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10 September 2021
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ICL Services and the environment

Protecting the environment is no longer a fashionable trend but rather a pressing need without which our planet, or rather, our species, may not be able to cope with climate and environmental disasters. It’s good to know that more and more companies are joining environmental protection initiatives and making their contribution to environmental protection efforts. ICL Services and its staff are at the forefront of environmental initiatives and are adopting green practices at work and at home in earnest.
On the way to achieving sustainable development goals
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Environmental protection at the global level is carefully coordinated strategic work. On 25 September 2015, the UN General Assembly identified 17 sustainable development goals to transform our planet, 5 of which directly aim to protect the environment.

ICL Services employees actively support the implementation of such goals as responsible production and consumption, combatting climate change, preservation of land ecosystems and others. The company’s corporate portal and social media pages feature educational publications about what these goals are and what contribution every employee can make. Activists are increasingly getting together into initiative groups, sharing success stories and ideas about new environmental initiatives. After the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, most communications went online, but that only added more activists to existing communities.

The company has issued special pass ribbons featuring the symbols of one of the sustainable development goals to raise awareness of sustainable development among staff. An employee can pick which sustainable development goal they like better and choose a ribbon representative of that goal so that then they can tell their colleagues about it when they ask.

Environmental initiatives and events
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As a socially responsible company, ICL Services holds environmental events. Employees often volunteer to participate in major environmental events or invite interested colleagues to take part in more environmental activities.

One such initiative was participation in the Cycling to Work campaign. Bicycle parking facilities were set up outside the office and many employees are now opting to use this mode of transport to commute to work. In addition to the benefits for the environment (or rather the lack of harm from cycling) cycling also has many health benefits for the rider.

It has become a tradition to plant trees on the campus grounds. 20 trees and brushes have been planted this year, including such species as thuja, pears, apple trees and hydrangeas. One positive development is that the initiative is transforming from a corporate campaign into a family activity: employees are increasingly turning up with their kids, teaching them to care for the environment from an early age.

Trips to the arboretum of the Volzhsko-Kamsky State Reserve enable people to learn more about the biodiversity of the region and its fragility. Meanwhile, efforts to collect clothes to donate to social organisations that support the poor help popularise smart consumption.

Major campaigns with participants from all over the world remain relevant as well. As part of Earth Hour, colleagues share recommendations on how to save energy at home and in the office, develop checklists and inform each other of environmental problems.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have revised the way we organise environmental events and have adapted to the online format. For example, an online seminar was organised on how to sort waste during which the attendees learned about the various categories of solid domestic waste, where to take it for recycling and the key principles of waste sorting. Meanwhile, the one-week online environmental marathon on Earth Day, during which the participants tried to save water and electricity and learned how to sort waste and tell those around them about environmental problems, has since

evolved into an online community of employees that remains active to this day. They publish advice articles, relevant news and share ideas on how to organise new activities.

Green habits in the office
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Environmental events target specific issues, but the daily routine is here to stay, so we must develop green habits. Some of them have become part of our daily office activities:

  • - We don’t print more than we need. We’ve only got several printers per floor and that greatly reduces the likelihood that unnecessary documents get printed out.
  • - We don’t use the elevators unless we have to. We climb the stairs to at least the first four floors;
  • - We try to take the shuttle bus to work rather than drive in our personal cars. We save on petrol, we reduce car emissions, and we fraternise with colleagues from the moment we step onto the shuttle bus, becoming immersed in the corporate culture on our way to work.
  • - We sort waste using waste sorting containers that have been installed in the canteens and halls;
  • - We collect spent batteries as they can do great harm to the environment if discarded improperly.

We introduce new hires to our environmental friendly culture during onboarding
When a new hire first joins the company, we try to immerse them in a green environment. Few new hires bring their own dishes on the first day, and to discourage them from using disposable utensils, the new hire’s package comes with a ceramic cup and a metal spoon. The welcome package is issued in a paper rather than a plastic bag. We try to use packaging as little as possible. Employees’ old cups don’t get discarded either, instead, they get reused as pots for office plants.

Thus, even if someone may not have been particularly aware of environmental issues, our corporate culture teaches them green habits and, before long, they start participating in environmental events and revise their attitudes towards environmental protection.

By: Anna Arkhipova, ICL Services Public Relations Officer
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