ICL’s history begins in the early 20th century with the first efforts to extract minerals from the Dead Sea in Israel’s South. After Israel’s independence in 1948, the extraction of minerals from the Dead Sea carried on with the establishment of Dead Sea Works Ltd. as a state-owned company in the early fifties. During the same period, several other state-owned companies were created to extract minerals from the Negev Desert and transform them into chemical products. Over the years, many of these companies were joined to become today’s ICL (Israel Chemicals Ltd.). The company has also grown into a global entity through organic growth and acquisitions throughout the world.
Today, ICL is a global powerhouse in fertilizers and specialty chemicals with production activities located in Israel, Europe, the US, South America and China, and a worldwide marketing and logistics network. Nearly 50% of our sales derive from products manufactured outside of Israel, demonstrating the geographical diversity of our operations. We have expanded our global presence in established markets such as North America and Europe, as well as in targeted emerging regions, such as China, India and Brazil. Our expansion has also resulted from our acquisitions and the establishment of regional centers and joint ventures with strong, local partners. By focusing on products that contribute to the world’s long-term sustainability, we believe that we are enhancing our positioning in markets with strong long-term growth potential.
In parallel, during the past decade we have increased our investment in the safety of our operations while reducing our environmental footprint. For example, all of our segments have adopted the principles of Responsible Care, the global chemical industry’s initiative to drive continuous improvement in its performance according to health, safety and environmental (HSE) parameters. With the goal of sharing “best practices” between business units, we have also established Centers of Excellence in a broad variety of operational areas, including R&D, HR, Safety, Accounting/Finance and others.
As we move forward, we are committed to managing our business in ways that lead to sustainable growth, and to making ICL one of the world’s leading companies in environmental protection and corporate responsibility.
Among ICL’s activities in China in the areas of fertilizers, water treatment, food additives, hygiene and disinfection products and flame retardants are five joint ventures (“JVs”) with Chinese firms. These include a JV between ICL Performance Products business unit, BK Guilini, and YTH Group for the production of phosphate-based food additives in Kunming, Yunnan province, and a JV between ICL Industrial Products’ Sino-Brom Compounds Co. with Haihua Group for the production of flame retardants and inorganic bromines in Weifang, Shandong Province.