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Blog Post
26 Mar 2024

Embracing Sustainability and Innovation: Highlights from IFA’s 2024 Global Sustainability Conference

The International Fertilizer Association (IFA) recently concluded its highly anticipated Global Sustainability Conference in Amsterdam, an event that brought together over 160 industry leaders, experts, and stakeholders from around 30 countries to chart a path towards a more sustainable future for the fertilizer sector. With an emphasis on innovation, collaboration, and environmental stewardship, the conference featured a multitude of discussions and insights from a series of expert speakers. This blog recaps the key highlights from the two days of plenary sessions, which set the stage for meaningful dialogue and action.

Day 1: Pioneering Sustainability

The conference began with an inspiring opening plenary session, in which the overarching theme of balancing global food security with environmental responsibility took centre stage. Attendees were reminded of the complex challenge facing the fertilizer industry – of the need to navigate geopolitical complexities while championing sustainability.

A key highlight of the day was the Sustainable Fertilizer Production session, which underscored the industry's commitment to low-carbon practices and showcased innovations in green and blue ammonia. Collaborative efforts towards achieving Net Zero goals through renewable energy adoption and carbon capture technologies were showcased, signalling a paradigm shift towards more sustainable production methods.

The Sustainable Fertilizer Use session featured case studies in reducing GHG emissions and promoting regenerative agriculture practices. Experts from different countries shared insights on emission reduction strategies and the importance of adopting sustainable practices across the agriculture value chain.

The Circular Economy session emphasized the transition towards a circular economy framework, advocating for smarter farming practices and enhanced nutrient use efficiency. Discussions were centred on alternative resources and methods for nitrogen production, highlighting the industry's commitment to reducing emissions and promoting collaborative action for sustainable transformation.

Lastly, the Biodiversity session featured an insightful panel discussion with industry representatives, who shared their experiences in tracking their companies’ impacts on nature. The session also introduced innovative financial mechanisms aimed at supporting biodiversity conservation efforts through strategic financing and investments.

Day 2: Fostering Innovation and Responsibility

The second day of the conference delved deeper into the future of sustainable fertilizers, with a focus on innovation management and responsible plastic management practices.

The Innovation session highlighted the strategic use of research, intellectual property, and open innovation within the fertilizer industry, as well as the important interplay between artificial intelligence, academia and startup partnerships, particularly in the AgTech space, in driving innovation.

The Plastic Management panel addressed the pressing issue of plastic use and disposal in the fertilizer sector. The participants discussed global negotiations, recycling initiatives for fertilizer bags, technological advancements in plastic handling, and the development of biodegradable coatings for controlled-release fertilizers.


The fertilizer industry stands at a critical juncture, embracing innovation and sustainability as guiding principles for future growth. The insights shared at this year’s Global Sustainability Conference serve as catalysts for transformative change, empowering stakeholders to address the challenges of feeding a growing population, while safeguarding the planet for generations to come.

Stay tuned for more updates and initiatives from IFA as we continue our journey towards a greener and more sustainable world. Together, we help to feed the world sustainably.

Author(s): Volker Andresen, IFA Sustainability Director