Yara has a strong track record with respect to health, environmental and safety performance. The company has a longstanding commitment to workers’ safety, founded on the belief that every accident is preventable. This forms the basis for a strong safety program within the company.
Similarly, Yara works systematically to reduce the environmental impacts of its operations and to contribute to environmental improvements in agriculture and the transportation and industrial sectors.
In 2011, Yara achieved a TRI rate (Total Recordable Injuries per million hours worked) of 4.0 for employees and contractors combined, up from 3.8 in 2010 and above the target of a TRI at 3.5 or lower. The TRI rate includes lost-time injuries, restricted work cases where employees and contractors were allowed to carry out work different from their normal duties, and medical treatment cases.
The LTI rate (Lost-Time Injuries per million hours worked) for Yara employees and contractors ended at 1.80, a slight increase from 2010. Yara’s ultimate goal is zero injuries. The company’s accident rate is half the average for European fertilizer producers. Absence due to illness at Yara’s production plants was 3.6% in 2011, slightly higher than the 3.5% in 2010.
Yara experienced three serious accidents in 2011, of which one had a fatal outcome. In Brazil, an electrician received a lethal electrical shock during work on a panel that had not been de-energized and locked out according to procedures. Yara works continuously and systematically to enforce strict operating procedures, conducting extensive employee training and audit programs, to prevent accidents from occurring.
In 2011, the company upgraded and strengthened technical and operational procedures for contractors, who have historically been more prone to undesired incidents than Yara employees. Yara also continued to develop the BBS (Behavior-Based Safety) program, focusing on better employee safety performance feedback, and strengthening management commitment through more safety walks. The Upstream segment proceeded to focus on operational discipline, including new training initiatives for engineers, leaders, supervisors and operators, and technical safety in its Process Safety program, while Yara continued to raise safety awareness and improve reporting and hazard identification in the Downstream and Industrial segments.
As to managing environmental impacts, Yara continues to reduce its carbon footprint. The company’s goal has been to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% by 2013 compared to a 2004 baseline. Yara reached this goal in 2010 and maintained the achieved level with some further improvements in 2011. In 2011, the level of greenhouse gas emissions was reduced a further 15% from the previous year, though partly due to closure of the Lifeco plant.
All of the company’s nitric acid plants have installed Yara’s N2O catalyst technology, or similar technology, which reduces respective GHG emissions by up to 90%. Yara will meet the new requirements for nitric acid plants under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) coming into force in 2013 by having installed such reduction technologies. The company will continue investments in its ammonia plants, pursuing higher energy and cost efficiency as well as lower emissions.
In 2011, Yara’s total energy consumption in production was 219 million GJ, a 2% decrease from 2010. Energy consumption per ton of finished product also continued to decrease.
Yara’s operations are subject to many environmental requirements under the laws and regulations of the various jurisdictions in which the company conducts its business. Such laws and regulations govern, among other matters, air emissions, wastewater discharges, solid and hazardous waste management, product labeling, transportation of hazardous materials and remediation of past activities. Yara has successfully completed the registration of substances under the REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), and is now revising packaging and labeling for compliance with national and international requirements.
In 2011, no material legal claim was made against Yara regarding environmental issues.
Yara has a number of facilities that have been operated for long periods of time. They may require remediation or generate liabilities under the laws of the jurisdictions in which the facilities are located. Yara examines such impacts where they are apparent and executes remediation or containment procedures, in coordination with the appropriate authorities. Provisions of NOK 209 million have been made for other clean-up activities of former activities in several locations, of which NOK 55 million were allocated in 2011.