Yara’s knowledge and solutions can contribute to offsetting negative environmental effects of agriculture and other human activities, in particular harmful emissions to air and water.
Yara is closely connected to the global challenge of climate change and environmental protection. The environment is one of the three focal areas in which we can make a substantial impact. Above all, we are concerned with how world agriculture affects the environment in general and contributes to global warming in particular. We have also developed solutions to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint – as well as negative impacts from human activities on urban environments.
Human activities impinge on the environment, with megatrends such as growth and urbanization further challenging sustainability. A major global challenge is to create green growth in a low-carbon economy, with a reduced carbon footprint. Today agriculture is a major emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG), so reducing the carbon footprint of the sector – or even turning it into a carbon sink – can make a major contribution.
Farmland expansion is the key origin of GHG emissions caused by agriculture, generated by land use change which is also closely connected to loss of biodiversity. The manufacturing of mineral fertilizers contributes to GHG emissions, but they are also vital in limiting the need to expand farmland. Another environmental challenge derived from agriculture is attributed to the use of fertilizers: leakage to waterways, causing nutrient overloads which may severely affect marine ecosystems as well as reducing the quality of groundwater.
Other activities also cause emissions and pollution. In particular, these include emission of harmful gases from industry and transportation, including nitrogen oxide NOx emissions deriving from the use of fossil fuels in transportation, power generation and industrial production.
Sustainable global growth requires taking care of several environmental aspects. Connecting food security and climate change is a key approach when responding to global environmental issues, including those of biodiversity and pollution. The reduction of global warming is the key intervention – and in the case of agriculture, the main contributions lie in improving agricultural productivity and increasing resource use efficiency.
While global policy responses to climate change remain elusive, a number of industry actions have been designed and implemented – not least within the food value chain – targeted at promoting sustainable agriculture and reducing its carbon footprint.
Several major economies have responded to harmful NOx emissions by imposing stringent regulations calling for abatement solutions.
Yara has played an active role in connecting food and climate issues on the global agenda, and our activities and performance are steered by our HESQ Policy. The New Vision for Agriculture, which aims to transform the global agriculture sector, employing technology development and knowledge transfer as key ingredients, is a case in point.
Encouraging environmental and climate-compatible agricultural growth, we have entered a partnership aiming to increase productivity and farmer incomes while reducing environmental impacts. This takes place within the larger framework of green corridors in Tanzania.
Our Crop Nutrition Concept, supported by Precision Farming Tools, helps reduce the carbon footprint of farming and increase resource use efficiency, as does the use of Pure Nutrients. Our low-carbon fertilizers are used on several crops, including potatoes in the United Kingdom, and in the production of orange juice in Florida – with a clear, positive impact.
By developing a novel N2O catalyst technology and implementing it in our nitric acid plants, we have managed to substantially reduce the company’s GHG emissions, and have also made the technology available to other players in the industry.
We have helped develop methods to reduce emissions deriving from the use of mineral fertilizer, including runoffs into waterways. Around the Baltic Sea we have participated in a multilateral collaboration where we have presented novel solutions using gypsum to trap phosphorus in fields, preventing leakage.
Yara offers a range of complete environmental solutions to reduce the negative effects of pollution, including solutions for the abatement of nitrogen oxides NOx, for odor control connected to hydrogen sulfide H2S, for water treatment, and corrosion prevention. NOx and H2S are both hazardous to human health and the environment.
We employ our core business in finding solutions to environmental issues, creating impact through:
● N2O catalyst technology: Our catalyst technology reduces nitrous oxide N2O from nitric acid plants by up to 90 percent.
● Low-carbon fertilizers: We offer a range of nitrate-based, low-carbon fertilizers, as well as a product range with a Carbon Footprint Guarantee.
● Developing solutions supporting our customers’ efforts to improve environmental performance, such as optimizing fertilizer application and cleaning NOx from exhaust.