NOT CURRENT YEAR

Grade C-
ChemScore report card 2020

Yara

Yara International is the world’s leading producer of nitrogen fertilisers and a major player in the growth of industrial agriculture. Yara produces, distributes, and sells nitrogen-based mineral fertilisers and other related industrial products. The company also sells a range of phosphate and potash-based mineral fertilisers, as well as complex and specialty mineral fertiliser products. The Norwegian government owns more than a third of Yara and is its largest shareholder.
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Total score
15 / 48

Grade summary

Yara produces four SIN List substances, two of which are officially recognised as chemicals of high concern by the EU. The company has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products and includes intrinsic hazards of ingredients in the screening process. It does not, however, have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. The company follows several voluntary standards of good conduct, but has nonetheless been involved in a few controversies over the last ten years, including various corruption scandals.

Opportunities for improvement

  1. Yara’s perspective of managing exposure risks rather than the intrinsic hazards of chemicals is, unfortunately, still common in the chemical industry. Nevertheless, frontrunners are nowadays committing to timed phase-out plans. Evonik should follow this trend and communicate its efforts to reduce the production of hazardous chemicals in a clear and transparent way.
  2. Add transparency to the hazardous product portfolio. We can only rank less than half of Yara’s overall production since the rest takes place outside the EU and US. For other regions there are no reliable and publicly available sources for identifying producers of hazardous chemicals. Informing ChemSec of hazardous chemical production outside the EU and US could help raise the company’s score.
  3. The business model of selling synthetic fertilisers is under heavy scrutiny due to its excessive energy use and the devastating effects the fertilisers have on soil and biodiversity. Instead of spending millions of dollars on lobbying activities, Yara should find ways to operate its business without harming the natural environment.

Category breakdown

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Product Portfolio
5 / 18

Yara produces four SIN List substances, two of which are included on the REACH Candidate List but not on the REACH Authorisation List. The company does not produce any persistent chemicals.

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Development of Safer Chemicals
4 / 12

Yara has a method in place to screen and assess the sustainability of its products and includes intrinsic hazards of ingredients in the screening process. The company does not follow the principles of green chemistry or use the GreenScreen assessment tool, nor does it exclude substances with toxic properties from new products. It does, however, actively market safer alternatives on its website.

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Management & Transparency
3 / 12

The Norwegian company shares chemical safety information on its website but does not have a phase-out strategy for hazardous substances. Yara is not a member of Responsible Care but follows voluntary standards such as a Code of Conduct and a Supplier Code of Conduct.

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Lack of Controversies
3 / 6

In recent years, Yara has been involved in various corruption scandals, most notably bribery, and has been fined several million USD to in penalties for these incidents. Yara is also known for being a fracking advocate and is accused of lobbying for shale gas development in Europe. Together with other fertiliser producers, Yara is responsible for using most of the natural gas produced by fracking in the United States.

Download detailed information on controversies (PDF, 132 KB)
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Overall rank
12 / 35
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Total score
15 / 48
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Product Portfolio
5 / 18
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Development of Safer Chemicals
4 / 12
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Management & Transparency
3 / 12
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Lack of Controversies
3 / 6
Download report
Other years
Year Rank Total score
2023 3 / 50 26 / 48
2022 5 / 54 23 / 48
2021 13 / 50 16 / 48
2020 12 / 35 15 / 48