Sustainability for agriculture companies can look like many things. It could be sustainability within its own practices, support for growers to increase their sustainability practices or financial support for its consumers to continue their business efforts. For example, Nutrien Ltd. announced a new challenge for innovators developing agriculture and food technologies and details of the company’s progress toward its sustainability commitments.
Radicle Inclusion Challenge presented by Nutrien
Nutrien Ltd. announced details of an industry-first Inclusion Challenge aimed at bringing investment and awareness to groups that have historically been underrepresented in agriculture, including, Women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) entrepreneurs face when attaining early-stage capital. Hosted in partnership with Radicle Growth, a company-building platform for early-stage agriculture and food technologies, the effort will focus on catalyzing actions within the agri-tech sector to increase the level of support provided to these historically underrepresented groups.
The need for this type of effort is clear. Women founders across all industries raised only 2.2 percent of all U.S.-deployed venture capital funding in the first half of 2021, with BIPOC groups accounting for just 1.2 percent. The Inclusion Challenge aims to reduce barriers to women and BIPOC entrepreneurs in accessing early-stage investment in ag tech.
The Radicle Inclusion Challenge Presented by Nutrien will award two organizations committed to advancing women or BIPOC in the agriculture startup space with a $250,000 investment. Winners will represent the two best agri-tech ideas or companies, as selected by a panel of industry experts and Nutrien leaders at a one-day pitch event this fall. Along with a monetary investment and mentoring opportunities from Nutrien experts, winning organizations will gain access to Radicle’s unique platform which provides operational services and other strategic partnerships valuable for entrepreneurs looking to take their ideas to the next level.
Candace Laing, Vice President, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations, said, “The purpose of this challenge is to provide equality of opportunity to those startups in the agri-tech sector that have been previously underrepresented, resulting in difficulty attracting the capital, mentorship and resources they need to be successful. This is a clear demonstration of Nutrien’s commitment to increase participation of historically underrepresented groups in agriculture. Our hope is that we can start a movement that shines light on the important work that has previously gone unsupported.”
2022 Environment, Social and Governance Report
Nutrien also released its 2022 Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Report. The report captures a year of focused action in the pursuit of Nutrien’s 2030 sustainability commitments and supporting initiatives. Related information regarding Nutrien’s ESG governance, risk management, strategic opportunities and performance are also outlined within this report.
Highlights from the 2022 ESG Report include:
- Continued improvement in overall ESG research ratings, establishing Nutrien as a top sector performer, including a #1 ranking by Vigeo Eiris/Moody’s ESG Solutions in the Chemicals North America sector.
- Approved $50 million in investments for Scope 1 emissions reduction projects that are expected to reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by 1 million tonnes by the end of 2023.
- Record Total Recordable Injury Frequency performance in alignment with Nutrien’s core value of safety.
- Intensity declines across total Scope 1 and 2 emissions, energy and freshwater consumption measures.
- Strong grower interest in Nutrien’s Carbon Program, resulting in approximately 225,000 pilot acres enabled across North America in 2021.
- Signed collaboration agreements to advance low- and zero-carbon ammonia development, including a low-carbon, ammonia-fueled vessel and a pilot-scale green ammonia plant.
- Taught more than one million youth about sustainable agriculture through Nutrien’s sponsorship of education programs.
- Partnered with Radicle Growth for an Inclusion Challenge to support Women and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) agri-tech entrepreneurs
Mark Thompson, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer said, “Our 2022 ESG Report demonstrates the significant company-wide efforts we’re making to play a leadership role in building the resilience of our global food system and advance the necessary pathways to support a sustainable future for agriculture and our planet.”