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The Protect&Sustain initiative is managed through the Technical Committee of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and a steering group of industry members interested and experienced in establishing product stewardship programmes.
Enquiries concerning the p&s programme can be sent to IFA by email:
or by telephoning Volker Andresen, Protect&Sustain project co-ordinator:
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Every two years, the IFA Green Leaf Award recognizes outstanding performance in safety, health and environment (SHE) in fertilizer production among the Association’s membership.
The Award will now form an integral part of the Association’s Protect & Sustain product stewardship initiative.
The award process is a simple 5 stage process from start to finish:
The Green Leaf Award is only open to registered Protect & Sustain users. All IFA members can register with the Protect & Sustain Initiative without obligation. To do so, please click the Login/Register button in the top right corner of this page.
The remaining stages are explained in detail on the Green Leaf Award Invitation for Application page in the Participate Section of this web site.
So why did IFA decide to link the IFA SHE Award to the Protect & Sustain product stewardship programme?
Quite simply because the Award objectives are harmonious to those of IFA’s product stewardship initiative, which encourage and facilitate continuous improvement in safety, health and environment (SHE) practices throughout the global fertilizer industry.
Product stewardship is in many respects an increasingly important component in fertilizer producers’ SHE management strategy – namely, a strategy promoting solid management of safety, health, environmental and security aspects up and down the supply chain.
Thus, fertilizer producers which develop lifecycle SHE management practices should be recognized, and potentially rewarded, in the Association’s SHE award process.
The Award application process will only require registration and initial review of stewardship practices as a first step…
As product stewardship is becoming more of a critical component to SHE management, IFA is essentially raising the standard of excellence of the IFA SHE Award. Nonetheless, applicants should not interpret this as an obstacle but rather as an opportunity.
In order to qualify to submit an application, an IFA member should simply register online on the Association’s product stewardship web site: www.protectandsustain.org and download the company self-assessment framework (“Evaluation Tool”).
This completed assessment should be sent to one of the programme evaluators for a short desk review. And it is important to note here that there is no minimum standard to be reach, and the overall performance in initial assessment is not a requirement for submitting an application (the minimum requirement is to complete step 4).
A fully-established product stewardship programme is not essential to winning the Green Leaf Award…
Award applicants are not required to score highly in the Protect & Sustain self-assessment. As a part of IFA’s efforts to raise awareness of the importance of product stewardship throughout the fertilizer industry, it considers that applicant organizations should have at the very minimum considered and assessed their SHE lifecycle management procedures.
In many respects, participants may discover through this assessment process that many of the management systems are in fact already in place, but may require slight modifications to allow for more effective management across the product value chain.
Participants will also discover that product stewardship management is not necessarily a heavy burden, but rather a modern business approach which allows for better communication with employees and supply chain partners - and in some cases, facilitates closer relationships with the end-user: the farmer!
Nevertheless, good product stewardship management can give you an advantage in the Award review process…
While organizations that have not fully established product stewardship practices may submit applications, those organizations that have “gone the extra mile” to certify their management systems under the IFA Protect & Sustain programme may gain a distinct advantage in the review process. By obtaining this certification, companies could gain up to 20% of the quantitative assessment under the Award review criteria.