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Food producers turn to greener fertilizers to reduce carbon footprints

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on the Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: New regulations will soon require companies to disclose greenhouse gas emissions from their supply chains, prompting major food and beverage producers like PepsiCo, Heineken, and Nestlé to invest in green fertiliser technologies
• These firms aim to reduce their carbon footprint by addressing emissions from fertilisers, a significant yet often overlooked source of emissions in their value chains.

🔭 The context: Fertilisers are crucial for global food production but are also a major source of CO₂ emissions. For instance, nitrogen-based fertilisers and farm manure contribute about 5% of global greenhouse gases, more than aviation and shipping combined
• The upcoming "scope 3" emissions reporting rules in the EU and proposed regulations in the U.S. are catalyzing this shift towards sustainable practices.

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The manufacturing and use of fertilisers have a considerable environmental impact
• They produce significant CO₂ during production and release nitrous oxide when applied to soil, a gas with a much higher warming effect than CO₂ 
By switching to low-carbon fertilisers, companies can substantially reduce their environmental footprint.

⏭️ What's next: Several companies are working on innovative solutions to produce lower-carbon fertilisers. For example, CCm Technologies combines CO₂ captured from industrial activities with organic materials to create sustainable crop nutrients. Heineken is investing in a start-up to produce low-carbon ammonia

💬 One quote: "We’re the world’s biggest food and beverage company and so if we’re not taking a leading position on this then what hope do the rest have?" – Matt Ryan, leading Nestlé UK’s regenerative agriculture efforts.

📈 One stat: Nitrogen-based fertiliser and farm manure contribute to 2.6 billion tonnes of CO₂ emissions annually, more than global aviation and shipping combined.

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