In 2015, the United Nations adopted a sustainable development program of 17 Global Goals that should “transform the world” and help all countries achieve balance in the economic, social and environmental activities. Large business should also contribute to these Goals along with the UN member states. Being one of the world industry leaders, the PhosAgro Group is actively involved in international projects that support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UN Global Compact is the largest UN business initiative in the field of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. It brings together more than 11 thousand participating companies from 157 countries. This is the only United Nations initiative for entrepreneurs. Its main goal is the transition to a socially responsible business worldwide, which will strive, inter alia, to achieve the SDGs.
As a participant of the UN Global Compact, PhosAgro has been active in discussing pressing global issues and joined working and expert groups on climate change and sustainable development.
10 principles of the UN Global Compact to be followed by participating companies:
The development of international relations and the expansion of contacts are necessary conditions for achieving those global tasks that the UN and the world community are pursuing. Therefore, PhosAgro, as one of the leaders in the global fertilizer market, contributes to the industry by working closely with the International Fertilizer Association (IFA). The company’s CEO Andrey Guryev holds the position of Vice President of the Association for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
IFA is the world's largest organization that brings together manufacturers, traders, fertilizer distributors, as well as industry service providers and researchers. The IFA includes more than 480 companies from 68 countries that produce 75-80% of the world's fertilizers, and the organization itself acts as a consultant to the UN and actively works with relevant international structures: the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
IFA Key Goals
The IFA hosts platforms for the exchange of views on current issues, and fosters companies that promote high standards of production and comply with them. Thus, in 2018, PhosAgro (represented by the Cherepovets branch of Apatit JSC) successfully conducted several benchmarks and received the prestigious IFA award - the IFA SHE Excellence Gold Medal, praising the company’s excellent results in energy efficiency; environmental indicators and safety and labor protection.
One of the key goals of sustainable development is to protect the planet’s ecosystems and reduce the environmental footprint.
Along with green mineral fertilizer companies from South Africa, Canada and Egypt, PhosAgro is part of the SaferPhosphates™ international coalition. SaferPhosphates™ has a dedicated website and social media pages where international experts share knowledge about contaminants (heavy metals) that are present in some fertilizers and their potential impact on people's health and the environment. It publishes scientific article summaries, videos, industry reports, media releases and news on phosphate fertilizer safety.
Yet another PhosAgro project is being implemented jointly with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN body that leads and coordinates international efforts to combat hunger. The FAO has more than 194 member countries. The main goal of the organization is to provide the population with access to quality food.
Since May 2018, PhosAgro has been participating in the FAO Global Soil Partnership (GSP). This is a platform for the discussion of current issues of soil management, including the reduction of soil pollution, and exchange of best practices for the use of fertilizers. PhosAgro specialists also took part in the development of the “International Code of Conduct for the Sustainable Use and Management of Fertilizers”. The Code has become a call to action, where, among other things, it recommends to limit the content of heavy metals in fertilizers. Another example of collaboration with FAO was the participation in the annual World Soil Day, which helps to raise awareness of the importance of food security for humanity.
PhosAgro is also focused on organising farmer training and skills development together with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Sustainable soil management
In 2019, PhosAgro launched a large-scale project to promote sustainable soil management among farmers and create the Regional Soil Laboratory Network (RESOLAN) in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. The project seeks to improve the soil quality and encourage more frequent soil analysis.
Special emphasis is placed on assessing the quality and safety of mineral fertilizers used in the region. PhosAgro plays the key role in this project by creating a common framework to advance technology and expertise for the proper land use. One of the major initiatives is the Global Soil Doctors Programme, which saw the creation of soil testing kits with educational materials and a set of tools. These kits will be distributed among 5,000 farmers in developing countries after they undergo special training.
The main stages of the implementation of the project on sustainable agriculture
Green Chemistry for Life grant programme was launched in 2013 at the initiative of UNESCO and PhosAgro in collaboration with the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The project is designed to support young scientists involved in the development of the innovative technologies in accordance with the principles of green chemistry, which will help solve environmental problems, improve energy efficiency and management of natural resources.
Over the years of the project’s existence, 40 chemists from 29 countries received grants for research work. The project has become the first in the history of the entire UN and UNESCO system to be implemented at the expense of Russian business.
In 2018, the Company's partnership with UNESCO and the IUPAC reached a new milestone as the first session of the IUPAC Summer School on Green Chemistry kicked off in Venice, Italy.
Since then, sessions have been held annually with PhosAgro’s support, attracting hundreds of young talented scholars from emerging and transition economies. Over the past few years, three events took place at Ca' Foscari University of Venice and the University of Dar es Salaam, bringing together over 350 young specialists and 50 world-class teachers from 60 countries.
2019 was declared by the UN as the International Year of the Periodic Table, which was created by Russian scientist Dmitry Mendeleev 150 years ago. Throughout the Year, scientific conferences, exhibitions and competitions for young researchers are held around the world. PhosAgro is a key partner in this initiative. The flowing events have been organized with the support of the company: the Official Opening Ceremonies in Paris and Moscow, the exhibition during the Opening Ceremony, the All-Russian Mendeleev Competition for Young University Researchers, and Mendeleev Congress on General and Applied Chemistry.
The events held during the International Year of the Periodic Table served as a major guide for further technology advancements in green chemistry, sustainable development and food safety.