The chemical industry, identified as one of the most harmful sectors for the environment and people, has made giant leaps forward in recent years in order to reduce its impact, especially in Italy. This is evidenced by a study conducted by Federchimica which highlights the primacy of the Italian chemical sector in ecological patent shares, equal to 40% of the total: obtained thanks to advanced technological skills, they concerned all areas of the sector, from renewable sources, industrial biotechnology and chemical recycling, to sustainable and circular product design, energy efficient buildings, eco-sustainable mobility, CO2 capture, storage and reuse and clean hydrogen …

ICF – Industrie Chimiche Forestali S.p.A. is a concrete example of a chemical company that has achieved high sustainability standards confirmed also by the certifications obtained in the three areas relating to Quality, Environment and Safety: Uni EN ISO 9001 (obtained in 1997), UNI EN ISO 14001 (1998) and OHSAS 18001 (2009), by joining Federchimica’s “Responsible Care” project, an initiative aimed at making companies in the chemical sector responsible, and by the consolidation of their Management Systems in 2020 through the 231 model for corporate ethics and social responsibility.

With the 2020 Sustainability Report, the group located in Marcallo con Casone demonstrates that it has proceeded along its virtuous path also during this year marked by the pandemic. With an economic value of 60.7 million (-16% compared to the previous year), ICF maintained business continuity even during lockdowns, adopting all necessary measures to safeguard security and the health of its personnel. It has also opened new business lines dedicated to the production of hand and surface sanitisers and developed, in collaboration with AHLSTROM-MUNKSJÖ Italia SpA, innovative products for the production of type 1 and 2 medical face masks.

ICF’s slogan is “We are invisible, we are everywhere”: its produced adhesives exported all over the world are present everywhere, even if they are not seen, and are applied in various sectors, from the automotive, to footwear, leather goods, furniture and packaging. The 2020 Sustainability Report certifies the company’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of both production processes – with lower consumption of raw materials and water resources, waste reduction, water discharges, polluting emissions and energy consumption – and increasingly eco-sustainable products, thanks to which it has obtained the GRS-Global Recycle Standard and OK-Biobased certificates – in particular, for the use of: 100% regenerated cotton; non-woven fabrics with 25% regenerated polyester; 60% of the extruded fabrics use 30% of recycled polymers; 15% use 100% natural latexes. The Forebio Prime line of reinforcement fabrics for footwear and leather goods developed in 2019, with artificial fibres and latexes originating from renewable and eco-sustainable sources, has obtained the OK biobased certification. Furthermore, all ICF products for the footwear sector meet the European Ecolabel criteria, do not contain dangerous substances and azo dyes, and allow partner shoe factories to be able to attribute the ecological label to their footwear. Finally, ICF is committed to the production of adhesives with reduced environmental impact, progressively passing from solvent-based to water-based and solvent-free adhesives: in December 2020 it invested 1 million euro in the installation of a pilot and production plant for these products.

Turning to social responsibility, ICF did not want to make employees pay the price of the pandemic. It did not make us of the redundancy fund, encouraged remote working where possible and also activated a Covid Health Policy which, in the event of contagion, covers illness up to post-hospitalisation care. At the beginning of 2021, it also obtained the Safety Management System certification in compliance with the UNI EN ISO 45001: 2018 standard, for the plant located in Marcallo con Casone.

The integration of economic, environmental and social sustainability is ICF's strong point: as important competitive and dynamic player in the chemical sector, every year it produces its products in Italy and exports them all over the world, simultaneously contributing to the creation of a virtuous chain able to guarantee the final customer a safe, environmentally friendly product, based on respect for ethical values.