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 13 thousand participating companies from 170 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.
PhosAgro is a member of the UN Global Compact and actively participates in the discussion of relevant issues on the international agenda and in meetings of working and expert groups on sustainable development. Moreover, PhosAgro is one of the few Russian companies that is part of the “avant-garde” of the UN GC - Global Compact LEAD. Global Compact LEAD is a premium platform, initiated by the Global Compact to support its leading participants in their quest to achieve a higher level of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development through the implementation of activities in this area. Global Compact LEAD counts 30+ companies. Among them, there are such world business leaders as Nestle, Danone, L'OREAL, BASF, Bayer, Volvo and others.
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. As part of fostering environmental education, PhosAgro cooperates with the SaferPhosphates™ media campaign. The mission of Safer Phosphates™ is to share knowledge - through the website and social media - and address concerns about heavy metals that are present in some phosphate-based fertilizers. SaferPhosphates offers a wide range of content on its web platforms, including 9 special reports, 8 videos, and 8 news sections. Along with PhosAgro, other major industry players are also partners of the media campaign: Foskor, Kropz, Arianne Phosphates and Tradient.
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, and operates in more than 130 countries around the world. 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.
Supporting further training for farmers is another major PhosAgro activity in the framework of achieving the SDGs
Sustainable Soil Management Project
The goal of the project, launched in January 2019, is to create regional soil laboratories (RESOLANs) and integrate them into national networks (GLOSOLAN) in Latin America, Asia and Africa, as well as in the Middle East. The project was launched to train farmers in effective solutions in the field of soil fertility and to establish collaboration between regional laboratories in developing countries. PhosAgro plays a key role in it, creating a single mechanism for advancing technology and expertise about proper land use.
As envisaged in the project, the experts will develop special “Soil Doctor Kits” for soil testing and send them out to five thousand farmers in ten different countries. Farmers will be able to conduct soil research, paying particular attention to assessing the quality and safety of fertilizers used.
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, 41 chemists from 29 countries received grants for research work, and due to its success the Green Chemistry for Life project was extended until 2022. 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.
PhosAgro CEO, member of the Russian Federation UNESCO Commission:
The combination of rapid growth in our planet’s population and ever-faster technological progress continue to fuel rising demand for natural resources and, as a consequence, greater impact on our environment. This is why the overarching priority for the scientific community must be to develop technologies that support continued progress while minimising our environmental footprint. We must preserve our planet in all its natural diversity for the generations to come.
The highest levels of environmental safety are key prerequisites for any new production capacity. I am pleased to note that the chemical industry has become a driver of this process. That is why we joined forces with UNESCO and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) to support young scientists and researchers who are working to create eco-friendly technologies.
I am confident that Green Chemistry for Life will become a successful example of collaboration between science and industry in setting new principles for progress that take responsibility for ensuring that future generations will continue to flourish. I am deeply grateful to the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Commission for UNESCO Affairs for supporting our initiatives. I have every hope that our joint programmes with UNESCO and IUPAC will provide a substantial boost to research by young scientists, and will lend significant impetus to scientific research under the Green Chemistry for Life initiative.
Since 2018, PhosAgro has been acting as a general partner and participant of the IUPAC Summer Schools on Green Chemistry, providing scholarships to young scientists from developing countries. Over the two years, the company allocated more than $ 30 thousand for these purposes.
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.