Today AGCO proudly published our first global sustainability report. The report describes our approach to enhancing the sustainability of our business processes and global agriculture. It presents data supporting the strategy and updates progress towards change. “At AGCO, sustainability is vital to our vision to offer high-tech solutions for farmers feeding the world,” said Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President and CEO of AGCO. “We are in a very unique position to impact sustainability along the manufacturing and agricultural value chains. We developed our approach to provide the best impact to both.”
In 2011, AGCO kicked off a comprehensive corporate sustainability initiative. We developed a plan to invest in projects and program development in areas that will reduce operating expenses, develop revenue opportunities, and reduce operating risks.
We are already working to design and develop solutions that address the evolving needs of farmers and reduce environmental impacts. The report, which aligns with the Global Reporting Initiative™, includes company accomplishments such as:
- Downstream-focused innovation: In 2011, AGCO directed $275.6 million to research and engineering, a 25.5% increase over 2010.
- Operations: Among AGCO’s largest wholly-owned sites, more than half are certified to ISO 14001 and/or the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme. Going forward AGCO will monitor and report energy use by source and develop an energy management program that drives efficiency and cost saving across its organization.
- Supplier relations: AGCO released the company’s Supplier Code of Conduct to build and strengthen relationships with preferred suppliers that support quality, environmental stewardship and high labor standards.
During the first half of 2012 AGCO began building the structures to drive accountability for our performance. AGCO’s development and progress will be disclosed yearly in our sustainability report.
The full report can be accessed at http://www.agcocorp.com/company/sustainability.aspx.
Earlier today, AGCO announced its Tier 4 Final/Stage IV engine emissions strategy for its AGCO POWER diesel engines. The updated after-treatment system will continue to offer an effective method for farmers to reduce emissions without compromising power, efficiency or fuel economy.
Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President and CEO of AGCO said, “Our objective was to develop emissions technologies that delivered a consistent solution for cleaner air while producing efficient options for farmers through to Final Tier 4 US and Stage IV EU. This was our focus when we introduced our e3 Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology in 2009 and continues to be our focus as we move to the next generation of emission reduction.”
AGCO will continue to use its proven e3 SCR technology in its AGCO POWER engines to address the needs of Tier 4 Final/Stage IV engine requirements. In select specific models, a small amount of cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (cEGR) will also be added in order to ensure emissions compliance while minimizing fluid consumption and improving power balance. AGCO has established leadership and experience with both SCR and cEGR from launching both technologies on tractors in Tier 3/Stage IIIa.
“AGCO knows this technology well. We were the first to launch SCR technology in the off-road market in North America and have many years of working experience with both emission reduction technologies,” commented Matt Rushing, Director of Product Management, Global Electronics and Global Engines at AGCO. AGCO has led the industry in the continued development and improvement of SCR technology and has worked with industry partners to establish the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) and AdBlue® infrastructure to support SCR technology use.
AGCO has kept the customers’ needs paramount since launching its e3 SCR technology in 2009. “We wanted to develop a solution that would bring farmer input costs down, allow us to increase power levels and lower fluid consumption – all while offering reliable emissions reduction technology,” added Mr. Rushing.
Customers can expect that there will not be any changes to the way that they operate and maintain their future Tier 4 Final/Stage IV AGCO equipment. AGCO POWER engines will operate efficiently delivering total fluid economy (diesel fuel and DEF) that will meet or exceed the same fluid consumption levels as in AGCO’s Tier 4i/Stage IIIb machines.
Mr. Richenhagen stated, “We are confident that this is the best solution for both our customers and the environment. At AGCO, we are proud to deliver compliance without compromise. Our e3 solution delivers exactly what modern agriculture demands — cleaner emissions, improved economics and reliable performance.”
AGCO is proud to be the newest member of the Diesel Technology Forum. DTF is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of the newest clean diesel technologies in the United States.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome AGCO as a partner in the Forum’s national effort to promote the newest and cleanest diesel technology,” said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
AGCO’s award-winning product lines are playing a key role in advancing the most modern, efficient and environmentally-friendly agricultural equipment in the United States and throughout the world. AGCO’s commitment to engineering and research has made it an international leader in the advancement of more efficient and cleaner diesel engines and equipment.
“The e3 technology developed by AGCO is an excellent example of the clean diesel technology. AGCO’s e3 equipment meets the diverse needs of modern agriculture – cleaner emissions, reliable performance and efficiency – while also providing undiminished horsepower, torque and improved fuel efficiency,” Schaeffer said.
“AGCO is proud to become part of the Diesel Technology Forum and looks forward to the opportunity to participate with other leading Diesel Engine OEM’s and industry partners to promote and support clean diesel technology and its benefits now and in the future. We support the DTF’s approach and vigilance in ensuring that diesel continues to be a viable source of power for agriculture” said Matt Rushing, product management director, global electronics and global engines at AGCO.
AGCO held its first ever AGCO Africa Summit yesterday in Berlin, Germany. The Summit is a joint initiative of AGCO, Bayer CropScience and DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH. “With its population poised to double in the next 20 years, it is a global responsibility to develop a new vision for agriculture in Africa,” said Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President and CEO at the opening press conference. “Our objective is to promote international dialogue to encourage global businesses to invest in the future of Africa.”
The goal of the AGCO Africa Summit was to raise awareness for the needs of the African continent and to discuss the challenges of agriculture with regard to the world food supply problem, declining arable land base and population growth. Guest speakers included Thabo Mbeki (former President of South Africa), Prof. Dr. Horst Köhler (former Federal President of Germany), Dirk Niebel (Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany), and Ilse Aigner, (Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of Germany). Panelists included Jose Pacheco (Minister of Agriculture of Mozambique), Roberto Rodrigues (Former Minister of Agriculture of Brazil), Bärbel Dieckmann (President of Welthungerhilfe) and Omari Issa (CEO of The Investment Climate Facility for Africa) – to name a few.
Participants at the AGCO Africa Summit discussed the many ways that agricultural mechanization could secure better futures and how improved cultivation methods could increase yields significantly. Higher productivity and efficiency would in turn help African countries become less dependent on imported crops, creating better food security. “Large areas across Africa have suitable soil and climate for successful agriculture, but many areas are not yet cultivated or are not productive enough,” explained Richenhagen. “With 11 percent of the world’s arable land (86 percent of which is uncultivated) Africa would benefit from modern, mechanized farming techniques.”
With over 50 years of experience in Africa through its Massey Ferguson tractor brand, AGCO already leverages alliances with governments, foreign investors and donors to improve agricultural practices in Africa. AGCO plans to fund the development of Model Farms and Training Centers in Zambia, Ethiopia, Morocco, Libya, Algeria and South Africa that will allow local farmers and dealers to be trained on new farming technology. Hubertus Mühlhäuser, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Europe, Africa, Middle East commented, “The solution for African agriculture is to develop strategic partnerships to deliver crops that feed an increasing population in an economically, environmentally and socially responsible way. With decades of dependency on food aid and the world’s fastest population growth, Africa’s long-term prospects will require increasing degrees of self-sustainability.”
With a global population of 7.0 billion people growing to 8.9 billion people by 2050 (estimated by the World Bank), food production has to increase, which means global farm productivity will need to improve to meet the growing needs. Africa holds the key to ensuring a sustainable food supply, but only if a new vision for agriculture is developed, harnessing both the expertise of the private industry sector and the knowledge of local communities.
What is your vision for agriculture in Africa?
We all hear the horror stories of losing a loved one to a farm-related incident. The families left behind ponder what would have happened “if only.” If only he had been more careful, if only she wasn’t in such a hurry, if only we had known.
Moved by stories of farming-related tragedies, Jack Odle, editor of The Progressive Farmer, launched an effort in 1995 to help prevent unintentional death on the farm. This effort evolved to become the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® Program. Now in its 17th year, the effort has reached its one millionth participant and is continuing the mission of eliminating farm injury and death by providing education and training to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities through its Safety Day program.
Today, Safety Days are made possible by the Progressive Agriculture Foundation® (PAF), an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit with a board of directors from within the agriculture industry and an operating budget of $2.6 million. The program’s curriculum has grown from basic farm safety to also include a focus on rural issues like hunting, ATV usage and even childhood obesity. While the Foundation’s leadership is proud to hit the millionth participant mark, they stress there is still much to be done. PAF hopes to reach its second-millionth participant within the next 10 years.
“The number of children injured each year on farms has declined 59 percent since 1998, but there were still 15,012 farm injuries to children reported in 2009,1” says Bob Marshall of Bunge North America and PAF board president. “We view even one injury as one too many. The educational outreach of the Safety Day program is one of the efforts that has made this decline possible. We plan to work hard to do even more in the coming 10 years with the generous support of our many new and long-term sponsors who donate both financially and with employee resources.”
In addition to loyal sponsors, the program is largely made possible by a volunteer base that contributes time and skills to help run individual Safety Day events. “We can’t thank our volunteers enough,” says Susan Reynolds, executive director — programs for PAF. “We would not be able to reach as many children as we do without their gifts of time and resources.” In 2011 alone, approximately 18,000 volunteers have helped with PAF efforts. As many as 230,000 volunteers have helped throughout the last 17 years.
The core mission of the Safety Day program is simple: to keep children safe and healthy. By focusing on topics that are relevant to children in rural areas, the Safety Day program has successfully reached over one million children and volunteers, and averages 400 Safety Day events a year, all over North America and the U.S. territories.
For more information about PAF and to support the cause, go to www.progressiveag.org.
Read this entire press release here.