Investor Relations

Social performance 2008

Yara managed to handle the volatilities of 2008, including the challenges facing the workforce. The company continued its strong track record with regard to industrial safety.

At the end of 2008, Yara had 7971 employees worldwide, down from 8173 in 2007. Yara avoided unscheduled or temporary layoffs during the economic slowdown of the second half of 2008, as described on page 14. The 2008 acquisition of Saskferco in Canada added 160 employees, whereas synergies achieved following the 2007 acquisition of Kemira GrowHow, led to an overall net reduction of Yara’s workforce.

Health and safety

In 2008, the LTI rate (lost-time injuries per million hours worked) was 1.2 for employees and contractors combined [1], down from 1.4 in 2007. 2008 was the fifth consecutive year with LTI rates between 1–1.5 for Yara, firmly placing the company among the leaders in industrial safety. Yara Ravenna was awarded Yara’s Safety Prize 2007 for its excellent safety performance.

The TRI rate (total recordable injuries per million hours worked) for Yara employees ended at 3.5 [2], up from 2.9 in 2007. Yara’s 2008 results include the former Kemira GrowHow plants acquired in 2007.

In 2008, Yara continued the implementation of its BBS (behavior based safety) program which involves employees in observation, identification of risks and finding solutions. At the current implementation level, the BBS program facilitates about 30,000 observations and feedback talks each year, and implementation will continue in the recently acquired Kemira GrowHow and Saskferco plants during 2009/10. In 2008, Yara also prepared the “Think Ahead” safety campaign, consisting of educational videos and a safety handbook. The campaign will be launched in 2009.

Yara did not experience any fatal accidents in 2008. One accident was classified as ‘major’, an explosion at Yara Porsgrunn, Norway, resulting in property damage and loss of production, but without serious injury to people. Together with other incidents in 2008, the accident in Porsgrunn emphasizes the need for strong management commitment and employee involvement in preventive actions.

LTI rate

LTI rate View graph

TRI rate

TRI rate View graph

Sickness rate

Sickness rate View graph

People development

Following a principle of local autonomy, Yara’s operations provide employee training and benefits that fit local needs and are in line with local practices, aiming to attract and retain talents in all parts of the world. Yara encourages all employees to take the initiative in determining their own career paths, and provides several internal programs and tools for them to do so, see also page 15–16.

In 2008, Yara spent in excess of NOK 4300 per employee on external training, totaling close to NOK 36 million for the global workforce. Close to 80 percent of the global workforce received training and development reviews; 74 percent for supervised employees and 89 percent for managerial grade employees.

The fertilizer industry has traditionally been male dominated, which is also reflected in Yara’s workforce: 81 percent of all employees are male, 80 percent at the managerial level. In 2008, the overall turnover rate for Yara’s workforce was close to 17 percent. Staff turnover is lower in the more mature European operations than in for instance Brazil, where skilled labor is in shorter supply. To address this, Yara has established a strong human resources department and several initiatives to develop and retain skilled employees in Brazil.

Yara’s workforce 2008

Yara’s workforce 2008

Employees Managerial grade employees Temporary contracts
Total Male Female Male Femal Total
Africa 442 353 89 87 11 74
Asia 170 107 63 31 17 5
Europe 5328 4128 1200 644 162 241
Latin America 1653 1365 288 102 24 134
North America 266 203 63 25 5 1
Oceania 11 8 3 1 2 0
Sum 7870 6164 1706 890 221 455
Turnover by gender Turnover by age
Total Male Female < 30 30–50 50 >
Africa 93 69 24 18 65 10
Asia 20 16 4 2 16 2
Europe 803 589 214 197 296 310
Latin America 379 318 61 130 226 23
North America 16 13 3 4 10 2
Oceania 1 0 1 0 1 0
Sum 1312 1005 307 351 614 347

Employee benefits

Yara’s operations offer a variety of employee benefits. Although benefits vary between operations in different countries, they generally include flexible and family-friendly work arrangements. The table below presents an overview of the most common benefits provided to Yara’s employees as well as the share of employees they are offered to in 2008:

Employee benefits Share of employees
Flexible working hours 80 %
Job sharing 37 %
Career breaks 41 %
Disability coverage 84 %
Health care facilities/subsidies 96 %
Child care facilities/subsidies 46 %

Yara also offers statutory maternity and paternity pay and local operations offer a variety of educational programs and funding schemes, language classes, vaccination programs and social activities. Yara’s pension policy varies between regions and countries, but as a minimum, all Yara employees are covered by a combination of the country’s social services program, Yara’s occupational pension scheme and personal insurance cover organized locally. Yara ensures that all employees are covered by life insurance, as well as health insurance in countries where the public health service does not cover basic medical treatment or hospitalization.

More than 99 percent of Yara’s employees are provided employee training or assistance programs to upgrade skills and support continued employability. Such assistance spans from internal training and job rotation to sabbatical periods and funding of external education. Roughly 85 percent of the workforce is covered by transition assistance programs to assist retiring or laid-off employees, either through severance pay or job placement services provided by Yara, or by a combination of the country’s social services program and support from Yara.

Close to 70 percent of Yara’s workforce is covered by collective bargaining agreements, and more than 401), percent of the employees are members of a trade union, reaching close to 80 percent in Norway, almost 90 percent in Sweden and 95 percent in Finland. Yara values its good relationships with employees and their organizations and works with them on a regular basis.

 1) Number is uncertain. French law prohibits recording of trade union memberships. By Brazilian law, all employees must contribute to a trade union, but participation is beyond the company’s control and not reported


Human rights

Yara is committed to respect universal human rights as set out in the United Nations declarations, and to respect and protect internationally proclaimed human rights within the company’s sphere of influence. Demonstrating this commitment, in 2006, Yara became a signatory to the UN Global Compact, an initiative that promotes responsible behavior in human and labor rights, and works against corruption, taking an active role in environmental responsibility. The major proportion of Yara’s operations and employees are based in countries where the prevalence of human rights abuses is very low, and Yara recorded no incidents of violations against such rights in 2008. Neither did Yara identify any incidents of discrimination or violation involving rights of indigenous people. In 2008, Yara’s Code of Conduct was amended to accentuate the company’s commitment to uphold universal rights.

Anti-corruption training

In 2008, Yara continued to train employees in anti-corruption measures. Training in the company’s Code of Conduct, including its firm commitment against corruption and bribery, is mandatory for all employees. Guidance on how to act according to Yara’s Code of Conduct was strengthened by the roll-out of the company’s new induction program “The Yara World”.

In 2008, additional anti-corruption training was given to financial managers in Yara’s Downstream segment and a core group of employees in the Downstream Business Unit Africa, including a Q&A session with the former CEO, Thorleif Enger. Also, Yara’s Ammonia Trade & Shipping unit received anti-corruption training of all personnel. Moreover, the Chief Legal Counsel had in-depth conversations with a select group of senior managers from various Yara units globally to discuss corruption issues and plan training programs. All together, close to 200 employees (approximately 2.4 percent of the workforce) received anti-corruption training beyond the induction program in 2008.

Also, further emphasis was put on compliance by the present CEO, Jørgen Haslestad, who took office in October 2008. His renewed focus on corporate governance in general, and anti-corruption and bribery specifically, has been reiterated in meetings with senior management, business units and employees, in written corporate information, and on Yara TV News, which are broadcasted to all employees over the Intranet.

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