Serving the Farming Industry across East Anglia for 35 Years
A new strategy from agronomy company Agrii aims to help farmers maximise productivity in a way which is good for the environment. The new... Carbon-friendly farming ‘is all about balance’

A new strategy from agronomy company Agrii aims to help farmers maximise productivity in a way which is good for the environment.

The new drive builds on the company’s Green Horizons initiative, which was introduced three years ago. It brings together the three key areas of people, planet and profit to ensure all Agrii agronomy services have sustainability at their heart.

“We believe delivering sustainability and greater resilience within agriculture and the wider food supply chain is about much more than simply protecting the environment,” says Agrii sustainability and environmental services manager Amy Watkins.

“Increasingly, it revolves around using all our collective knowledge, efforts and energy to take the industry to new levels of efficiency and develop a safe and stable production base for future generations to build on.

Ms Watkins said achieving this goal would involve better food security, lower greenhouse gas emissions, enhanced biodiversity, replenished water resources and reduced waste. “That is precisely what our strategy aims to do,” she said.

Land use

“Ultimately, it’s all about creating a balance. With increasing pressure to maximise crop production, sequester carbon and restore biodiversity levels, the demands on land use have never been greater.

“Like every other business in the supply chain, we have a responsibility to take action to mitigate the impact of climate change and feed a growing population, but unlike many other sectors, agriculture is also the solution to many of these global challenges.

“Sustainability must remain front and centre of all future decision making and our aim is to fast-track the process by bringing together all our research and development – and channelling it into practical advice and solutions on-farm.”

Productivity gains

The primary goal within the Agrii sustainability strategy is to ensure both the company and its customers are maximising productivity in a way that is considerate to the environment they operate in, said Ms Watkins.

Short-term aims include best practice sustainable farming methods. This includes identifying top crop options, investing in innovation crops and alternative proteins and exploring opportunities to reduce greenhouse has emissions.

Medium-term focus includes making soil a key part of decision-making on-farm, helping growers increase nitrogen use efficiency of crops by 20% by 2030 and reducing emissions across the value chain by 32.5% by 2032, from our 2019 baseline.

Increasing efficiency

Within Agrii’s operation itself, key targets revolve around health and safety, reducing waste, improving recycling, reducing GHG emissions and ensuring all staff are trained fully in delivering greater sustainability across the organisation, explained Ms Watkins.

“Ultimately, we want to work towards being net zero across all our business operations and our value chain by 2050 and we’re making significant progress in several areas.”

The company had already eliminated its Scope 2 emissions, she added.

“These are the indirect GHG emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling and we’ve eliminated them across the operation through the installation and sourcing of renewable energy across all our sites.

Electric vehicles

“Most of our business reductions by 2032 will come from Scope 1 emissions – direct emissions that occur from sources that are controlled or owned by an organisation, with areas of target including our fleet and logistics emissions.

This will involve increasing the proportion of electric and hybrid vehicles and utilising alternative fuel sources such as hydrated vegetable oils for our logistics fleet, which have proven lower emissions than diesel.

Agrii already operates 32 all-electric commercial vehicles.

“We have achieved major milestones in recent years, both in terms of helping our customers achieve greater sustainability and within the company itself, and our defined sustainability strategy will only accelerate this process in the years ahead.”