Why it matters
Reducing potential impacts from the agricultural products we manufacture and sell is one way we can help our customers manage the increasing environmental and societal pressures they face. From product development, feedstock sourcing and manufacturing, to distribution, sales and use, we strive to minimize product risk, while maximizing the health, safety, environmental and social benefits of our products. Nutrien is committed to the safe, responsible and sustainable handling and use of our products throughout their lifecycle.
Our work on product stewardship supports the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Product stewardship means minimizing the risk while maximizing the health, safety, environmental and social benefits of a product throughout its lifecycle. We strive to improve our product sustainability profile across procurement, product development, manufacturing, distribution and end-use application.
We established a Product Stewardship Strategic Issue Team ("PS-SIT") to provide cross-functional subject matter expertise and a platform for transparent communication and strategic guidance throughout the Company across all product categories. The PS-SIT's objectives include demonstrating alignment, leadership, and a commitment to product quality and safety, along with promoting a product risk reduction and sustainability enhancement approach across Nutrien.
Circularity in nutrient lifecycle
We specifically aim to foster circularity in the nutrient lifecycle from production to harvest, which is where we have the largest influence.
Within the nutrient lifecycle, the largest risk of losses occurs when nutrients are applied to fields. Closing the loop through the 4R Nutrient Stewardship, or “4Rs” (Right Source of plant nutrients at the Right Rate, Right Time and Right Place), for example, reduces losses to the environment and keeps nutrients in the soil for crops to grow.
Our product stewardship approach seeks to address product environmental, safety and social areas of concern over the entire lifecycle of each product. Nutrien determines product suitability using scientific evidence, effectiveness, regulatory guidance and sustainability impact.
Product risk rating profiles
We are developing a holistic product risk rating approach that can be used to create future product risk profiles. Each profile may incorporate information such as ingredient origin, regulatory compliance, product chemical hazard classification (for example, not hazardous, toxic to the environment, corrosive), sustainability (for example, potential to contribute to ecosystem degradation, conflict material rating) and supply chain risk factors (for example, security potential for illegal use). These profiles can be used to help inform other decisions such as environmental and social impact product evaluations.
Classification and labeling of chemicals
We are striving to align with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board ("SASB") Chemicals framework for our NPK (fertilizer) manufactured products target, which suggests using the Globally Harmonized System ("GHS") of classification and labeling of chemicals in category 1 and 2 related to health and environmental hazardous substances. Learn more about our Product Stewardship target.
Nutrien’s Safety, Health and Environment (“SH&E”) Management System integrates product stewardship-related topics of regulatory compliance, chemical classification, supply chain risk, environmental and sustainability impacts, and safe use information. We have a product stewardship management standard that guides our activities.
Our approach in the fertilizer manufacturing sector has been recognized under the International Fertilizer Association Protect and Sustain program.
We acknowledge stakeholder concerns related to the necessary use of chemicals in agriculture. Consumer demand for sustainably sourced food is on the rise and producing enough nutritious and accessible food for the world’s growing population puts a strain on existing land and water resources. We collaborate with our suppliers and registrants of active ingredients to develop and implement best practices that minimize food residues and impacts to the environment. This challenge requires science-based solutions, including the responsible use of chemicals, to increase production on existing land while protecting people and the environment.
We have a strong and continually evolving product stewardship program to manage the environmental and safety impact of our products while maintaining their functionality. Our recent acquisitions and innovations have increased our biological-based products to diversify our portfolio.
Impact management across our value chain
Nutrien promotes best practices that improve crop yields and farming economics while reducing impacts.
Crops input management
We promote sustainable nutrient management for increased food production in an economically viable way while retaining the ecological integrity of food systems.
We consider the social impacts on human health and the environment of our products from development, to point of sale, to safe use and disposal. To make informed decisions about product suitability and use, we monitor research closely and follow product and ingredient reviews by regulatory agencies, including toxicology and environmental impact studies, chemical hazard classification reviews, substances of very high concern bulletins, government chemical risk assessment reports, and regional and global environmental impact reports.
Nutrien may use animal-based testing to confirm human health safety assurance only in rare occasions when scientifically valid alternative methods are not available or if required by law. Read our Animal Testing Statement for details.
Safe product handling and application
Nutrien’s products are developed for specific applications. Use outside the mandated scope as defined on the label, in contravention of regulatory standards or crop advisor guidance or due to misuse in general have the potential to cause negative impacts. We promote the safe and legal use of Nutrien products with product disclosures, manufacturing and retail systems that help enforce regulatory standards, and training employees and contractors who handle and apply our products.
Disclosure and transparency
- Safety Data Sheets ("SDSs") accompany all chemical products that Nutrien manufactures and sells. SDSs contain essential information about the properties of each chemical including any physical, health and environmental health hazards in addition to any safety precautions required for handling, storing and transporting the chemical.
- Our product labels and SDSs are compliant with the local laws and regulations where we sell our products.
- We provide online and telephone technical support for retailers, customers, and employees on the interpretation of SDSs and labels, on the appropriate use of products (for example, reactivity with other chemicals, storage and disposal methods) and for any first aid measures required in an emergency situation.
- Our product stewardship team periodically reviews and updates the information on our labels and in our fertilizer manufacturing and retail data systems to ensure regulatory compliance and safe use of our products.
Safe application of agricultural products
Pesticides and herbicides are highly regulated products in the markets where we operate. We comply with regulations applicable to our business and have policies and procedures for the safe and appropriate use of the products we sell.
We require that our applicator employees, contractors and contracted service providers have the required industry and regional training and qualifications to handle and apply our products, and our technical services include training and advice on best practices for products sold through our Retail business unit.