of phosphate rock at ICL Rotem, which is an unavoidable part of the production process there. In

addition, large amounts of indirect emissions result from using externally produced electricity. Other, but much smaller, amounts of emissions result from the use of cooling gases and vehicles, waste treatment, water consumption and treatment, and even from flights taken by company employees. ICL works extensively to reduce its emissions, and the greatest opportunities to do so are energy related (see map). Changes to chemical production processes can also result in a significant reduction of certain greenhouse gas emissions.  What is ICL’s position in this regard in comparison to similar companies

Well done to ICL! Recently, the 2015 CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) scores were published and ICL was awarded a disclosure score of 99 (out of 100) for its report, which is among the top 120 scores (or top 6%) of all global companies in 2015. ICL’s score is also tied for second-best among global fertilizer-producing companies, and is the highest disclosure score ever achieved by a Israel-based company. Due to ICL’s efforts to reduce its GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, the company has achieved one of the top two CDP performance scores (A or B) for the past five years. 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.




Environmental Responsibility

around the world? Tzachi: ICL has reduced its absolute emissions by 35% in only six years! This is an extraordinary achievement for a large industrial company. ICL has also calculated the carbon footprint of more than 60 of its leading products through a significant investment of resources – much more than what is acceptible by other industrial companies. As a company whose main activities are located in Israel, ICL is considered an Israeli leader in the struggle against climate change and was one of the first companies to report its greenhouse gas emissions to the voluntary mechanism established by Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection. Utilizing the experience we’ve accumulated over the years, we even provided assistance in developing the reporting methodologies.  ICL establishes its own reduction targets and, therefore, at times “makes things more difficult” for itself, even when the regulatory authority doesn’t demand it. Is this something demanded by our customers? Roy: Absolutely. ICL began to develop the methodology back in 2008 in order to minimize its greenhouse gas emissions before it was required by the regulators, according to a ‘Beyond Compliance’ policy related to the environment and sustainability. Today, as a leading global company, our stakeholders – customers, investors and regulators – also demand that we measure the carbon footprint of our sites and our products and to prove that we are continously reducing our emissions. We are happy to say that, to date, we have succeeded in meeting these demands, and even



Where needs take us

exceeding them.  One can see that in recent years ICL has won prizes and recognition, not only for its success in reducing emissions, but also for its reporting. What is so important about reporting? Tzachi: The basic rule in sustainability is “what gets measured, gets managed.” This rule proves itself time and time again – the actual need for public and reliable reporting in various fields requires continuous improvement in the ongoing measurement and management of operations and

strengthens the actions and coordination corporate-wide.  What are ICL’s next challenges in reporting? Roy: Recently, a heading of a newspaper article about sustainability at ICL declared that “corporate responsilibity at ICL has passed the point of no return,” and we agree with this claim. Sustainability is a never-ending race: the bar is constantly being raised and there’s always room for improvement. We definitely detect a continuous change from year to year in our stakeholders’ attitudes to ICL’s sustainability activities and their appreciation for our high levels of transparency. As part of this activity, we provide assistance to the School of

Sustainability at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, of which ICL is a founder, and help student groups with their graduation projects in the area of sustainability. One of our main challenges in the coming year is deploying and inplementing a new sustainability reporting IT system, known as “SoFi”, in all ICL companies around the world. Its successful deployment will enable us to signficantly reduce the data collection burden on our many reporting parties, streamline the production of internal and external reports, and improve the quality of our data, its level of documentation and availability, and our ability to increase its transparency to the public.  What gives you professional pride? Roy: To witness the long-term improvements in our operations, our reports and our coordination of processes between all areas of sustainability at ICL – and to feel good about my contribution to this process. Amongst others, I’m very proud of the high grades we are consistently awarded by the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) for our reports which I am responsible for writing. Tzachi: Our 2014 corporate responsibility report was the first to include data on a global level and I am very proud that I was able to produce it. But mostly, I am proud that we’re not stagnating, but constantly trying to improve and upgrade -significantly expand the external validation processes that we initiated, improve our global coordination and enhance the awareness of sustainability among our suppliers, as well. I firmly stand behind our slogan that we will go anywhere where needs take us! ///

The Ethics Corner

Giving and Receiving Gifts & Entertainment

Gift Giving – Getting it Right

Are you giving or receiving a gift or entertainment?

Message from ICL’s – Vice President, ICL Global Compliance ICL is an ethical company that obeys the laws of the countries in which we operate. None of us wants to give or receive a gift or entertainment which could be perceived as an illegal bribe. However, understanding the laws and regulations about gifts and entertainment in the business world can be confusing and intimidating. Last year, we created the ICL Gift & Entertainment Policy to outline ICL’s rules on giving and receiving gifts & entertainment. You should have already received a copy of the policy. We receive many questions on what is permissible under this policy. I hope this Ethics Corner helps you better understand what is permissible and/or requires approval when giving or receiving gifts & entertainment as an employee of ICL.


This policy does not apply to this situation

Is it cash or in direct exchange for a business advantage? Yes

 Do I have to get approval under the Gift & Entertainment Policy to take a customer to dinner? No. Providing a reasonable business meal to a customer or accepting a business meal from a vendor does not require approval under this policy; however you should make sure to follow your manager’s guidelines in this area.


You can never give a gift of cash, or any gift or entertainment in order to get a business advantage


Is the recipient currently evaluating a business decision involving the giver’s company?

Heather K. Luther, Chief Compliance Officer

FAQ  Do I need to get approval to give a wedding present over $50 to my friend who also works for a customer of ICL? If you have a longstanding personal friendship formed outside work, and your friend happens to also works for our customer, then a wedding gift would not be considered a business gift under the ICL Gift & Entertainment Policy and thus, no approval is required.




 At an industry conference that I attended, I won a randomly selected raffle for a $200 gift card. Can I keep it? Since it is worth over $50 and was obtained in the course of your job with ICL you need to obtain approval to keep it.

Employees involved with a current business decision should not give or receive gifts or entertainment with affected parties during the decision making process

 What should I do if at a business meeting I am presented a gift that clearly requires approval under our policy? Do I need to reject it at the meeting? You will have to use your business judgment at the time of whether you can politely decline the gift without offending your host, or whether it is best to bring the gift to your manager to figure out what to do with it.

1. If a gift – is it under $50 in value? 2. If for entertainment – is it under $100 in value, or a reasonable business meal?


Is the gift or entertainment to a government official?



1. Fill out approval form 2. Get approval from a VP or higher 3. Turn approved form in to Regional Compliance Officer



No special approval is required.

Is it legal in the applicable country to give a gift or entertainment to a gov’t official? No


You should always act in accordance with the law of the country where you are acting.


Is the gift or entertainment to the government official over $50 in value? No

If you have questions about ICL’s Gift & Entertainment Policy please contact Heather Luther, ICL's VP of Global Compliance or your Regional Compliance Officer: Mischa Menheere, Europe, • Ellen Chen, Asia, • Heather Luther, Americas, compliance. • Amir Meshulam, Israel & Africa,

1. Fill out approval form 2. Get approval from VP or higher and your Regional Compliance Officer 3. Submit approval form to Regional Compliance Officer


ICL’s policy prohibits gifts or entertainment to government officials over $50 in value.



Lab n’ Life

Dr. Ute Höötmann Head of Microbiology Lab, Ludwigshafen, ICL Germany

Just another Manic Monday




Where needs take us

styling the hair of my eldest. Wet his hair, apply foam, blowdry, apply gel… while all along my desk keeps calling for me more and more audibly. Time to hit the road to my office. Last opportunity for the usual words of advice: are school bags properly packed? Got everything? Be careful! Kisses, hugs, waving… and I’m on my way. Unfortunately, the holidays seem to be over for all the other commuters towards Ludwigshafen, as well, and they are all on their way at the same time. I’m probably going to be a little late today. Upon arrival at the plant I’m in for a surprise: access to the lab building is now controlled by a scanning device and my ID card hasn’t been updated to the latest standard. So I have to ring at my own door. This thing with activating the door opener via telephone doesn’t seem to be working as it should, and I am forced to wait outside for a while. But then… It was Iris who finally opened the door for me, albeit in the old-fashioned style, which means walking down three flights of stairs and opening the door by hand. Iris is the longest-serving colleague in our lab, been here for forty years and once referred to as the ‘figurehead of microbiology’ by a long-retired colleague. For forty years she has been going in and out of our venerable lab. Iris has experienced so much here already, has seen so many people come and go, and witnessed how new ideas came up and died down again (in cycles of seven to ten years) with the result that she has taken on an attitude of imperturbability. All the others are already there, too. Even if it is Monday and the first day after the holidays at that, it is still somehow nice and feels like coming home. If only I hadn’t thought that aloud! Want to read more about this chaotic day? Details in the next issue. ///

Illustrations: Ayala Tal

e do know with some certainty: it is going to pass! When the alarm clock is ringing at five thirty on a Monday morning, however, this knowledge is of a rather theoretical nature. The aggravating factor today is that school holidays are over. Not that everything was all that easy during holiday time. Like all working parents of school children, my husband, Peter, and I keep asking ourselves whether, all in all, children have more holidays or more school days. We are lucky enough to live in an urban center where there is a copious supply of holiday entertainment… even though some of the events involve rather annoying hand-in times and pick-up places. Be that as it may, today we are back to everyday life. Our children, 14-year-old Kai and 12-year-old Katja, have taken to a very inconvenient sleeping pattern during the holidays which is why at this time of day they remain in a state of near-syncopal rigor. I start with Kai, which is usually easier, and he actually leaps to his feet: “Mum? If someone wakes up after a hundred years of sleep will he be all blind and unable to move?” Oh, not again! I fob him off with a brief: “Possibly, but most people don’t tend to sleep for a hundred years.” A discussion about Sleeping Beauty seems too time-consuming right now. Then, take a deep breath and initiate the ever so much more difficult process of waking up Katja: First, talk to her in a low voice, then stroke her arm, shake her gently, shake her a little less gently, shake her vigorously, finally pull away the duvet… The mother-daughter relationship is put to the test already this early in the morning. While Kai is about to throw on the clothes which he has been wearing for over a week now, Katja is beginning to iron dry her favorite pair of pants with the torn knees without which life seems not worth living to her these days. Of course, it is I who is entrusted with

Home is where you’re needed

Dror Tevet VP Business Development, ICL Specialty Fertilizers

Sweet Holidays "Eleven of November is the day that my light may burn" "Saint, Saint Maarten,  cows have tails and heads Give me an apple or a pear  and I will never come again."


What, on earth, are these songs?” you’re probably asking. For my children, these songs are like a password or secret code: this is what they are supposed to be singing, in Dutch, of course, on November 11, as they knock on the doors of our neighbors, hoping to be treated to a sweet or two (or ten). They may not understand all the words, but who cares as long as there’s a treat waiting for you at the end of the song? An hour later, each child (there are four of them in our family, ages 5 to 11) is carrying a bag filled with sweets that could suffice until November 11 of next year. “This is way too much,” I hear my wife muttering, and as a responsible adult, I must agree with her. To mitigate the damage and the enormity of the disaster, my wife and I go on a secret sweets-hiding mission: we load the top shelves of the kitchen cabinets which are out of children reach; we crawl into the backs of a forsaken clothes cabinet, all the while gradually getting rid of the sugary items, in the Salami Technique, hoping the kids have not taken precise inventory of their treasure. Recycling is an option too: we were able to eliminate a significant amount of sweets by giving them to other children who sang us the St. Martin’s song, promising not to knock on our door again. But November 11th is nothing compared with October 31st, which much to our surprise, took place just a few days earlier. Halloween is hardly ever celebrated in the Netherlands, but the lively American community in the international school my children attend is not aware of this useless fact. Every year, the word is out that Halloween is on and we are subjected to the same principle: knock on doors (this time

only the ones posting a balloon) and recite the password (“Trick or Treat”). Despite the subtle cultural differences, the outcome is identical: another massive bag about to burst with sweets and another saving program for the dental treatments each child will need. So there we are, a Jewish family after two sweets-laden Christian holidays. By now I am convinced that the saints are indeed important figures. St. Martin, for example, was born in 316 AD and was known to support children and help the elderly. Admittedly, I did not even know St. Martin existed until 18 months ago, when we relocated to the Netherlands. After all, we have enough of our own saints, Moses the Prophet, our forefather Abraham and Elijah the Prophet. This did not prevent us from developing a friendly relationship with St. Martin, an honorable member of the order of saints that our kids adore. When you’re away from home, there’s no escaping missing your wider family, especially during the holiday season. The Jewish tradition is very fond of festive, multi-participant feasts with tables that offer the best of every kitchen. The incessant holiday dining is accompanied by the collective “festive atmosphere” which means endless vacations for all, willingly-deserted offices, family trips across the country and reunions with old friends. So, there you are, missing home during the holiday but only until you remember you actually have the best of both worlds: the old holidays you brought with you from your homeland and the local holidays to break the routine. It is November 11th, 19:30. Everyone is home now, preparing to go to bed. Every child is holding onto his/her sweets bag and the trading day opens: “Yours is really awesome: you got two Kit-Kats and I didn’t get any;” “Give me a Mars snack and I’ll give you three marshmallows.” An hour later we wish Sweet Dreams to our sweet children, realizing tonight the wishes for sweetness have good chances of becoming true… To be continued. ///


A Casual Meeting with the Boss

A Riverside Picnic B

oth have a command of many languages, but they share one mother tongue. Both travel throughout the world, but, nevertheless, try to balance career and family. Both actively engage in sports, and challenges don’t frighten either of them. Agnes Schier, Global Key Account Manager at ICL Food Specialties, and Stefan Borgas, ICL’s CEO, recently met at the inauguration of the new analytics laboratory in Ladenburg, Germany. Earlier that day, they took advantage of a break in the rain for a quick riverside picnic.

Stefan: We’re about to inaugurate an advanced laboratory that represents a microcosm of mankind’s achievements and technological innovation, and here we are sitting in nature untouched by man. I’m always amazed by these sharp contrasts. Agnes: That’s interesting. I must admit that it takes me time to get used to the quiet here. I’m more of a ‘city mouse’ myself. I grew up in Berlin, and lived in Switzerland, Münster, Jena and Hamburg, and I'm still not used to the tranquility and the vast open spaces. I miss the commotion, hustle and diversity of the big city. What’s it like for you? Do you miss Germany? Stefan: Like you, I’ve moved around a lot – Germany, Switzerland, the US, Ireland, China, Israel. I like being a ‘citizen of the world’, but I feel the most comfortable when chatting in my mother tongue. Apropos language, I heard that in addition to your German mother tongue you speak English, French, Spanish and Arabic. That’s remarkable! Did you always have a knack for languages or is it because of



Where needs take us

your work requirements? Agnes: I'm very fond of languages and it's a great asset in my job, which involves coordinating and enhancing the business relationships, projects and sales initiatives of four global key accounts in the dairy segment of ICL’s Food Specialties: Lactalis, Danone, BEL and Savencia. Based on information I gather from colleagues around

the world, I create a comprehensive picture of each account, and analyze its structure, objectives and strategy to ensure they are synergetic with ICL, which provides them with integrated solutions. This requires teamwork on all levels, understanding customer

needs and good communication skills. It certainly helps if I can do this in more than one language. Stefan: I see someone has put a dressing with some of our ingredients in our picnic basket. But this isn’t part of your specific area of work, is it? Agnes: Well, we’re always working to change the perception of ICL as not only a supplier of phosphates used in emulsifying salts for processed cheese, but also as an innovative and integrated solution provider that covers the entire range of dairy products – including salad dressings. The process we underwent with Lactalis in this respect was an interesting one. It involved extensive meetings with purchasing, R&D and Ingredients’ representatives, as well as with technical experts from ICL to create this shift in recognition. Stefan: That's impressive! Are you familiar with all of ICL Food Specialties’ products? Agnes: Certainly not, there are too many of them, and I need to keep an eye on the other segments as well in order not to miss opportunities. Generally, I could benefit from a greater awareness of ICL. Since I joined the company in December 2014, I've been meeting with colleagues from around the globe, which is professionally enriching. But to achieve a true “One ICL”, it is essential to develop personal relationships with teams across the globe. Wouldn't a structured internal exchange program create more intensive exchanges and foster a “One ICL” mentality? Stefan: ICL already offers a variety of

successful career development plans and professional development for employees. For example, every year we invest around $14 million to advance and support the relocation of around 40 employees, part of which amount is dedicated to a worker exchange program related to various projects lasting several months, and part of which is for long term projects lasting 4 or 5 years. We also acknowledge the need to support young talent within ICL. An internationally mobile and flexible generation has different needs and requirements, and a global ICL will respond to this. HR is working on the development of concrete measures and training programs. Talented employees require support and paths for promotion, now more than ever, since so many young people have

been hired. If my impression is correct that you like challenges, I hope that you’ll plan your future with us. Agnes: I certainly like challenges and have strong aspirations, but the truth is that my greatest challenge these days is being away from my fiancé. He’s a medical technologist in Hamburg, so when I'm not travelling, I am constantly commuting between Mannheim and Hamburg. Stefan: We both agree that today’s world and global economy requires greater flexibility. But developing one’s career and caring for a family don’t have to be mutually exclusive. On the contrary, I believe that given the right mind set, one can manage to do both, even in different locations. But it does require a well-developed work-life balance.

Agnes: Basically, I agree, but it’s a lot easier in theory than in practice. Being determined and ambitious, I think that one’s first several years in a company are decisive in shaping one’s professional future. So a shift in focus from private to work life seems inevitable. Stefan: If you ask me, the first step to work-life balance is taking your holidays seriously! Start with that. The rest will take care of itself.  ///

WANT TO MEET ICL’S CEO? If you also have an interesting life story, hobby or job that you’d like to share with ICL’s CEO (and our other readers), please write to us and we’ll try to set up a casual meeting between you:


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ICL Eng winter 2016  
ICL Eng winter 2016