FMC Sustainability

Our Commitment to Sustainability

Our Responsibility

FMC is committed to responsible resource management, reducing its environmental impact, mitigating climate change issues and supporting the safety, development and health of our communities. Each of our businesses is responsible for actively promoting environmental stewardship and community engagement, which are monitored and reported at a corporate level.

Resource Management

FMC measures our environmental impacts to assess opportunities for improved performance. Our primary focus is on energy utilization, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste management. In 2015, we established ten year environmental targets for 2025. These targets build on key performance indicators (KPIs) we already had in place.

Reducing our Production Impacts

In addition to our usual efforts to manage a competitive cost structure by targeting annual efficiency improvements, FMC has several major initiatives underway to ensure we are using current best practices and managing our impacts across our sites. These efforts will produce near-term efficiency wins while identifying longer-term improvement potential across the company.

Manufacturing Excellence Program

Our Manufacturing Excellence program was launched in 2012, with focused projects at three of our manufacturing locations. Read more about our activities and results in our 2015 sustainability report.

Water Risk Assessment

In 2013 FMC conducted a water risk assessment for each of our manufacturing facilities, contract manufacturers and key suppliers. We used the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct™ tool to gain a better understanding of our exposure to future water risks.

Read more about our water conservation initiatives in the 2014 and 2015 sustainability reports. FMC has used a data-based approach with World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct™ tool to determine our manufacturing locations where water availability is increasingly challenging. Our water intensity at high risk sites has decreased by 3 percent since 2013, our baseline year. At those sites, we focus our efforts on reducing water use. Additionally, we have expanded our water risk analysis to include six newly acquired Cheminova sites. By 2025, we are committed to reducing our water intensity at our twelve high-risk locations by 20 percent.

Waste Reduction

FMC continues to assess current waste management activities at our sites. We have committed to reducing our waste by 15 percent by 2025, as well as certifying all of our Health and Nutrition sites as zero waste to landfill. Read more about this program in our 2015 sustainability report.

Sustainable Harvesting of Seaweed

Seaweed farming is generally considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly types of aquaculture. FMC works to encourage that best practices are followed and that the farming is sustainable, for both the people and the natural resources involved. Learn more about our sustainable approach to seaweed harvesting here.

reducing our footprint

Learn More About Our Efforts To Reduce Resource Use

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Even though our historic operations were designed, operated and maintained using standards and best practices at the time, some operations had environmental impacts that require remediation today. FMC’s approach to remediation focuses on returning our formerly used sites to productive new uses.

Our preferred approach is to be proactive with regulators, officials and the local community in identifying alternative reuse scenarios for these sites. Each property is uniquely situated and FMC is committed to finding ways to return these properties to functioning, safe and beneficial uses.

A few examples of current FMC remediation projects include:

  • In Minera del Altiplano, Argentina, FMC completed a detailed hydrologic model to evaluate the freshwater aquifer being used at the Fenix site. The model was able to demonstrate that the current use of freshwater by the site was not permanently impacting the freshwater resource. The results of the model were successfully used in technical discussions with local authorities regarding the long term use of the aquifer and facilitated regulatory approvals for optimization of the existing production wells. The model will continue to be updated and used in support of resource management decisions.
  • FMC was successful in curtailing the existing groundwater pump and treat system in use at one of our remediation sites in San Jose, CA as part of an evaluation for permanent shut down. The curtailment of the system avoids approximately 67 million gallons of groundwater per year from being extracted and also saves FMC $150,000 per year in water allocation and other regulatory fees tied to groundwater extraction and treatment.
  • Valley Agronomics, LLC will be constructing and operating a fertilizer distribution and retail center on a portion of the former FMC elemental phosphorus plant which is located in Power County, Idaho. The FMC site is a Federal Superfund site, and remediation and redevelopment will occur simultaneously this year. The Valley Agronomics facility will serve the agricultural economy of Southeast Idaho by providing products and services to farmers and ranchers, including custom fertilizers for maximum crop yields. The project reflects a capital investment of $12 million and at full scale will employ 60-70 people.  The initial phase of the operation will encompass approximately 15 acres and utilize rail service provided by the Union Pacific Railroad. A second phase of development will encompass an additional 12 acres where warehousing and retail operations will be located. Valley Agronomics will bring new life to the property as FMC completes remediation according to plans approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Completed remediation projects include:

  • The remediated site of FMC’s former research center near Princeton, New Jersey, now serves as Princeton HealthCare System’s state-of-the-art medical center, which opened in June 2012.
  • FMC worked with the city government, regulatory agencies and local leaders in Nitro, West Virginia, to successfully repurpose an old municipal landfill site into a community access boat ramp that now attracts visitors to the area. FMC handled the majority of the cleanup work, earning the 2012 Environmental Excellence Award from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for our dedication to long-term stewardship of the site.
  • In San Jose, California, 6,256 sports fans attended the October 21, 2012, groundbreaking for a Major League Soccer stadium, setting a Guinness World Record for the largest groundbreaking ceremony ever. FMC helped remediate and redevelop the site, once home to a former FMC division that manufactured and tested defense equipment.

remediation for tomorrow

Learn More About Our Remediation Efforts in Front Royal, Virginia

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Responsible Procurement

In early 2011, FMC formed a global procurement organization to oversee the sourcing of goods, materials and services across the company. This group reviewed best practices in procurement and vendor relationships to revise our own procurement procedures and assure that our program is best-in-class.

These improved procurement systems help us analyze data and allow FMC to make informed and consistent procurement decisions that create cost- and risk-reduction opportunities.

FMC has long chosen to work with suppliers who share in our commitment to ethical and sustainable business practices. Our Supplier Selection and Approval process implements minimum standards and preferred practices to support our sustainability principles. To explain our minimum standards clearly to suppliers, we maintain a Supplier Code of Conduct, which sets forth FMC’s expectations regarding legal compliance, environmental, health, safety, ethical, human dignity and fair labor practice issues. Suppliers also have a responsibility to ensure that their vendors and sub-contractors are in alignment with these same priorities.

In tandem with our Supplier Code of Conduct, our vendor management process evaluates suppliers using screening criteria that help us partner with those whose sustainability approach aligns closely with ours. In 2012, FMC began evaluating new suppliers using this vendor selection and management process. We continue to expand this program by soliciting comparable information from significant suppliers already approved by FMC when this new process was defined.

Read more about FMC’s commitment to responsible sourcing here.

Review our Supplier Code of Conduct here.

Association Membership

FMC is actively engaged in leading industry groups. Some examples include:

  • American Chemistry Council
  • Agricultural Retailers Association
  • Brazil-US Business Council
  • Business Roundtable
  • CropLife America
  • Field to Market
  • Electric Drive Transportation Association
  • International Conservation Caucus Foundation
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • Public Affairs Council
  • Regulatory Improvement Council
  • US-China Business Council
  • Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment
  • Pennsylvania Environmental Council
  • Superfund Settlements Coalition
  • International Food Additives Council
  • Natural Food Colours Association
  • American Business Council
  • Chemexcil
  • Japan Pest Control Association
  • Agricultural Retailer Association
  • Agricultural Container Recycling Council
  • Pyrethroid Working Group
  • National Cotton Council
  • National Agricultural Marketing Association

Community Engagement

FMC is committed to community collaboration and building strong relationships. We are passionate about our neighbors’ well-being and care deeply about adding value to their lives.

FMC employees worldwide are improving the welfare of the communities where they live and work through volunteerism, leadership and financial support. With an emphasis on four areas of opportunity – education and science, health and human services, arts and culture, and environment and conservation – FMC helps reinforce already strong bonds with schools, advance much needed healthcare solutions and support a range of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide community assistance.

Tracking Our Community Engagement Progress

In 2012, we defined a way to measure our engagement efforts in order to track and advance our progress. We established a common framework for reporting on various interactions in our communities. Called the Community Engagement Index, it consists of four categories that we consider important factors in building and maintaining effective relationships. They are:

  • Safety: As with all facets of our operations, we put safety first. Our safety manifesto states: “We believe safety is a universal human right. We each have a fundamental responsibility to our fellow employees, friends, families and communities to be safe.” This interdependency is reflected in our efforts to share our safety knowledge and awareness with the broader community.
  • Operational transparency: We strive for transparency so that our business activities are well understood by members of the local community.
  • Community leadership: We manage our community relationships with an emphasis on taking active, participatory roles.
  • Community partnership: These relationships involve sharing our personal and professional skills, talents and interests to further our mutual welfare.

In 2011, FMC set a target to achieve 90 on our Community Engagement Index by 2015. In 2014 we reached 96 on the Community Engagement Index, surpassing our target one year early. Reaching this significant milestone took extraordinary dedication and effort by FMC people around the world. In 2014, our Community Engagement Index reached 96 due to the hard work of our employees. Our 2015 Index score of 87 can be attributed to the reduction of some activities due to cost control.


Learn More About Our Community Engagement Initiatives

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Biodiversity and Stewardship

FMC firmly believes that business growth and ecological responsibility are compatible goals. We monitor and mitigate our potential impacts on wildlife and engage with our stakeholders about protecting nature and biodiversity.

Community-Based Conservation Efforts

We have partnered with Panthera, an organization that leads effective conservation strategies for the world’s largest and most endangered cats. The following results have led Panthera to consider the FMC project to be a successful and replicable model:

  • In Tanzania, Panthera employs twelve “Lion Guardians” from the Barabaig, Mburu and Maasai tribes to prevent killing of lions. There were no lion killings in their patrol area in 2014, compared to 20 confirmed kills in 2011. They also work to prevent livestock losses and their areas includes an estimated 12,844 head of cattle.
  • In Zimbabwe, “Long Shields” lion scouts monitor potential conflict lions in the Hwange National Park and are deployed when any lions near a village. The Long Shields have acted on 228 alerts since September 2014 to prevent conflict within the communal lands surrounding the park. The project is also working to reduce human-lion conflict in the Zambezi region of Namibia. The Zambezi region had extremely high rates of conflict due the threat to farmers’ cattle. In one year, 70 percent fewer cattle were killed due to improved livestock husbandry techniques and construction of lion-proof enclosures.


Learn More About Our Partnership With Panthera

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Support for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education

FMC is a company of idea generators. Our ability to provide sustainably-advantaged specialty chemical solutions is contingent upon having a global workforce that is technically competent and intellectually agile. As idea people, we support mentorship of young people and the expansion of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiatives in the communities where we live and work. We look forward to future generations who are able to help tackle global challenges requiring a solid, well-rounded education.

supporting the future of stem

Learn More About Our Education Outreach

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Community Engagement Map

We are active and invested in all of the communities where we live and work. Use the dynamic map below to learn more about our community engagement initiatives across the globe.