Yara and sustainability

Sustainable agriculture

Yara aims to be a global leader in sustainable agriculture, contributing to green growth and sustainable development. We provide knowledge-based solutions to improve agricultural productivity, which also addresses food security and climate change.

Yara is committed to contributing to sustainable development – to create impact. As the only truly global company in our industry, Yara is positioned to leverage our more than a hundred years of agronomic expertise and industrial experience to drive world agriculture in a sustainable direction.

Sustainability Pillars
In line with the universally adopted approach of sustainable development, Yara subscribes to the approach of sustainable agriculture as consisting of three pillars :

  • Profitable production : The economic dimension: Agriculture must provide sufficient financial reward to farmers, enable them to make a decent living, encourage production and conservation of the environment.
  • Protected Environment : The environmental dimension: Agriculture shall minimize the use of non-renewable resources, replenish tapped resources, protect and enhance the environment and natural resources. 
  • Prosperous communities : The societal dimension: Agriculture shall contribute to thriving and viable local communities, to economic and social development, including  the provision of healthy food.

Agricultural Importance
Within a global sustainability context, agriculture is prominent: The agricultural sector is the largest employer in the world, represents the largest single land use in the world, puts natural ecosystems at risk and is the cause of about one quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. It is absolutely decisive for global food security and is also vulnerable to climate change. 

The agricultural sector and the food industry constitute a major area of the world economy, with a particular importance in developing countries. Here, investments in agriculture are considered to yield one of the best developmental effects – spurring economic growth, increasing food security and fighting poverty.

The growth in agricultural production has been formidable: Despite a steep decline in the number of farmers, particularly in developed economies, output has greatly increased. This is known as the Green Revolution, headed by the efforts of Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug. These efforts are credited with fending off starvation, and key points involved high-yielding seed varieties, irrigation, modern farm management and use of fertilizers and pesticides.

While food production was boosted, overuse of non-renewable resources or agrichemicals caused environmental damage. Through improved knowledge, modern tools and updated farm management methods, farmers are now able to maintain high yields while also safeguarding the environment.

Today it is commonly acknowledged that a sustainable agricultural sector is an essential part of the path towards green growth.

Interconnected Issues
The main task for agriculture is to produce food; to provide for food security by satisfying growing demand in a sustainable way. Sustainability applied to agriculture implies that key resources such as soil, nutrients and water cannot be consumed indiscriminately. Consequently, solutions for a more sustainable agricultural practice have to include ways to enhance resource efficiency.

World food production has to increase by an estimated 70 percent in the next generation, and it has to be achieved by employing largely the same amount of land and less water. Climate change, energy issues and degraded agricultural soils add to the challenge.

To make agriculture sustainable, and also a part of the solution, several critical issues have to be approached as a nexus connecting food, water and energy to global warming.

Knowledge Leader
Yara has developed extensive agronomic knowledge to support sustainable agriculture. Our main contribution towards sustainable agriculture lies in improving agricultural productivity : Increasing food production on existing farmland is crucial to avoid land use change, which causes global warming and loss of biodiversity.

Our knowledge and solutions create impact. Yara develops crop nutrition concepts, reduces the carbon footprint of fertilizers and hence of agriculture, and we provide advice to growers to apply the right product in the right amount at the right time. We promote improved resource efficiency by engaging in stakeholder dialogue and business partnerships, to impact productivity, climate change and food security.