The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) bring the world together to address global challenges. As the world’s largest fertilizer producer and leader in agriculture retail, Nutrien takes their role in these challenges extremely seriously. Across Nutrien’s value chain—all activities required to create their products/services—Nutrien’s efforts ripple through many SDGs; but their Sustainability Strategy focuses on specific global goals where Nutrien is in position to make meaningful impact.
Community Relations and Investment and the SDGs
Community Relations and Investment (CR&I) aims to create a mutually beneficial relationship with the communities in Nutrien’s operating territories. The company takes an active interest and responsibility in the well-being of its community, and in turn gains long-term benefits like community support, loyalty, and good will.(1)
Nutrien supports initiatives that are aligned with three specific Focus Areas, refined by their relationship to community as:
· Sustainable Agriculture and Food Solutions
· Environmental Stewardship
· Diversity and Inclusion
Each Focus Area supports many initiatives that meaningfully contribute to communities globally and locally. This support comes in the traditional form of financial support but also in community outreach and many hours of employee volunteer time and talent.
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Solutions
Current estimates state that nearly 690 million people are hungry (8.9 per cent of the world’s population). To help meet Goal 2: Zero Hunger, the global agriculture industry will need to feed the undernourished population and feed the additional two billion people expected by 2050. If that doesn’t seem challenging enough, this must also be accomplished with less environmental impact and using less finite resources.(2) Advancing sustainable agriculture (including innovation, education, and awareness), addressing root causes of poverty and hunger, and supporting rural health and safety are some of the ways that Nutrien helps to support this global goal through CR&I.
In early 2020, Nutrien established a strategic partnership with Colorado State University (CSU), a leading university in sustainable agriculture and climate change science. Nutrien’s investment will advance existing agriculture and engineering applications to solve farming problems; improve research capabilities to advance sustainable agriculture, specifically in the areas of climate-smart agriculture and soil health; and prepare students for a career in agriculture, using new and innovative technology to sustainably feed the future.
We all live in, use, and contribute to the state of our local watershed. Healthy watersheds are crucial to the agriculture industry. Agriculture is a major user of fresh water to grow crops and raise livestock. Healthy watersheds mean good water quality and healthy soil, which in turn leads to healthy crops and animals.(3) Agriculture can also impact the watershed if best management practices—or the best way of doing something—are not followed. To support Goal 13: Climate Action, Nutrien strives for continuous environmental improvements across watersheds through their operations and by working with farmers. Supporting and contributing to best management practices, technology, innovation, and community-environmental initiatives achieve this.
In 2007, Nutrien launched an environmental education program for students called “Caring for our Watersheds” (CFW) and continues to support this international, award-winning environmental contest. CFW asks students to submit a proposal that answers the question, “What can you do to improve your watershed?” Students must research their local watershed, identify an environmental concern, and come up with one realistic solution. Students compete for cash rewards, but Nutrien also offers funding to help implement realistic solutions. To date, thirty-five thousand participants have implemented over five hundred student-led action projects around the world with support from nearly two hundred community partners.
Diversity and Inclusion
Supporting traditionally under-represented groups like women and Indigenous Peoples will not only benefit the industry and economy by increasing gross domestic product (GDP)—the market value of goods and services produced in a region over a period of time—by trillions of dollars,(4) but it will also allow us to truly achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. We cannot achieve “Zero Hunger,” “Climate Action,” or any SDG without the inclusion, support, and action of all people.(5) Nutrien aims to be an agent of positive social change and decrease inequalities in their operating territories while also ensuring that change is reflected across the company and their value chain. This relates to Goal 5: Gender Equality through developing careers/opportunities for women in non-traditional roles but extends to support Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities and under-represented populations in communities as well.
To help address unique food security issues caused by COVID-19 in rural Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan, Nutrien collaborated with leaders of local Tribal Councils and their collective partners/networks to come up with a community response plan. The plan surrounded the donation of raised garden boxes and garden materials to local families and supported existing community gardens in eighteen Indigenous communities across Saskatchewan. The execution included implementing a sustainable water source (water barrels), strategically selecting seeds, and devising an education plan that would lead to successful garden development and harvesting of sustainable food during the pandemic and for years to follow.
A Small Glimpse
Nutrien’s CR&I initiatives are driven by their Sustainability Strategy and commitment to the SDGs, fulfilling their Purpose of “Growing Our World from the Ground Up.” These are just a few examples among hundreds of community initiatives that Nutrien supports around the globe.
Learn more at www.Nutrien.com.
For more information on The Sustainable Development Goals explore our Nourishing Minds publications here.
1 Reference for Business—Community Relations
2 UN—Goal 2: Zero Hunger
3 Oldman Watershed Council—Benefits of a Healthy Watershed
4 McKinsey Global Institute—How Advancing Women’s Equality Can Add $12 Trillion to Global Growth