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Opportunities and challenges of green growth

Oslo, February 28, 2013
Yara presented Green Growth business cases at the Northern Future Forum in Riga, Latvia, showcasing for seven prime ministers and a range of experts and entrepreneurs how Yara combines economic growth and safeguarding the environment.
Green growth

“We firmly believe that economic growth, increased production and job creation can be achieved while safeguarding the environment and that it is fully compatible with many sectors such as agriculture, industrial production and transportation.”

That was the key message from Yara´s Head of Downstream Egil Hogna, who attended the Northern Future Forum held in Riga, Latvia, on February 28.
The high-level audience, including  Prime Ministers Valdis Dombrovskis of Latvia and David Cameron of the United Kingdom, discussed the current developments of the region, competitiveness of a green economy, and bridging the digital divide.

Can green economy be competitive?

Egil Hogna

Hogna attended a round-table about how green economy can be competitive. “We see two key routes to improve sustainability: productivity gains combined with resource efficiency; and improved technology, in particular when supported by legislation,” he said.

He presented concrete cases in agriculture, industry and transportation where Yara has been demonstrating that economic growth can be achieved in a sustainable way.

In agriculture, precision farming is a key point. Yara has been providing farmers with expert advice on how to optimize fertilization, and technology and tools like N-Sensor and N-Tester. These enable farmers to increase yields and quality and at the same time help to reduce emissions and run-off of fertilizers into the environment.

“The Baltic Sea Action Plan is a good example. We have worked with local governments in the region to develop good farming practices. Together, we have been able to maintain – or even increase – the productivity levels in the agricultural sector while introducing solutions for reducing leakages of nutrients,” said Hogna.

Green technologies to improve environmental performance

Hogna also explained the benefits and showed some achievements of Yara’s N2O catalyst technology for industrial production. Developed by Yara, the catalyst technology abates the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas). The technology has been instrumental in reaching the company’s target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and offering the Carbon Footprint Guarantee on fertilizers, helping farmers to reduce the overall climate footprint of agriculture.

“The N2O catalyst has cut our GHG emissions in half, it is profitable and global implementation in our industry can mitigate 100 million tons of CO2 annually,” he said.

Yara has also helped the industrial and transportation sectors to reduce harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. In the transportation sector, Yara’s environmental solutions eliminate up to 90% of NOx emissions from diesel engines.

“NOx emissions are harmful to human health and the environment. In 2012 about 866,000 tons of NOx emissions worldwide were cut using Yara’s solutions – close to the total NOx emissions of Spain. Driven by legislation, this is a fast growing business segment, with volumes almost doubling over a 5-year period,” said Hogna.

Yara’s Head of Downstream highlighted that there are many opportunities for new markets associated with effective management of natural resources and green technologies. “Optimizing resource use is a growth avenue which can provide both better competitiveness and better local and global environmental performance,“ he said.

The key issue here is: how governments and financial institutions will set policies which can facilitate and encourage green economic opportunities and green innovation projects. “The overarching challenge is to create enabling policies for helping to bring scale to the existing solutions and to promote innovation for future enhancements,” said Hogna.

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