Health and safety
Operational safety, imperative to safeguard employees and contractors and uphold productivity and performance, has very high priority in Yara. It is Yara’s belief that every accident is preventable, based on management commitment and active employee involvement in mapping and managing processes and behaviors that can cause harm. In 2013 Yara launched a new initiative, Safe by Choice, to lead the company to safety excellence. Safe by Choice is an all-encompassing and lasting journey to instill a common safety culture and a high level of standardization across all regions and levels of the organization.
Throughout 2013 Yara recorded positive developments in its safety performance, particularly among contractors. The TRI rate (total recordable injuries per million hours worked) ended at 4.3 for employees and contractors combined, an improvement from 5.0 in 2012, yet behind the target of a TRI rate below 3.5 –towards the ultimate goal of zero accidents. The increase from 2011 to 2012 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. Regrettably, Yara experienced a fatal accident at Yara Porsgrunn, Norway where a contractor suffered an electric shock during expansion work. This tragic accident underlines the importance of Yara’s continued efforts to prevent undesired incidents and integrate safety into every part of its operations.
Yara has been a pioneer in developing and adapting the Fertilizers Europe Product Stewardship Program. In January 2014 an independent audit confirmed that our operations in Europe are in full compliance with the program, which ensures the highest standard for safety and environmental performance throughout the value chain. We aim to have all our operations outside Europe certified to the IFA (International Fertilizer Industry Association) Protect & Sustain Initiative. Yara Brazil and Yara Vietnam achieved certification in 2013, following Yara North America (2012) and Yara Mexico (2011).
In 2013, Yara Industrial Germany was awarded the 2012 EIGA Peter Jackson Safety Award as well as the Yara Safety Award 2013 in honor of its excellence in safety and close to 2,000 days without recordable accidents.
Fertilizer manufacturing may pose a risk to local societies and natural habitats if improperly managed. Safety is Yara’s top priority, and over time substantial investments have been made to improve operational excellence. Yara’s HESQ Policy governs its approach to the issues of Health, Environment, Safety and Quality. On the operational level Yara has decided that all its major production sites shall be certified according to ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and OHSAS 18001 (Health & Safety Management) standards. At year-end 2013, 20 out of 22 sites were fully certified.
Yara’s HESQ Policy, providing the company’s views on a range of topics, have been made available on Yara’s website.
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. The company has adopted a life cycle approach to products and processes, and through targeted R&D activities Yara is continuously developing knowledge, tools and solutions to improve on-farm use of fertilizers, reducing environmental impact.
The company has made outstanding improvements in reducing N2O (a greenhouse gas, GHG) emissions by more than 90% from our nitric acid plants by utilizing the benefits of Yara’s N2O catalyst technology. The total GHG emissions from all of our production have been reduced by more than 45% compared with a 2004 baseline, and Yara is well positioned to meet the new requirements for nitric acid plants under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The company will continue investments in its ammonia plants, improving energy and cost efficiency as well as reducing emissions.
The acidic emissions from our operations are continuously being reduced. In 2013 no major legal claim was made against Yara regarding environmental issues, except for a fine at Yara Porsgrunn related to dust emissions from unloading activity.
In 2013 Yara’s total energy consumption in production was 263 million GJ. Almost 90% of the energy is consumed in ammonia production. The increase in energy consumption reflects an increase in ammonia and finished production volumes in 2013.
Yara has a number of facilities that have been operated for long periods of time or have been closed. These facilities 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 2014 and beyond, accumulated provisions of NOK 169 million have been made for environmental clean-up of former activities in several locations, close to the provision level of NOK 164 million from one year before.
By pursuing its strategy, Yara can have an indirect as well as direct impact on basic human needs, in particular food security. Apart from providing jobs for its employees, tax revenues and valuable inputs for farmers, Yara’s strategy and innovative approach aim to trigger development and inclusive, green growth.
Sharing of knowledge and advice to promote best farming practice is bundled with innovative business models, not least in the context of Yara’s partnerships through the New Vision for Agriculture of the World Economic Forum. Here, Yara and more than 30 other global companies have united to trigger 20% improvements per decade on agricultural productivity, rural poverty and greenhouse gas emissions.
Examples of Yara’s partnership engagements include the Ghana Grains Partnership, the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania and Yara’s participation in both the Africa-led Grow Africa Partnership and the G8-based partnership New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. Contributing to improved local and regional environmental conditions, Yara’s engagement towards the Baltic Sea provides a good example of how profitable farming and environmental concerns can be combined.
Yara is a signatory to the UN Global Compact (UNGC), embracing and implementing its principles covering the areas of human rights, labor rights, environment and anti-corruption. Yara has also been granted membership to the Global Compact LEAD, which was launched in 2011 to provide knowledge and inspiration on advanced aspects of corporate sustainability, and to provide leadership for global issue platforms. Furthermore, Yara is a member of the UNGC Caring for Climate initiative, and is committed to adhering to the FTSE4Good criteria.
For Yara’s organization, human rights are mainly relevant in terms of labor rights for own employees and supply chain risks. Yara’s Ethics and Compliance Integrity Due Diligence process is fully integrated in investment activities such as mergers and acquisitions, the establishment of joint ventures and other significant agreements. In 2013, none of our reporting countries have identified that the right to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining may be at significant risk.
Yara’s commitment to respecting human and labor rights is integrated in Yara’s HESQ Policy and Code of Conduct, further operationalized in the Ethics Handbook and also incorporated in Yara’s steering systems such as the Integrity Due Diligence process for business partners and Yara’s Business Partner Code of Conduct. Support for the UNGC principles is anchored at the CEO level.
Transparency on management approach, measures and outcome relating to HESQ, Ethics & Compliance and related topics is secured through online GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) reporting.