Investor Relations

Environmental performance 2009

2009 was an extraordinary year, also in terms of our environmental performance. Yara continued its efforts to cut energy consumption and reduce GHG emissions. In addition, production curtailments further reduced resource use. However, while running plants on lower capacities proved beneficial economically, it had undesirable effects on energy efficiency levels.
Environmental performance

GHG emissions

In 2004, Yara established the ambitious goal of reducing the company’s carbon footprint by 25 percent before the end of 2009. Final results show a 37 percent reduction over this period. This includes emissions from the newly-acquired plants in Finland, Belgium and Canada, as well as adjustments for market-related capacity reductions in 2009. In 2009, Yara’s total GHG emissions amounted to 12.5 million tons of CO2 equivalents, down from 16 million tons in 2008. In terms of emissions per ton of fertilizer produced, the carbon footprint has been reduced from 1.4 tons of CO2 equivalents in 2004, to 0.9 tons in 2009.

Environmental performance 2005–2009  2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
GHG emissions (million ton CO2 equivalents)
N2O emissions 10.5 9.4 8.2 7.4 4.0
CO2 emissions 9.0 8.6 8.2 8.6 8.5
Total GHG emissions 19.5 18.1 16.4 16.0 12.5
Eco-efficiency (emissions/production) 100 92.8 84 82.8 64.3
Energy consumption (petajoules) 195.6 182 191.3 206.8 208
Eco-efficiency (emissions/production) 100 95.1 96.9 86 95.3
Emissions to water (ton) 
Nitrogen (N) 2,862 2,637 2,569 2,895 2,518
Phosphorous (P) 46 54 50 70 49
Total emissions to water (N, P, NOx and NH3, ton PO4 equivalents) 3,313 3,151 3,113 3,459 3,374
Eco-efficiency (emission/production) 100 97.2 90.8 85 91.3
Emissions to air (ton)
Nitrogen oxides NOx 8,722 7,961 7,962 8,268 7,841
Ammonia (NH3) 2,39 2,409 2,416 2,729 3,278
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) 4,461 3,504 3,245 4,761 4,52
Fluoride (F) 562 5 8 12 14
Total emissions to air (NOx, NH3, SO2 and F, ton SO2 equivalents) 16,009 13,614 13,374 15,7 16,195
Eco-efficiency (emission/production) 100 86.9 80.7 79.8 90.7
Dust to air (ton) - 2,407 2,3 2,921 2,694
Eco efficiency, emissions/production - 100 90.4 96.7 98.2
Waste (ton)
Non-hazardous waste 214,185 15,472 15,6 22,108 19,11
Hazardous waste 3,01 6,477 2,078 2,879 2,024
Eco efficiency (hazardous waste/production) 100 220 66.7 77.9 60.3
For safety: Former Kemira GrowHow plants included from Oct. 1, 2007; Belle Plaine from Oct. 1, 2008. For emissions: Former Kemira GrowHow plants included from Jan. 1, 2008; Belle Plaine from Oct. 1, 2008

The reductions have primarily been achieved by use of Yara’s catalyst technology for reducing N2O emissions from nitric acid plants. At year-end 2009, this technology had been installed in 19 of Yara’s nitric acid plants. Three further installations are planned in order to cover all nitric acid plants where this technology is applicable. Yara aims for further reductions of its carbon footprint: the target for 2013 is to reduce emissions by 45 percent compared to 2004 levels.

GHG Emissions

GHG emissions View graph

Energy consumption

Energy consumption View graph

Energy consumption

In 2009, Yara’s energy consumption totaled 208 PJ (Petajoules), compared to 207 PJ in 2008. This reflects a slightly lower production volume than in previous year, equaled out by the inclusion of Yara Belle Plaine (21 PJ) in the 2009 figures. Due to the slow-down in demand in 2009, Yara made production curtailments and temporary stops in a number of its plants. Several plants ran at sub-optimal levels energy-wise, resulting in a nine percent decrease in energy-efficiency, measured as energy use per volume produced.

Yara targets additional energy savings through the Systematic Energy Management initiative. This was made a top priority in the Upstream segment in 2008, and implementation continued throughout 2009. Local drivers of this initiative, called Energy Hunters, have been appointed at all major production plants to drive further improvements and establish energy saving projects at each plant.

Yara Sluiskil, the Netherlands, participates in a joint research project to develop a second generation advanced process control for ammonia plants. This project has a particular focus on energy efficiency at low production levels, and has received funding from the Dutch government.

In Norway, Yara continued its cooperation with the Norwegian public enterprise, Enova, targeting energy efficiency improvements at the Yara Glomfjord and Yara Porsgrunn production sites.

Energy management

In 2009, the energy management systems in place at Yara’s two German sites, Yara Brunsbüttel and Yara Rostock, were audited against the requirements of the German Renewable Energy Act. This was a milestone in their preparations for an upcoming certification to DIN EN 16001 standard on energy management,  which was introduced to support companies in the implementation of management systems for improving energy efficiency, and the reduction of energy costs and GHG emissions.

Based on audits performed by DNV, the plants have been granted exemptions from energy taxes under the German Renewable Energy Act. A similar tax scheme has been established in Sweden, where the Yara Köping plant has been certified according to the same standard. Yara will continue certification of other plants, where appropriate.

2009 saw the first deliveries of waste heat from Yara Sluiskil to local greenhouses in the Netherlands. In this WarmCO2 project, Yara together with local partners has developed an innovative concept for making use of surplus heat and CO2 from its plant. Hot water from the plant is heating local greenhouses, and beginning in 2010, CO2 will be delivered to enrich the greenhouse atmosphere and support plant growth. Replacing gas-fired burners in the greenhouses, the project reduces the growers’ GHG emissions as well as Yara’s discharges of warm water.

Other impacts

Emissions to air and water were also affected by the reduced capacity utilization of Yara’s plants in 2009. Total emissions were at the same or below 2008 levels, but eco-efficiency declined. Waste volumes totaled 21,132 tons, of which close to ten percent was hazardous waste. All hazardous waste is managed by waste management specialists. Yara recorded no significant spills or material permit breaches in 2009. In cases where emissions exceeded permission levels, Yara agreed on improvements plans with local authorities.

Yara’s operations are subject to many environmental requirements under the laws and regulations of the various jurisdictions in which Yara conducts its business. Such laws and regulations govern, among other matters, air emissions, wastewater discharges, solid and hazardous waste management, transportation of hazardous materials and remediation of past activities. In 2009, no material legal claim was made against Yara due to health, environmental or safety matters or in relation to operational permits.

Yara has a number of facilities that have been operated for a number of years. Subsurface impact to soil and groundwater and other conditions are common to such sites and may require remediation or give rise to liabilities under the laws of the various jurisdictions in which the facilities are located. Yara has attempted to identify such impacts where they are apparent and is carrying out remediation or containment procedures in coordination with the appropriate authorities. No major cost issues are expected.

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