Decarbonising Farming with Yara International

Decarbonising farming with a co-created circular service model

Decarbonising Farming with Yara International
Farmers under pressure to decrease emissions

Covering roughly half of the landmass of Europe, agriculture has a substantial impact on our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Farmers are under a lot of pressure: Measuring the emissions is in the early stages, connected to limited public funding and most solutions focus on incentivising farmers to move toward organic farming. Although the European Green Deal sets the direction and the timeline, farmers are often left to find effective solutions to meet the targets themselves.

Yara, a global crop nutrition company, partnered with Hellon and a biofuel processor to develop a commercially and globally valid proof of concept which support farmers in reducing their carbon footprint with new services or products that support Yara’s current offerings.

"Decarbonizing farming reflects the integration of Yara’s mission to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet and the ambition of growing a nature-positive food future."

Marketing Director Continental Europe, Yara
Leveraging collaboration in the value chain

Led by Hellon’s human and planet centric methodologies, the project kicked off with extensive ecosystem research that engaged Yara, experts, the farmers, and the biofuel processor. Together with Yara, we innovated a solution that leverages the power the value chain has when key players are brought together to collaborate.

After validating the desirability of the new concept with farmers, Hellon led a week-long business design sprint for a diverse mix of relevant stakeholders to ensure the business viability of the proposition.

A co-created circular service model

The concept of the ‘Objectif COOlza’ service was created, which builds upon offering a mutually-beneficial proposition where Yara, the farmers and the biofuel processor partner can take steps toward a greener future.

‘The COOLza GHG calculator - simulator ’, a tool offered as part of the service, calculates the farmers' C02 and suggests strategies to reduce emissions while increasing their profit. As the first action, farmers opt for Yara's low-emission and highly effective fertiliser and track how their carbon per tonne of grain is reduced.

The low carbon grain is sold to a rapeseed biofuel processor, which offers the farmer a GHG Bonus* of 24e per tonne for their product as a part of a premium programme.

They also collect the field waste from farmers, making the operation close to zero-waste and valuable for both parties.

The project's outcome included the validated concept, customer journey, value propositions for key stakeholders, a business model, a plan for channel partner cooperation, acquisition and onboarding, and MVP and rollout recommendations.

The pilot was a success.

+4,7%* / tonne
Scalable method to decrease carbon emissions

In 2021, a pilot was launched in France with the aim of helping farmers produce low carbon oilseed rape grain. ‘Objectif COOLza’ has already engaged 25 farmers with their 500 hectares - and this is only the first introduction of the circular service.

The model has potential for scaling across Europe towards barley and other cereals, as well as bringing other partners such as food producers and the transportation industry on board to cut emissions.

As part of the Objectif COOlza, a GHG Bonus provides the farmers' value with approx. 4,7%*/tonne price increase making the step towards green profitable for them, and by sourcing the low carbon rapeseed, the biofuel processor can offer other companies sustainable fuel.

The French farmers have already cut 15% of their crops’ CO2 by switching their fertiliser to Yara nitrates. The ambition, by 2025, is to have 3000 farmers’ 60 000 hectares taking part.

*Based on French Nov 2021 Oilseed Rape ex-farm price

"We need to build collaboration across the industry through strong partnerships, such as those we have established through this initiative."

Marketing Director Continental Europe, Yara

This case was honoured in Fast Company’s 2022 Innovation by Design Awards, one of the most sought-after design awards in the industry as the winner of the Established Excellence category, alongside two honorable mentions in the categories of Impact and Sustainability.

Read more: Fast Company's 2022 Awards

We are sharing our method for evaluating ideas’ societal and planetary impact to support all design teams to steer service and product design in an ethical direction.

Read more and scroll down to Download the Concept Integrity Canvas: Integrity Canvas

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