At a leading conference including the top flight of Norwegian industry leaders, Yara’s CEO and President Jørgen Ole Haslestad mapped out the company’s vision of how business and agriculture can play a responsible role in a sustainable future.
Located at the very geographical center of Norway, Trondheim is host to the annual Lerchendal Conference. Organized by Norway's leading educational and research organizations, the conference attracts high-level participants. This year experts, business and politicians gathered to discuss how industry, authorities and society could cooperate to forge a sustainable future.
Jørgen Ole Haslestad spoke in the 'Global challenges need global solutions' session. He addressed the question - 'How can Norway and global Norwegian companies contribute to a more sustainable world?' - alongside other top Norwegian executives, and the country's current and previous prime ministers.
Jørgen Ole Haslestad began by explaining how inclusive growth and optimized processes are part of how Yara does business - the principles of inclusive growth, efficient use of resources, and constantly greener processes through innovation and technology are behind Yara's current Creating Impact strategy for growth.
"We want to grow as a company by delivering profitable solutions to global challenges linked to food, environment and resources. This growth will deliver value creation to customers, owners and society at large," Haslestad said.
He argued that current global challenges were of a scope that clearly demanded cooperation between public and private sectors, and that partnerships were essential.
"None of us can solve climate challenges, or feed the future population, alone. Enough food of the right quality, produced with the lowest possible level of resources, not least fresh water, and with the best possible climate footprint - are the complex challenges that demand cross-sector partnership," the CEO pointed out.
Asked how Yara could become a completely sustainable company, he answered - by being the industry leader.
"By being the leader and doing better, we can influence the industry, agricultural sustainability and the climate footprint of the food we eat," he said.
Jørgen Ole Haslestad also delivered a challenge to former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who is now the United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Change.
"Think holistically and be a driving force to involve the agricultural sector," he argued. "Agriculture is the primary cause of deforestation, accounts for up to a third of greenhouse gas emissions - and is the key to abolishing hunger, essential to reducing rural poverty and creating opportunity."
"Yara has a leading position in its industry and in the private sector - in terms of work with agriculture, food security, environment and climate,” Jørgen Ole Haslestad concluded.