Document: Tiffanie_STEPHANI_Sustainable_Fertilizers_EU_Green_Week_2019_FINAL.pdf

How environmental legislation can be applied for the benefit of the businesses, citizens and the planet

This year’s EU Green Week put the focus on the application of environmental legislation to different sectors across the EU.  From construction to industrial emissions, waste management in urban societies to the agricultural sector, all areas put forward examples on how environmental legislation can be applied for the benefit of the businesses, citizens and the planet as a whole.

CEMA reports on some innovative ideas and technological advances mentioned in the sessions dealing with the agricultural sector.

Sustainable Fertilisers – Greener Practices To Be Promoted By The Upcoming Fertilising Products Regulation

In view of the upcoming Fertilising Products Regulation, which for the first time will regulate the free circulation of organic fertilizers in the single market, and will limit contaminants in phosphate fertilisers and encourage the use of secondary raw materials -from waste to animal by-products, the fertilizers industry presented its views and actions on how to curb ammonia emissions in farming.

On one side of the coin, it is important to recall that Agriculture is responsible for 92% of ammonia emissions which have a strong impact on air quality, soil acidity and planet’s global warming effect. On the other side, European farmers and all over the world rely on organic and mineral fertilizers to provide crops the right nutrients along the growth cycle and achieve great yields on every harvest.

From the industry of mineral fertilizers, several proposals were presented to mitigate adverse effects:

  • a shift from urea based fertilizers into calcium ammonium-nitrate based fertilizers can reduce ammonia emissions by 10%
  • if organic fertilizers are used, the use of inhibitors and bio-stimulants can reduce ammonia emissions by 70 – 80%, besides applying techniques of direct injection into the ground. Technologies developed by the agricultural machinery industry were mentioned as key players to achieve the emissions reduction.
  • make use of available digital tools such as the Cool Farm Tool that allows farmers to compare the use of different fertilisers (mineral / organic) based on their crops and help in calculating the greenhouse emissions and how to mitigate them with the right application of fertilizers.
  • rely on innovative and effective new fertilizers such as Controlled Release Fertilizers CRF where nutrients can be gradually released from 6 weeks to 14 months. This can be done in just one application reducing labour time for farmers while providing plants what they exactly need across their growth cycle.

Please find HERE the presentation made by Tiffanie Steffani from Fertilizers Europe


Fostering investments in support of the EU’s Circular Economy Package  

The efforts that the European Commission has carried out to reach a more climate-neutral circular economy started with the 2015 Action Plan “Closing the loop”. Noticing that the transition toward a circular economy cannot take off without a system of incentives and enablers, the Commission set up an Expert Group on Circular Economy Financing to identify and address the barriers to access to financing of circular economy projects.

Among the main barriers identified by the group are the lack of a level playing field for circular models when they are competing with linear ones, the fact that environmental costs are not integrated in the cost of the resources, so that it is often cheaper and more convenient for producers to use virgin materials rather than secondary ones, and a lack of understanding of circular economy on the part of the financial sector.

The Expert Group produced a report with recommendations addressed to financial institutions, to project promoters and to policy makers. The full report can be read HERE.

For the circular models to succeed, the participation of all economic actors to the network and the system will be fundamental, so to create trust, share knowledge, and ensure the allocation and fair distribution of risks – a pillar of circular models.

Circularity will need to be supported also by actions aimed at enabling the markets of secondary materials. The EU Green Week event brought forward interesting examples of this, such as the platform Turkish Materials Marketplace (find the link to the platform HERE): with 75 members and over 100 materials available, the platform is proving successful in fostering cross-sector materials exchange in Turkey, and encouraging the networking and connection creation needed for the circular model to work.