Why it matters
Agriculture is dependent on healthy ecosystems to sustain our global food supply. Supporting solutions that protect ecosystems is paramount to meeting this demand. Loss of biodiversity is a key risk to our growers, as it provides a buffer against variability in farm productivity, improves crop pollination, and increases natural resistance to weed, pest, and disease invasions.
Our work on biodiversity supports the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Nutrien is committed to helping protect biodiversity worldwide by leading the next wave of innovation and sustainability in agriculture. We support sustainable practices across our sites, operations and communities.
Nutrien’s Biodiversity Strategic Issue Team (“B-SIT”) provides cross-functional subject matter expertise and a platform for transparent communication and strategic guidance throughout the Company.
Nutrien recognizes the intrinsic value of protected areas and legally recognized areas of high biodiversity. In the normal course of operations, if a planned project may impact a protected species, or is subject to a regulatory review (for example, the Impact Assessment Act in Canada or the National Environmental Policy Act in the US), we work through proper permitting including measures to minimize potential impacts. Nutrien protects non-agricultural production lands through conservation and the reclamation and remediation of lands where Nutrien has, or has had, operations. We work with environmental authorities and properly restore land (post-mining) using local and native plant varieties, which can often enhance biodiversity.
Wetlands play an integral role in improving water quality and supporting biodiversity. Nutrien successfully creates, restores and enhances wetlands at our Aurora, NC and White Springs, FL Phosphate mine sites.
For every wetland acre impacted, we restore or create up to two wetland acres that are often more diverse and productive than prior to disturbance.
Our products and services improve yields on existing agricultural land, reducing the need to convert more land for agricultural purposes and protecting our natural carbon sinks and biodiversity. As part of our initial work, by the end of 2021 we used Agrible® to document sustainable and productive acres in the US that also include biodiversity metrics.
Biodiversity highlights from across our operations
- Pollinator protection: Nutrien’s addition of honeybee hives to the reclaimed phosphogypsum stack at Fort Saskatchewan, AB and a bee rescue operation at our Redwater, AB facility are examples of how we are protecting pollinators and supporting biodiversity. Learn more about Fort Saskatchewan and Redwater. Nutrien’s Retail terminal in Newton, IL has a four-acre pollinator plot consisting of various native plants including milkweed, which plays a vital role in the lifecycle of monarch butterflies, to support pollinators and birds in the area.
- Legacy Wetland Restoration Program: Nutrien supports Ducks Unlimited Canada’s® (“DUC”) Legacy Wetland Restoration Program, which restores wetlands and degraded habitat and uses conservation easements to protect the land in perpetuity before re-selling it back into the community. Since 2009, our cumulative donation of $1.15 million has been continually reinvested in Western Canada, protecting approximately 650 acres of wetlands on 3,700 acres of total habitat.
- Forage Program: Supported by Nutrien Ag Solutions, the Forage Program is one of the primary ways DUC works with landowners to restore vital waterfowl nesting habitat while restoring forages across the Canadian prairies. The program provides an incentive for landowners to convert cultivated land to perennial cover, which provides nesting habitat and grass for the beef industry. Between 2010 and 2021, DUC has converted more than 198,000 acres and engaged 1,600 landowners.
- Pollinator seeds planted in Idaho: In 2021, we planted 32 acres of pollinator seed mix near our reclaimed mine in Soda Springs, ID, rather than grasses, which further supports our remediation efforts in the area and fosters biodiversity.
- Threatened species protection in Florida: Nutrien’s White Springs Phosphate mining operations in northern Florida is also home to the gopher tortoise, a threatened species. As White Springs’ operations have expanded, the site’s environment team has been working alongside state officials in relocating gopher tortoises to a protected on-site location – a reclaimed phosphate mine that is ideally suited to their habitat preferences. Nutrien’s onsite Environmental Supervisor is certified as an authorized agent to handle tortoise relocations in house, ensuring they can be moved safely and set up to thrive.
- Peregrine falcon protection: Nutrien’s Redwater, AB Nitrogen and Rocanville, SK Potash facilities have each been the spring and summer home for a breeding pair of peregrine falcons. The species has a status of “special concern” in Canada, and we have prioritized their conservation and safety. You can view Redwater's Falcon Cam here.
Natural Climate Solutions Alliance
Nutrien participates in the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance, which aims to scale up affordable natural climate mitigation solutions for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Climate change mitigation solutions include:
- Protection and conservation
- Livestock, animal and land management
- Coastal wetland and peatland restoration