Impact report 2013

Environmental management approach

This year, Yara has reported fully on 20 Environmental points and partially on 8. The Ethics and Compliance department has worked with HESQ to define which questions are most material and how best to respond to the indicators to correctly follow the GRI Guidelines.

Yara uses the principles given in the Operational guidelines for the ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment standards when assessing the potential impact of its emissions into the environment.

The greenhouse gases relevant for Yara production plants are CO2 from use of fuels and N2O from nitric acid production. These are combined to CO2 equivalent by following factors:

CO2 to air: 1

N2O to air: 298

The air emission data is combined to characterize acidifying releases to the air, given in tons of SO 2 -equivalent by using the following generic acidification potential factors:

SO2 to air: 1

NOx to air: 0.7

NH3 to air: 1.88

F to air: 1.689

The main impact caused by nitrogen and phosphorus emissions into water is eutrophication. Thus the water and air emission data is combined to characterize their eutrophication potential, given in tons of PO 4 -equivalent by using the following factors:

N to water: 0.42

P to water: 3.06

NOx to air: 0.13

NH3 to air: 0.35

Emissions per production are calculated by using the total amount of finished products produced by the sites in the scope of the environmental report. That amount was 17,1 million tons in 2014, including 50% of the equity-accounted plant in Libya. Yara's share of production, energy or emissions in less than equity-accounted investees are not included.

Yara uses SI units in environmental reporting. Tons refer to metric tons.

Goals and Performance

For a full list of our performance, please see our Environmental performance on the GRI index.

Regarding climate change, Yara continues to reduce its carbon footprint. Yara's goal is to be an industry leader on lowest greenhouse gas emissions, with emphasis on energy-efficient operations and the development and use of technology and services for reducing emissions in production and application of products.

Yara has achieved more than 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in ten years after adjusting for plants acquired and closed within the period. Further target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from European nitric acid and ammonia plants with 13% compared to 2010 was also achieved, while the respective reduction of 1,8 million tons represented 20% reduction.

Focus to reduce acidifying emissions to air (NOx, SOx, Ammonia, Fluoride) has also brought good results. The target to reduce 17% of the acidifying emissions compared to 2010 was also achieved, with 5000 tons reduction representing ca 28% improvement.

See below the development of Yara's key environmental goals, related to direct and indirect environmental impacts of Yara's operations and products, which were set as a part of the sustainability strategy development:


Environmental aspect

Current target achievement

Further  target

Main actions

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from Yara’s operations

GHG emissions reduced over 50% since 2004.

Further target to reduce  13% of GHG  from Yara’s European Ammonia and Nitric acid plants in compared to 2010 was achieved by a reduction of 20%.

Improve energy efficiency at the ammonia plants by improving plant reliability.

Optimize N2O abatement.   

Brunsbuttel plant converted to use natural gas in addition to oil.

Continue to optimize N2O abatement at nitric acid plants.

Reduction of acidifying emissions to air from Yara’s plants

In 2014, the acidification emissions totaled  13 600 tons of SO2-equivalent, continuing to decrease from previous year (14 300 tons, adjusted to the scope of reporting).

Reduction target of 17% compared to 2010 (as SO2 eqv) was achieved. The reduction currently represents a 28% improvement.

Focus on NOx reduction through renewal and improvement of specific DeNOx installations.

Revamp or replacement of existing DeNOx units.

Brunsbuttel feedstock switch.

Carbon Footprint of Yara’s fertilizers

Carbon Footprint calculations updated according to Fertilizers Europe’s sector- specific calculation model. Carbon Footprint calculated to Yara’s products manufactured in the Nordic, German, Dutch and Italian plants.

Contributed to the development of the “Cool Farm Tool” within the Cool Farm Alliance as an easy to use, online environmental impact calculator for farmers.

Calculations ongoing for remaining  production plants.

Link Carbon Footprint of fertilizer production to that of agricultural products, to include all emissions and mitigation up to the harvested crop.

Contribute to the further development of the Cool Farm Tool.

Water footprint of plant nutrition

Upgraded version developed, quantifying effects of crop nutrition management on potential freshwater pollution. Contributed to the development of the “Water Footprint Network” method.

Agronomic research was performed to quantify the effects of crop nutrition on water use efficiency. Results show that nutrient supply should be adapted to the availability of water in order to maximize crop water productivity.

Yara signed to the UN CEO Water mandate in 2014.

Adjust calculation methodology for green water footprint to improve further crop nutrition management with respect to crop and site-specific water availability. 

Ensure compliance and continuous development along the CEO Water mandate commitment.

Develop adjusted calculation method.
Engage with external stakeholders (a.o. through CEO Water Mandate and Water Footprint Network).

Continue agronomic trials to investigate and document effects.

NOx abatement by  Yara’s customers

Total NOx abatement by Yara customers exceeded  1,1 million tons in 2014.

Become a global market leader for emissions abatement for NOx, SOx and other relevant pollutants in selected markets and segments.

Develop full portfolio of air pollution abatement technologies.

Continue to grow reagent and technology sales by expanding into new segments and markets.


Yara's environmental policy was updated in 2014 to reflect better the life cycle aspects of fertilizers. Promoting sustainable agriculture and delivering environmental solutions contributing to global growth was set as the key goal, while addressing food security, resource efficiency and environmental protection .Yara continues to emphasize energy efficient operations and reduce emissions and environmental impact of company's processes and products.

Read more about Yara's Environmental Policy.

Organizational Responsibility

The Head of HESQ has organizational responsibility for environmental reporting.

Monitoring and follow-up

Yara's Board of Directors is informed about pertinent safety, health, environmental and product stewardship issues and will ensure that policies and steering documents are in place and actions taken to achieve the goals. Management in each business area is responsible for educating, training and motivating employees to understand and comply with Yara's environmental policy. Management systems have been set up to monitor and support this work throughout the organization. All Yara products and services related to the supply of fertilizers and chemicals are regulated by national and internal codes.

Yara's production sites are certified to ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and OHSAS 18001 (Health & Safety Management) and Fertilizer Product Stewardship systems. See the table below.

Plant ISO 9001 ISO 14001 OHSAS 18001 Product Stewardship
(Fertilizers Europe/IFA)
Siilinjärvi x x x                   x GMP +B2 (Feed safety)
Kokkola x x x x  
Uusikaupunki x x x x  
Glomfjord x x x x

ISO 50001

ISO-FS 22000

Porsgrunn x x x x ISO 50001
Köping x x x x ISO 50001
Brunsbüttel x x x x ISO 50001
Rostock x x x x ISO-FS 22000
Sluiskil x x x x  
Tertre x x x x  
Ambès x x x x  
Le Havre x x x x  
Montoir x x x x  
Pardies x x x x  
Ferrara x x In progress x ISO-FS 22000 
Ravenna x x In progress x  
Belle Plaine In progress In progress In progress In progress  
Trinidad x x x NA  
Rio Grande x x x x  
Pilbara In progress In progress In progress In progress  
Ponta Grossa NA NA NA NA  
Marsa El Brega NA

Boundary of Environmental report (Countries, divisions, subsidiaries, leased facilities, joint ventures, suppliers)

Consolidated data within this report covers the reporting year 2014, unless otherwise noted. Readers should take note of the following changes and limitations to the scope and boundaries of the reporting:

• Environmental performance data covers Yara's major chemical production sites. The production sites acquired from Bunge in Brazil in late 2013 are included, but the production site in Cartagena, Columbia not yet (acquisition completed late 2014). Read more about Yara's production sites.

• Joint ventures are included where Yara has operational responsibility. For the 2014 report this includes Yara's joint ventures in Trinidad, Libya and Pilbara, Australia. (Reference years' data of 2012-2013 for the Libyan plant is adjusted.) The joint venture plants in UK and Qatar are not included. The Ammonia plant operated by BP in Hull, UK, is neither included.

• Environmental impacts from transportation and distribution have not been included, as is also the case with staff functions, wholesalers, agents and associated companies. Read more about our Environmental performance indicator points.

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