Lucrativo Sustainable Solutions offers CSR, environmental and sustainable design services to businesses. The company’s aim is to act in global co-operation with relevant organisations for optimal implementation of sustainable business solutions, and to support the development of a responsible society. Lucrativo has a multidisciplinary team of legal, environmental, design and communication professionals.
The Commitment support for BSAG is built on the following cornerstones:
co-operation in circular economy actions by events and by Lucrativo digital platform development (applicable to some extent to fertilisers and circular economy in agriculture)
co-operation with Lucrativo’s legal services to advance Baltic Sea related issues in the EU-institutions, connecting relevant influencers and acting for a living Baltic Sea
Helsinki, 11 June 2018 – Finlandia Hall in Helsinki welcomed over three hundred participants full of ideas on how global usage of phosphorus, a finite resource, could be more sustainable. The ideas vary from technical innovations to better governance or more effective management of nutrient resources.
Phosphorus like other nutrients are key elements for crops, food production and food security, but a vast proportion is lost along the food cycle. Eventually, leaked nutrients from various sources end up in water bodies causing eutrophication, a major environmental problem. However, there are already solutions, practices and policies for sustainable nutrient recovery and recycling. The Baltic Sea region is a forerunner in sustainable nutrient management. All the riparian countries have signed the Baltic Sea Action Plan with its Nutrient Reduction Scheme. The Finnish Government committed to be a model country in nutrient recycling in the Baltic Sea Action Summit in 2010.
The presentations and success stories cover the wide range of approaches to nutrient cycling. Presented are i.e. Climate change and its impact on economy, UNEP project Our Phosphorus Future, closed ecosystem for animal production, 50 years of restoration of Rhine, remediation of a eutrophic bay etc.
The event will be livestreamed and can be followed in these addresses:
Participants from BSAG’s Nutrient Cycling Business Ecosystem made a trip to Brittany, France to visit Cooperle’s pig production cooperative. Cooperle’s farms stretch all around Western France but 65 % of them are located in Brittany. 35 % of all Cooperle’s production sites are situated in the small village of Lamballe, which was also the destination of the group’s visit.
Intensive animal production produces a lot of manure. The disposal of large amounts of manure is a problem on many farms, as spreading it requires a lot of land area. Spreading excessive amounts of manure causes nutrients to leak from fields to waterbodies. Due to large nitrogen loads from animal production, the bays of Brittany have for decades been badly eutrophied. Massive amounts of algae have become a nuisance during summertime, when they wash up on the beaches and rot there. Effective methods are needed to mitigate eutrophication, and also to follow EU’s Industrial Emission Directive.
BSAG’s group also met with persons responsible for the protection of waterbodies and the environment from the Rennes area. They presented the situation and solutions to the algal problems. BSAG also presented the modus operandi and solutions of HELCOM.
Cooperle’s cooperative has solved the problem of excess nitrogen by introducing more efficient manure treating methods. As most of the manure is used as raw material for fertilizer products, less manure needs to be spread in the fields. This makes more intensive animal production possible on a smaller area, decreases nutrient loads, improves soil quality, and opens up new business opportunities for fertilizers made from recovered nutrients.
Treatment of manure also produces renewable energy in the form of biogas. Nutrient cycling is thus only a part of Cooperle’s broader, environmentally sustainable operations model. The cooperative also has a strong innovation and product development department and labs. The aim of this development work is to utilize all waste and side streams produced by the cooperative, including slaughter house waste, for production of high quality and high value end products.
Cooperle has managed to turn the use of recycled nutrients into a profitable business. Cooperation makes it possible for farmers to acquire state-of-the-art solutions for effective nutrient cycling at the farms. The cooperation finances these purchases, and the farmer pays back with e.g. raw material for fertilizer, i.e. manure.
The size of the cooperation and the large number of farms allow Cooperle to tailor their fetrilizers for many different needs, for example by adjusting their nitrogen concentration and addition of micronutrients. Last year Cooperle produced 50 000 tonnes of different fertilizer products, and the goal for this year is 60 000 tonnes. Winegrowers are especially fond of Cooperle’s products.
“The visit to Cooperle was inspiring! Their work proves that nutrient cycling can realistically become a profitable business”, says BSAG’s Secretary General Mathias Bergman.
The contact with Cooperle will continue in the future. Plans have already been made for Cooperle’s representatives to visit Finland, where they will get acquainted with Finnish pig farms and meat production.
Sediments on the bottom of the Baltic Sea have for centuries stored massive amounts of nutrients, especially phosphorus, originating from land. In poor oxygen conditions phosphorus leaks from the sediments and fuels eutrophication, which in turn makes the oxygen conditions worse. The Finnish marine strategy aims to achieve a good environmental status of the Baltic Sea by 2020, and to reach this goal, eutrophication must be mitigated. External loads from land still need to be reduced, but it is time to address the nutrient loads located on the bottom of the sea.
The Baltic Sea Action Group participated in a report on internal nutrient storages commissioned by Finland’s Ministry of the Environment, as part of an international consortium lead by Vahanen Environment Oy. Centrum Balticum/BALEX also took part in the report. The extensive report studied internal nutrient storages’ role in eutrophication, possible sea-based measures to fix the problem, and costs and legal aspects of adopting these measures. Sea-based measures were evaluated based on their risks and benefits, cost-efficiency, and applicability. The studied measures were oxygenation of anoxic bottoms, chemical treatment of the sediment, and dredging. The most cost-efficient method turned out to be oxygenation, which has previously been tested in lakes.
Sea is a challenging environment for rehabilitating procedures. Additionally, anoxic areas on the Baltic Sea’s bottom are large. High-quality research is needed before attempting any sea-based measures on a larger scale, as there are still risks and uncertainties. The report suggests establishing a ”Baltic Sea Scientific Centre of Excellence”, which would focus on this type of research, and could combine expertise from existing research facilities. Furthermore, the report recommends charting closed bays in the coastal area as possible test grounds for small scale pilot projects. This way potential rehabilitating measures could be examined in a controlled environment, where long-term effects would be monitored closely. The importance of international cooperation is also highlighted.
”It is very important that this report has been made. It’s an essential step as we begin to solve problems caused by internal nutrient storages, so that eventually concrete action can be taken. One of the priorities is finding new financing models for future work, both for research and actual projects”, states BSAG’s Mathias Bergman.
Baltic Sea Action Group’s Nutrient Cycling Ecosystem organized an event focused on anaerobic digestion and composting on March 21st in Helsinki. The aim was to find better solutions for the treatment of biomass and more efficient nutrient cycling. The day was a part of BSAG’s Nutrient Cycling Ecosystem, which creates sustainable and competitive business strategies around nutrient cycling.
One of the goals of the Nutrient Cycling Ecosystem is to make anaerobic digestion and composting cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and efficient in managing nutrients. Nutrients from manure can be used in fields, and prevented from leaking to waterways and the Baltic Sea.
Massive amounts of manure are formed in locations where the demand for manure is low. The objective is to develop methods and markets for manure processing, making it easier to transport manure to places where it is needed and thus balancing supply and demand.
– The European Union is revising its legislation, aiming for open internal market for these products. We should be prepared for this, which is why organizing this event now is relevant, says BSAG’s Secretary General, Mathias Bergman.
During the event experts illustrated different aspects of anaerobic digestion and composting. They demonstrated both the scientific background of manure processing, and practical experiences.
Leading researcher Mona Arnold from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland illuminated the different aspects of anaerobic digestion. She presented both challenges and solutions.
– In Finland biogas produced by anaerobic digestion is mainly used for heating but for example in Sweden it is more commonly used as fuel, Arnold said.
Martin Romantschuk, professor in environmental biotechnology, stated that composting is often a more flexible way of handling biomass.
– However, it’s not without its problems. Often one of the by-products of composting is bad odour, which is mainly caused by lack of oxygen. We’ve had positive results with adding ash to the compost. It makes the compost less acidic, and raises its temperature. For example in Hyvinkää this was a successful way of neutralizing odours, tells Romantschuk.
Researcher Jaakko Mäkelä from Pasrea gave an example of a composting solution in a farm setting. It is carried out by a startup company in Petäjävesi, where a compost has been built under the floor of a lamb barn.
– Ten young and inspired students searched for and found new methods, says Mäkelä.
Christopher Garels from Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY spoke about solutions on an industrial scale. Their method combines the best aspects of composting and anaerobic digestion.
– For example, anaerobically digesting biowaste produces gas, and rest of the biomass can be composted.
Everything is possible, when right combinations are found. Advisor Toni Taavitsainen from Envitecpolis presented solutions from Suomussalmi, where a dairy farm had mixed farm slurry with excess grass.
– Manure turned odourless, and spreading nutrient-rich digestate on fields made fertilizers unnecessary.
Colleagues and collaborators discussed these practices further in small groups. Groups covered the different phases of composting and anaerobic digestion; the formation of biomass, preparation stages, and post-processing of the compost or digestate. The aim was to identify features that add value to the processes.
Fazer has renewed its five-year commitment to the Baltic Sea Action Group. The new commitment focuses on four areas: circular economy, sustainable grain farming, water stewardship plan, and development of their range of products. The goal is to improve production, operating methods and selection to help promote the ecological balance of the Baltic Sea. The commitment has several milestones which help to keep track of its progress.
Fazer aims to support circular economy through safe recycling of nutrients, reducing the amounts of waste, and improving resource efficiency. Each business area has set targets for reducing the amount of waste.
Sustainable grain farming is developed further in collaboration with Fazer’s value chain. Fazer’s goal is for all of their grain in Finland and Sweden to comply with the principles of sustainable farming by 2025.
Fazer will prepare a water stewardship plan that specifies their goals and the corresponding measures related to water consumption, waste water and reduction of water use in the value chain.
In addition to the aforementioned goals, Fazer will also develop their range of products. They will emphasize domestic raw materials, favour seasonal produce, increase the amount of plant-based foods, promote the use of sustainable sources of protein, and reduce the amount of food waste.
“We can make a difference in the various phases of food production so that smaller amounts of valuable nutrients make their way into the water. For example, our Sustainable Grain Farming Principles contain concrete actions to keep nutrients out of water systems by keeping them in the fields where they can be used by crops. Our Baltic Sea commitment brings all these measures together,” states President and CEO of Fazer Group, Christoph Vitzthum.
“As a major player in the industry, Fazer’s actions also set an example for others to follow. This is important, because food production has enormous potential to affect both the Baltic Sea and the climate. We are very pleased that Fazer is committed to making food production more sustainable through long-term cooperation,” says BSAG founding member Ilkka Herlin.
Fazer made their first commitment to BSAG in 2013. As a result, Fazer succeeded in reducing energy consumption by 14 % per tonne of product, and the proportion of overall electricity generated from renewable sources increased to 88 %. In Finland, Sweden and Latvia, the share of renewable electricity is 100 %. Fazer produced its sustainable grain farming principles in 2017. Fazer Mills adopted a new responsibility programme, and Fazer Food Services began to encourage its restaurants to increase their use of vegetables.
Fazer’s previous commitment was a success and generated good results, which encourages them to continue on the same path with their new commitment. Food production and consumption have a major impact on the environment, as well as on society and general well-being. This is why food also offers the possibility of creating effective solutions.
The “Järki Lannoite (“Smart Fertilization”) Project” produced a report “Challenges pertaining to recycling of nutrients in the USA”, which is about nutrient cycling on the other side of the ocean. Many of the challenges are common with the ones EU is facing, but the solutions are very different. The farms grow fast and the production is at the same time subject to centralisation. In some areas manure is produced in vast quantities and simultaneously there is a demand on nutrients contained therein farther away. Transportation and handling are important factors in the decisions to be made.
The new report based on the BSAG ”Järki Lannoite” Project states how recyclable solutions and measures are being developed across the ocean in order to reach a balanced and recyclable result.
In Leo Harin’s report it is about recycling in the USA as a whole. The catchment areas in California, Illinois, Maryland and especially the Chesapeak bay are documented in detail. The bay is a large catchment area of agricultural production and challenging and interesting in itself.
The introduction of the report is describing the current situation regarding recycling of nutrients and growing challenges.
The report is about emergence and use of nutrients in agriculture, the legislation affecting recycling of nutrients, technologies used when processing nutrients and about companies in the field.
Recycling schemes are being handled on a country level basis. Recycling of nutrients is being handled in detail regarding three different states situating in different parts of the USA.
Despite the fact that agricultural production in USA has its own features many of the challenges of recycling of nutrients are familiar with the states of the European Union. In the USA surprisingly different solutions have been made.
There are for instance financing models in place in which public and private financing have been combined in order to mitigate bottle necks. The aim has been to solve the problems in each farm separately. Importance of consultancy and voluntariness has been emphasised more than has been the case in the EU. On the other hand regulation covers areas, which are barely regulated in the EU.
Too much or too little manure
The main focus of the new report is on manure because of its great potential pertaining to re-cycling of nutrients. There is a demand and platform for development of new political and technological solutions in places where lots of manure is produced pertaining to the area under cultivation.
In accordance with the report there are places where there is a deficit in nutrients in the USA as well as in the EU. In these areas there is a potential demand for organic nutrients.
– In these areas there is also an interest and a will to implement operational models utilising added nutrients as effectively as possible whereby fertilisation can be minimized states Mr Leo Harin, who assembled the report.
– The effective use and recycling of nutrients is a result of many factors. The challenge is to get one area’s excess nutrients to an area where they are needed.
The report is to be found and downloaded on the web page of “Järki Lannoite”
ProFur, the Finnish organization for fur farmers, has made a commitment to the Baltic Sea Action Group. The commitment aims to develop methods to recover phosphorus from fur animals’ manure, and to market it to industries where phosphorus is needed. Additionally, the commitment will seek ways to recover nitrogen more efficiently in order to prevent it from leaking to the environment.
Fur animals’ manure is rich in phosphorus. ProFur has already improved on existing treatment technologies for manure, as well as financed and launched research projects in collaboration with research facilities. Through the new commitment fur industry will join the Baltic Sea’s other benefactors.
The commitment will be reflected in fur industry in many ways. The approximately 20 Finnish companies dealing with composting of fur animals’ manure will have their operations standardized and developed further to recover nutrients more efficiently. Between years 2018-2020 fur farmers will receive training on mitigating fur production’s environmental impacts associated with nutrients, as well as on the protection of the Baltic Sea, water systems and the climate.
The commitment also includes a project aiming to mitigate fur farms’ emissions and to increase the value of manure by productizing its nutrients, as well as a project that researches the adding of zeolite to fur animals’ fodder as means to recapture nitrogen from the manure.
“This commitment is a significant step for the entire fur industry. Our goal is to move towards practical operating models that are both financially profitable, and have a positive effect on the Baltic Sea”, says ProFur’s research director Jussi Peura.
Water and energy company Adven’s commitment to the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) will reduce nutrient loads to the Baltic Sea by developing and implementing nutrient recovery techniques in industry. Adven treats water used in industrial processes, after which the recovered nutrients can be reused as fertilizer. In their commitment Adven promises to familiarize themselves with the newest technical solutions and methods regarding nutrient recovery, and to introduce the newest techniques in water purification.
“Nutrients should be recovered and recycled. By recycling nutrients, Finland could be completely self-sufficient and we wouldn’t have to import nutrients from abroad. Adven has solutions regarding for example nutrient recovery”, says BSAG’s Secretary General Mathias Bergman.
“Solutions towards improved water and energy efficiency, as well as recovering nutrients and many other raw materials, are the most important features of the services we provide at the moment. The commitment is one way of making our work visible”, states Adven’s director Juha Elo.
Previoulsy Adven has for example carried out an evaporation service at Finnamyl’s factory specialized in starch production. The evaporation service managed to recover nitrogen, which could then be utilized as fertilizer instead of it being washed into the Baltic Sea.
“Adven is a great partner because the company is constantly collecting information on the best practices, and applies them in their work with different clients. Our precise aim is to bring together different actors who can then collectively help in achieving the larger goals”, says BSAG’s Mathias Bergman.
BSAG’s traditional Christmas campaign has started with a good rhythm. This year the theme is Giving the Baltic Sea oxygen as a present, and the Finnish stand-up comedians have pitched in by making the campaign video. The oxygen-rich Christmas campaign was designed by the creative agency Taivas.
First companies and organizations have already made decisions to donate their Christmas gifts to the Baltic Sea this year. The donors receive, among other things, electronic Christmas cards with their own logo, and banners for Facebook and Twitter. With a donation of 5000 euros or more, one also receives a Christmas greeting video to send one’s partners and customers. Companies and organizations that have already participated can be found on the campaign’s website www.joululahjaitamerelle.fi. Do join us!