In spite of efforts to improve safety, Yara experienced two serious accidents in 2012 with fatal results. In Colombia, a contractor employee repairing a roof unhooked his harness to help a friend also working at height, and fell to the ground with a fatal outcome. In Ghana, a worker fell backwards onto the floor of a truck while carrying bags. He ended up with spine injuries and subsequently passed away.
Yara recognizes the severity of such incidents and works continuously to improve the safety culture both of own employees and contractors working for Yara. Yara systematically continues to enforce strict operating procedures, conduct employee training, and follow up on safety practices to prevent accidents from occurring.
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 2012 Yara achieved a TRI rate (Total Recordable Injuries per million hours worked) of 5.0 for employees and contractors combined, up from 4.0 in 2011 and above the target of a TRI at 3.5 or lower. The increase is mostly explained by increased efforts to report all incidents. 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 2.9, also increasing from 2011 (1.9). Yara’s ultimate goal is zero injuries. The company’s accident rate is still better than the average for European fertilizer producers. Absence due to illness at Yara’s production plants remained unchanged at 3.6 % in 2012, the same as in the previous year. Yara is further strengthening the implementation of safety culture and focusing on critical areas to turn the incident rate down again.
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 2011-2012. In 2012 Yara’s direct GHG emissions totaled 12.3 million tons of CO2 equivalents, within the target level even including the new plant in Pilbara, Australia.
All of the company’s nitric acid plants have installed Yara’s N2O catalyst technology, or similar, which reduces respective GHG emissions by up to 90%. Thus Yara will meet the new requirements for nitric acid plants under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) coming into force this year. The company will continue investments in its ammonia plants, pursuing higher energy and cost efficiency as well as lower emissions.
In 2012 Yara’s total energy consumption in production was 263 million GJ, including Lifeco, Libya and Yara Pilbara, Australia. The increase in energy consumption reflects the increase in ammonia and finished production volumes in 2012. Almost 90% of the energy is consumed in ammonia production.
In 2012 no major 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. For 2013 and beyond, accumulated provisions of NOK 164 million have been made for environmental clean-up activities of former activities in several locations. This is down from 209 million in 2012.