The Mosaic Company is the world’s leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients. Farmers around the globe use Mosaic’s fertilizer products to help nourish their crops, optimizing the food they can grow on every acre of farmland.
There’s no denying that mining and fertilizer manufacturing are intensive endeavors. Resource extraction, consumption of materials, generation of emissions in operations, water use—these activities are all necessary to fulfilling Mosaic’s mission to help the world grow the food it needs. From mine-to-market, we are working to minimize our negative impacts and maximize the value we deliver to diverse stakeholders around the globe.
One of our environmental sustainability focus areas revolves around reducing our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) footprint. Since our formation, Mosaic has sought continuously to reduce our energy use and GHGs through an approach that includes energy cogeneration, conservation and efficiency.
Our primary direct energy source is waste heat from sulfuric acid production, which is converted to power through a process called cogeneration. During the manufacturing process, molten sulfur mixes with air and produces heat, which generates large quantities of steam. We capture that steam and use it to power Mosaic’s manufacturing facilities. Excess electricity is transferred to nearby Central Florida mining sites or sold back to local power companies to help provide power to area homes and businesses.
In 2017, Mosaic produced 6.3 million GJ of electricity through cogeneration—the equivalent of taking more than 150,000 cars off the road for a year.
Mosaic’s use of cogenerated energy is a great example of the value of operating responsibly. We capture a waste source and use it to generate cleaner energy for our operations than we could get from the local grid, while saving electricity expenses and avoiding incremental GHGs.
Conservation and efficiency
Mosaic’s talented employees are critical to our efforts to operate responsibly. With capital and other resource constraints at play over the past few years, we’ve relied on our employees’ ingenuity to increase efficiency and continue to push toward our 2020 targets to reduce GHGs and energy use.
For example, crews at one of our potash mines in New Mexico overhauled a product belt filter and upgraded valves, which resulted in a marked decrease of the plant’s total natural gas use. Teams across our phosphates operations in Florida focused on plant operating efficiency, which enabled additional internal use of cogenerated electricity, thus offsetting what we would otherwise have had to purchase from a fossil fuel–based source. On their own, neither of these projects had a massive impact on our overall performance, but when combined, “small wins” make a meaningful difference.
Mosaic’s sustainability journey is ongoing, and we are evaluating continuously what it means to be a good employer, supplier, neighbor and value creator for our stakeholders. We are driven by day-to-day progress, small and large. View our 2017 Sustainability Disclosure for more information on sustainable energy and business.
Natali Archibee is the sustainability manager at The Mosaic Company.