Why it matters

We are committed to reducing GHG emissions across our operations and supporting growers with emission reduction solutions.

Fertilizer production and use have complex and conflicting impacts on GHG emissions across the agricultural value chain. Fertilizer is critical to healthy and productive crops, enhancing soil carbon (the level of carbon that is directly tied to the level of organic matter in the soil) and increasing yields, which helps to feed the growing population from the same amount of arable land. However, nitrogen fertilizer also generates GHG emissions when it is produced and after it is applied to the soil.


Our work on climate change supports the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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2023 highlight

1.2Mmt annual low-carbon ammonia production capability


Our approach

Emissions related to our operations 
The manufacturing of fertilizer accounts for approximately 95 percent of our company-wide direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) emissions. Direct emissions are generated on site, from the combustion of natural gas and other fuels, or from processes at our operations. Indirect emissions are from the off-site generation of purchased electricity, steam and heat.

Reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions 

In order to achieve at least a 30 percent intensity reduction in GHG emissions (Scope 1 and 2) per tonne of our products produced by 2030, from a baseline year of 2018, our approach falls into the following:


Process improvements that allow us to reduce GHG emissions at our facilities, with a focus on our Nitrogen sites, include N2O abatement, efficiency and reliability improvements. We estimate that N2O abatement technology can remove over 90 percent of N2O emissions from nitric acid production, an essential step in producing certain nitrogen fertilizers. Since N2O has a significantly higher global warming potential compared to CO2, N2O has a significant impact on our GHG emissions. Many factors can negatively impact the efficacy of our progress and emissions reduction efforts. For example, reliability and plant turnaround schedules can impact our energy efficiency and associated GHG emissions profile because plant start-ups and shutdowns consume energy without associated production.

Progress update on short-term nitrogen GHG emissions target 
As we continue to work towards our goal of reducing 1 million tonnes of CO2e from Nitrogen operations on a per tonne of products produced basis, compared to our 2018 baseline, we are proud to announce the successful completion of our GHG Phase 1 abatement program. These GHG reduction projects have been successful and have helped prevent the release of over 300,000 tonnes CO2e per tonne of our products produced in 2023 compared to 2018. However, we have faced some operational challenges that have affected the overall improvement in emissions intensity. Despite these challenges, we expect that the progress we have made positions us to achieve this target from 2024 onwards.

  • Redwater, AB vent sweep project: This project eliminated a source of methane emissions at the facility. Since methane has a global warming potential roughly 30 times higher than CO2, we anticipate this project will have a quantifiable impact on our GHG emissions at Redwater. 
  • N2O abatement: In late 2023, we completed our final project in our suite of N2O abatement projects that included installing new equipment at our Geismar, LA site. Other projects were completed at Augusta, GA, Kennewick, WA, and Lima, OH in 2021 and 2022. We anticipate seeing the full impact from all these projects on our GHG inventory in 2024.

We aim to continually improve our energy efficiency, which directly reduces our GHG emissions and improves production costs. Where feasible, as equipment is replaced for upgrades or due to end of life, it is upgraded to a more energy-efficient option. Reductions in Scope 2 emissions can be achieved at the point of energy production as well as at the point of consumption.


  • Energy efficiency: Nutrien has centralized all ammonia plant operating data with a goal of using advanced analytical tools to support our Nitrogen facilities to run at their optimal production and energy efficiency points, minimizing our emissions intensity. 
  • Cogeneration/power generation: Our Carseland, AB Nitrogen facility and our Cory, SK Potash mine use cogeneration to efficiently combine heat and power generation. Nutrien is constructing a power generation facility at our Rocanville, SK Potash mine that is expected to meet the majority of that site’s power demand with lower-emission electricity than currently available from the grid. The Rocanville natural gas-based power generation facility is expected to be commissioned in 2024. 
  • Renewable energy: We continued to assess renewable energy opportunities for our Potash facilities, which are located in Saskatchewan, where power is provincially regulated. It was initially anticipated that we could deploy self-generated wind and/or solar energy by the end of 2025 but given that adding renewable energy to the grid needs to be considered in conjunction with the regulator’s decarbonization strategy and the capital required to implement physical assets, we no longer expect to achieve this target and have withdrawn it. Overall, this target represented a small portion of our Scope 2 emissions footprint and our 30 percent GHG emissions (Scope 1 and 2) intensity target. We continue to work to better understand challenges and opportunities related to renewable electricity and the Saskatchewan grid and evaluate additional strategies to reduce our Scope 2 emissions.

We are exploring ways to reduce the carbon footprint of our North American Retail fleet, consisting of more than 30,000 trucks, forklifts, tractors, fertilizer and seed applicators, and other moving equipment. 


  • Electric vehicles: In 2023, we evaluated the feasibility of transitioning some of our light and medium-duty trucks, more than 10,000 vehicles, from internal combustion engine to electric vehicles (“EVs”). The evaluation included a pilot of testing two EVs in California to determine asset effectiveness and charge coverage. We expect to incrementally invest in and expand our EV fleet, dependent upon feasibility, to reduce our carbon impact and to meet regulatory requirements in the jurisdictions where we operate. 
  • Vehicle telematics: We installed vehicle telematics in our Retail commercial and light-duty vehicle fleets in 2023. Telematics give us increased visibility into a vehicle’s health and utilization, as well as additional logistics, diagnostics and asset management needs. During the pilot, we observed meaningful fuel savings due to reduced idling time. 

Low-carbon and clean ammonia can be produced using one or a combination of technologies including renewable electricity and/or carbon capture utilization and storage (“CCUS”), the permanent storage of CO2 underground using sequestration reservoirs or for use in a range of applications. 


  • Low-carbon ammonia: Our near-term focus is on using CCUS infrastructure and growing our low-carbon ammonia production. Our Redwater Nitrogen facility has been capturing and exporting CO2 into the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line since late 2019. In 2023, an additional project was completed to increase the export capability to over 800 tonnes of CO2 per day. As of December 31, 2023, Nutrien has annual production capability for 1.2 million tonnes of low-carbon ammonia at our Geismar, LA, Redwater, AB and Joffre, AB Nitrogen facilities. 
  • Clean ammonia: We are suspending work on our proposed Geismar clean ammonia project. This decision is due to an increase in expected capital costs compared to our initial estimates, continued uncertainty on the timing of emerging uses for clean ammonia and prioritizing strategic capital allocation. 
  • Dual-fuel vessels: As a result of suspending the Geismar clean ammonia project, we are currently evaluating our participation in EXMAR's (our shipping partner) ammonia dual-fuel vessel.

Nutrien continues our partnership with the US Department of Energy (“DOE”) and other industry partners to develop a clean ammonia plant with technology developed from the Renewable Energy to Fuels Through Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids (“REFUEL”) program. 

Study and assessment
Nutrien is conducting a study to assess the technological feasibility, develop preliminary engineering and create the overall business case for difficult-to-abate carbon emissions at the Redwater, AB ammonia production facility. 

Emissions from our value chain 
For Nutrien, GHG emissions from nitrogen fertilizer application are significant to our total carbon footprint. Approximately half of the fertilizer volumes we sell to our grower customers is nitrogen-based and has the potential to produce GHG emissions.

Fertilizer management practices are an important way to reduce N2O emissions and one of the reasons crop consultants at Nutrien provide farmers with nutrient-management planning advice.


We remain focused on supporting the development of a science-based target methodology that is appropriate and specific to the fertilizer sector. In 2021, Nutrien set short-term and mid-term reduction targets for Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions. We continue to work with the WBCSD, fertilizer peers and the Science Based Targets initiative (“SBTi”) to produce a sectoral decarbonization approach (“SDA”) for the fertilizer industry, which as of December 31, 2023 had not been published for public comment. The role of nitrogen in food production, soil health and optimization of land use are unique attributes differentiating nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing from other chemical industries and these attributes need to be considered in developing the SDA process. Any use of an SDA to set an emissions target will depend on several factors including its suitability to Nutrien’s operations and its technological and economic feasibility.


To address the agriculture industry’s most pressing issues, we intend to use our role in the agriculture industry to advocate for action to transform the global food system. In 2023, we became a founding partner of the Canadian Alliance for Net-Zero Agri-food (“CANZA”). The goal of this new alliance is to foster collaboration and innovation to collectively support aspirations for Canada’s agri-food system towards net zero. This alliance of stakeholders from across the Canadian agri-food system can help progress solutions to challenges experienced around the world. Nutrien is helping develop a regionally representative and scalable monitoring, measurement, reporting and verification framework for quantifying environmental outcomes of sustainable agriculture practices, as well as enabling agri-food corporations to report these outcomes as part of their Scope 3 emissions inventory.


In Australia, Nutrien is a partner in the Zero Net Emissions from Agriculture Cooperative Research Centre (“ZNE-Ag CRC”). The ZNE-Ag CRC has a goal to transition Australian agriculture to net zero, healthy, resilient and profitable food systems by 2040. In addition, we have submitted a response to the Australian Government’s Agriculture & Land Sector Plan including recommendations to incentivize industry decarbonization including the development of pathways to recognize emissions reductions resulting from the use of enhanced efficiency fertilizers and from changes associated with ruminant livestock.


Calculating Scope 3

In 2023, using high-level estimated emissions and criteria aligned with the GHG Protocol’s technical guidance for calculating Scope 3 emissions, we identified eight of the 15 Scope 3 categories as relevant to Nutrien. The measurement of Scope 3 emissions is complex and iterative, and we anticipate the accuracy of our estimates will improve and evolve over time. 

We currently estimate that Category 11 (Use of Sold Products) and Category 1 (Purchased Goods and Services) combined account for approximately 90 percent of the identified value-chain emissions. Category 11 is associated with nitrogen fertilizer use on field.

Carbon Program

While we refine our Scope 3 measurement estimates, we continue working to help our grower customers reduce emissions from agriculture. Nutrien’s Carbon Program is designed to help growers generate high-quality carbon outcomes (offsets or insets) that can be monetized in voluntary or compliance carbon markets. Growers use best practices to maintain or increase soil organic matter levels and/or optimize the application and efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer. Nutrien brings companies together from across the agricultural value chain to incentivize grower adoption of sustainable products and practices.


We have used the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework to report on our climate strategy and performance. Read our TCFD disclosures on page 80-85 of our Global Sustainability Report. To learn more see our CDP Climate Questionnaire. Both are linked below.

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Our work on climate change supports the following area of focus

2030 commitments: environment and climate action

Dive into our performance

Sustainability Targets

Sustainability Report

Data Tool