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Sustaining the Environment
Our approach to the environment is based on two pillars: no material harm to nature and continuous improvements in energy efficiency.
Producing green energy from waste
8 of our 9 oilseed crushing plants (96% of total capacity) use sunflower seed husks, a waste by-product of crushing process, as their fuel source to produce steam required for the production process. Approximately 43% of sunflower seed husk produced are burned to generate steam, a process that saved us 80 million cubic meters of natural gas in FY2015, which would have been used otherwise. At one of our plants, we also co-generate electricity, which we sell to the national electricity grid. Remaining volumes of sunflower seed husks are pelletized and sold to third-party co-generation plants in Poland. These plants mix sunflower seed husk with coal to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels. The portion of electricity they produce from our sunflower seed husk covers the annual demand of approximately 300,000 households.
For our overall energy consumption structure and levels, as well as overview of our efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption, please see sustainability section of our FY2015 annual report.
Our sustainable approach to farming places an emphasis on long-term soil productivity rather than short-term profits from crops. We prudently plan our crop rotation mix with the objective of ensuring proper replenishment of nutrients in the soil, and apply balanced fertilization to restore nutrients taken out by crops. We leave straw on fields to serve as an organic fertilizer and to help reduce soil erosion. In selecting tillage technology, we develop a balance between root development and soil erosion risk and apply different methods depending on crop, location and soil pattern. Periodically, we also conduct soil analysis, which is used to adjust our crop mix plans, production technology, and fertilization practices.
We also apply an integrated pest management system, which ensures thresholds are set for any pest control actions, and cultural methods are applied prior to the use of pesticides. Any pesticides are used in strict accordance with regulations, and we additionally control the quality of products in our laboratory prior to wide application. We do not use substances forbidden by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and/or substances listed in Annex 3 of the Rotterdam Convention.
99% of our acreage is non-irrigated: we use irrigation only to grow seeds for internal needs.