OCP in Morocco is the leading producer of phosphate for fertilizer, and a cornerstone of the global food system as a result.  The company works with the full range of MIT Sloan Action Learning programs to advance its sustainability strategy.

Transformation of a phosphate giant

OCP, one of the world’s leading exporters of phosphates and its derivatives, is an economic powerhouse in the kingdom of Morocco.  It employs over 22,000 people and further supports 40,000 indirect jobs.   OCP accounts for 3.5% of Moroccan GDP and 28% of its exports.1  Its activities cut across the entire phosphate value chain, from rock mining to chemical processing of phosphoric acid and end-use fertilizers.

OCP's recent transition from a government bureaucracy to a company with private investors, operating in a global market, requires that they make commitments to local and global stakeholders.  They aim to do their part to provide food security for the world, as well as set a high standard of operating that takes into account environmental and social concerns.

OCP’s Sustainability Journey

With OCP’s transition comes the need to integrate cutting edge management practices and standards of global responsibility.  The company has made a commitment to using sustainable methods to achieve these goals and has initiated a broad program to “ensure [their] activities respect and preserve the environment"2 and “aspects of sustainable development are systematically taken into account in all of the Group’s projects, whether human, industrial, managerial or of national interest."3  It has recognized that this approach can be used both as a focusing tool for its employees and as a communication platform internally and externally.  The broad umbrella of sustainability gives OCP the flexibility to address its social, environmental and cost reductions under one initiative.

The current CEO, Dr. Mostafa Terrab, is an MIT alum who was brought in to help lead this transition.  To achieve its full effectiveness across all realms of sustainability for the whole of OCP, he engaged colleagues and partners at MIT Sloan, including the Sustainability Initiative, to help drive the change.

According to Deputy Director for Sustainability at OCP, Nour El Houda Benomar, “Working with Action Learning Labs allows our team to access the innovative tools of the MIT Sloan School of Management and to apply these tools and frameworks as we pursue our sustainability goals.”

Teams of students ranging across the portfolio of programs offered at MIT Sloan, (MBA, Sloan Fellows & EMBAs), participated in action learning projects to address key strategic questions. Through the L-Lab, G-Lab, and GO-Lab, MIT Sloan have advised OCP on strategies for embedding sustainability both within the organization and in the outside community.  Through the G-Lab, students advised OCP on ways to engage the local communities in surrounding mining sites on how to start and grow new businesses, leading to job creation for community members not employed by OCP.  Through the L-Lab, students provided OCP with tools and frameworks for helping to build their sustainability organization.  The GO-Lab provided OCP with recommendations to the CEO that would help facilitate cross-functional collaboration, elevating the visibility of Sustainability across the organization in order to increase its relevance.

Working with Action Learning Labs allows our team to access the innovative tools of the MIT Sloan School of Management and to apply these tools and frameworks as we pursue our sustainability goals.


1 OCP Group 2011 Annual Report

2 Annual Report OCP 2010, "Message from the chairman", p.5

3 p.9