Corteva and ResponsibleAg support environmental stewardship
Since 1990, the annual Environmental Respect Awards (ERA), the agriculture industry’s premier stewardship program, has honored outstanding work in preserving the environment through safe, responsible business practices. ERA is sponsored by Corteva Agriscience.
Celebrating environmental stewardship
“The Environmental Respect Awards identify, celebrate and lift up the very best efforts by crop protection retailers and others who protect our environment,” says Raymond Forney, Global Stewardship Manager for Corteva Agriscience. “We want to celebrate what they are doing, create role models and encourage others to follow their excellent examples.”
But what does it take to be the best in environmental stewardship? Forney and team look for businesses and organizations that go beyond what is required and are willing to take risks to show there is more at stake than just the bottom line. “At a basic level,” Forney says, “Stewardship is the conscientious effort of all who contribute throughout a product’s life cycle to take responsible care to ensure that product presents no unreasonable chance to do harm.”
Forney adds, “Good stewardship also means making the best use of the technology available for the good of all concerned. We have an opportunity to impact the environment whether with crop protection chemistry, fertilizer technology or other tools. It’s our responsibility to use these tools to the best advantage for humanity and the environment.”
ResponsibleAg certification indicates stewardship practices are followed
As Forney and his team consider nominations for the ERA, they look to an ag retailer’s certification through ResponsibleAg as a benchmark for environmental stewardship practices.
ResponsibleAg is an industry-led initiative committed to helping agribusinesses properly store and handle farm input supplies. The program helps members ensure they are compliant with environmental, health, safety and security regulations to keep employees, customers and communities safe.
“While it is not a requirement, certification through ResponsibleAg is recognized as an indicator of best practice,” Forney says. “Similarly, ResponsibleAg promotes the Environmental Respect Awards as a way for retail locations to take environmental stewardship to the next level.”
Forney adds, “At face value, we’re working together to promote each other’s complementary activities to shared audiences.” When a retailer follows ResponsibleAg’s proven approach to compliance verification, it demonstrates that the business cares about its employees, community and the environment. Partnering that with ERA recognition of dedication on a broader scale shows a business’ commitment to both protect current resources and proactively use available tools to benefit future use.
|“Without the systematic audit process and educational aspects of ResponsibleAg, there would be a lot more scrambling at retail facilities.” Raymond Forney|
Transparency is expectation
The messages of safety and environmental stewardship go hand in hand. Today, the public is demanding more transparency in business practices, and Forney sees a competitive advantage for businesses that strive to go above and beyond in their stewardship efforts.
Forney says, “I believe there are ag retail customers who want to do business with environmentally responsible companies that consumers feel good about, that align with the consumers’ view of stewardship, and that are making a conscientious effort in sustainability.”
ResponsibleAg certification and ERA recognition validate and provide credibility for a retail operation’s efforts to meet and exceed safety and environmental standards.
ResponsibleAg helps make compliance easier
“Compliance with regulations and the accompanying paperwork can be onerous,” Forney acknowledges. “But if employees recognize this to be part of a conscientious, concerted effort that’s consistent with organizational and team values, it makes the work less daunting.”
ResponsibleAg’s audit process makes it easier for everyone to understand and adhere to the many regulations governing the ag retail industry.
“I think without the systematic audit process and educational aspects of ResponsibleAg, there would be a lot more scrambling at retail facilities,” Forney says.
Recognition rewards the whole industry
Whether a business is recognized with an ERA or compliance certified through ResponsibleAg, its work can have an impact outside of the four walls of the business. Forney agrees. “ERA recipients and Responsible Ag members are part of the bigger effort to safeguard the environment and can take pride in and receive external validation for the work they are doing.”
Being a part of an organization like ResponsibleAg that is willing to put its practices on display and acknowledge better ways to utilize and preserve resources makes the entire agriculture industry the ultimate winner.
To learn more about ResponsibleAg or to become a member visit www.ResponsibleAg.com or call 270-683-6777.