Eng. Horacio Federico Veller
It is a pleasure to greet you for the first time from this very relevant space for Profertil: the Sustainability Report. I am honored to be here with these lines for no less than the tenth edition of this document and within the framework of the year in which Profertil celebrates its 20 years of production.
For the past decade, this space has been continuously informing all our stakeholders about the actions the company is taking to promote sustainable operations and development throughout the chain.
The Report, as usual, relates to the past year. In this case, it is our turn to talk about 2020: a year that will undoubtedly remain in the memory of humanity forever. The management of the COVID-19 pandemic was something completely new for everyone. We faced a huge challenge, and we had no manuals on how to do it. We analyzed the various situations and learned quickly, relying on the responsibility of each of us. As a company considered essential by the State because of our role in food production, we had to rise to the occasion. Approximately fifty measures were taken by the organization to quickly adapt to the new context and continue operations.
We were able to achieve production levels that are among the highest in the company’s history: 1,238,000 tons of Urea production. June was the best month of Urea production in history, with 111,000 tons. As a consequence of this, the reliability factor of the Urea Plant exceeds 99.5 points. Along this line, we dispatched 1,850,000 tons of product in 2020. It is the highest record in the history of Profertil.
The excellent results show a great coordination of work teams and leaders. In record time, we prepared protocols to achieve work continuity, while adapting and developing technological tools that allowed everyone to do so safely, both those who could work remotely and those who had to work in the plants and terminals.
One of the most important events of the year was the start-up in October of the Los Teros Wind Farm located in the province of Buenos Aires. This Wind Farm enables, together with the Manantiales Behr, located in the province of Chubut, replacing more than 60% of the electric power consumed at Profertil, by energy coming from renewable sources (the equivalent to the consumption of 52,000 households). This means that more than 50% of the wheat and corn grains that are harvested in Argentina were nourished with urea produced with renewable energy.
The management team, committed from the outset to sustainability initiatives, progressed with its work on the priority SDGs defined the previous year. In 2020 the process was underpinned, and specific objectives were designed to achieve the goals proposed by the United Nations for 2030.
During the past year, we also managed to continue strengthening our ties with the local community. Short-term management and the emergency that the needs arising from the pandemic context implied did not distract us from the focus of the company: to build a transparent and horizontal link with the neighbors. For this reason, we worked essentially along two lines: On the one hand, coordinate assistance actions together with the Municipality, the neighbors and other institutions with which
Profertil is regularly involved. In this case, the focus was on collaborating with the Bahía Blanca hospital system through different contributions. On the other hand, we also worked on transforming all the Institutional Relations programs, so that they can continue to be carried out virtually. These programs constitute strong connection networks not only for the company but also for neighbors and organizations that are linked through them to enhance their own capabilities.
It is basic to us, considering that it was transversal to the whole company: in none of the areas did short term management forced by the pandemic made us forget the need to continue building in the long term.
I invite you, as usual, to browse this Report. You will find projects, figures and data behind the stories of a team committed to doing its best to develop sustainable agriculture in order to generate more and better food while caring for the health of our soils.