Yara is in continuous dialogue with key stakeholders, particularly its owners, partners and customers, as well as with national and regional authorities, and international organizations. In addition, Yara is engaged in a number of partnerships and organizations, on a global, regional and local level.
During 2009, Yara was involved in international dialogue related to all of its four shaping issues, as well as other policy-related matters:
As Europe’s largest industrial consumer of natural gas, Yara has strengthened its role as key stakeholder in the processes leading to a more liberalized European gas market. Yara has made valuable contributions to several political initiatives that have been proposed at a European level, based on the company’s European position, experience and technical knowledge.
Processes leading to increased transparency for the benefit of gas customers, more efficient balancing and better regulation of the European gas market are political efforts in which Yara is currently strongly involved. Moreover, due to Yara’s level of gas consumption and significant role as a pan-European industrial actor, both the European Commission and the European Parliament rely upon expert information being communicated to them from Yara. Dialogue and cooperation with relevant authorities from a number of EU member states has also been initiated to improve the level of understanding related to the future implementation of new legislation.
Yara engaged in the climate change issue in several ways, including through the industry associations International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and Fertilizers Europe (formerly EFMA). Through IFA, Yara participated in the process leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December, including the World Business Summit on Climate Change in May, hosted by the UN Secretary General Ban -Ki-Moon. Yara also took part in the Fertilizers Europe conference on agriculture, fertilizers and climate change in Brussels in February.
In several arenas and in various contexts, Yara highlighted the link between climate change and food security (see below). Through Fertilizers Europe, Yara engaged in dialogue with the EU on its “Climate action and renewable energy package”, in which all European ammonia and nitric acid plants will be regulated by the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as of 2013. Fertilizers Europe argues that the currently proposed benchmark level for emission allowances will add extra costs to the already energy-efficient European fertilizer industry. This is likely to lead to increased supplies from non-regulated areas with generally lower energy efficiency and higher GHG emissions, increasing global emissions rather than reducing them.
Yara continued its commitment to the global effort to achieve food security, participating in a number of high-level international meetings focused on increasing agricultural productivity, and clarifying the connection between food production and climate change. This engagement included the UN “High-level Meeting on Food -Security for All” in Madrid in January, and the FAO “World Summit on Food Security” in Rome in November, as well as the preparatory “High-level Expert Forum on How to Feed the World 2050” in Rome in October.
In May, Yara participated in the 17th policy session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD–17) in New York, and represented the IFA in the CSD ministerial meeting. Yara took a representative position for the agricultural business sector at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2009, and at the regional Forum on Africa in Cape Town in June, and again at the 2010 annual meeting.
At Davos, Yara hosted seminars and the CEO co-chaired sessions. For the fifth consecutive year, the Yara Prize for an African Green Revolution was awarded in Oslo, and a high-level seminar was hosted. As part of its Africa program (see box), Yara participated in the “Agri Business Forum” in Cape Town in June, and the Partnership Platform meeting of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) in Abuja in November.
Yara engaged in policy debates within the EU on achieving cleaner air, providing expert advice on several processes, including the policy debate leading up to the review of the Integrated Pollution Prevention Control Directive, otherwise known as the Directive on Industrial emissions. Yara also supplies expert input for the working groups on the Best Available Technology documents (the BREFs) for several industrial processes.
Furthermore, Yara monitored the review of the international regulations establishing new NOx emission limits for pollution from non-road machinery, including inland waterways vessels. Yara engaged with key stakeholders to push for solutions for cleaner air at conferences on AdBlue and DEF in Beijing, Brussels, and Las Vegas, and with authorities on H2S issues in Europe and the Middle East.
At EU level, the company also took part in a stakeholder meeting on trading SOx and NOx in Brussels in April, and in working group meetings regarding the implementation of the upcoming Euro VI legislation and the review of the Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) directive. An international campaign, supported by Yara through the IFA, was launched in 2009 to encourage governments to utilize fertilizers fortified with zinc. Zinc deficiency is a major health problem, not least affecting children.
In June 2009, Yara was the co-host of an international seminar for a cleaner Baltic Sea in Helsinki. In February 2010, the CEO participated in the Baltic Sea Action Summit, also in Helsinki. The summit was a multi-stakeholder platform for heads of state, companies, business leaders, non-governmental organizations as well as individual citizens, aiming to find ways to rescue the area.
The CEO presented the research project TraP (2007–11), in which Yara and its partners have developed a solution that significantly reduces phosphorous leakage from fields into waterways. It uses gypsum to better trap phosphorous in fields, and midway results are very encouraging. Erosion has been reduced by 30–70 percent, and nutrient uptake improved.
In September 2009, Yara paid homage to a close friend, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, who passed away at the age of 95. Dr. Borlaug, whose work with the Green Revolution was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, was an ally of Yara’s in its engagement in support of an African green revolution.
In January 2010, Yara reached an agreement to sell its shares in the Brazilian company Fosfertil to Vale, along with its stake in the Anitápolis phosphate rock project in southeastern Brazil. The latter was held through Yara’s joint venture company, Indústria de Fosfatados Catarinense. The project of developing the phosphate mine, still at an early stage, caused some contention in 2009 due to environmental concerns and some local opposition. Yara’s interest in the project resulted from its acquisition of Adubos Trevo in 2000.
In 2009, Yara strengthened its engagement in fostering private-public partnerships in support of an African green revolution, following up on initiatives taken since the launch of its Africa program in 2005 (see box). In 2009, Yara was involved in five such partnerships; one each in Ghana, Malawi, and Tanzania, plus the regional Agricultural Growth Corridor Initiative with projects in Mozambique and Tanzania.
In connection with the corridor initiative, Yara signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Norwegian government in January 2009. Yara continued its partnership with the environmental organization Bellona to address key environmental challenges. Yara also supported the Zero Emission Resource Organisation (Zero) and sponsored the Agri Business Forum 2009 in Cape Town.
Yara is a corporate member of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), and of Fertilizers Europe (formerly EFMA), and holds key positions in the European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA) and in CEFIC (European Chemical Industry Council). Yara is a signatory to Business Action Against Corruption (BAAC), and to the UN Global Compact (UNGC); in 2009, the company signed onto the UNGC Caring for Climate initiative. In 2009, Yara also joined Transparency International (TI), Norway, and works actively with TI to ensure, as far as possible, that its practices are in line with the organization’s recommendations.
Yara also joined TI Ghana in 2009, and supports TI networks in other countries. Yara is a member of the Development Policy Forum (DPF), a partnership among central players defining and implementing European development policies, and the World Economic Forum (WEF). As a joint call to action in response to the global challenges presented at the 2009 UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD–17), the multi-stakeholder coalition Farming First was established with the participation of Yara.