2023-09-15 03:50Press release

Ragn-Sells at Climate Week NYC: Feeding a megacity within planetary boundaries

Ragn-Sells will be participating in Climate Week NYC 2023 as part of Business Sweden's official delegation, the environmental company has announced. The aim is to highlight, through the sharing of knowledge and innovative examples, how megacities like New York can feed growing populations and reach their net-zero emissions targets.

– We know that larger cities account for more than 70 percent of global greenhouse gases. New York City can achieve its goal of net-zero emissions, but this requires a whole new approach to waste as a sustainable source of raw materials, said Pär Larshans, Director of Sustainability at Ragn-Sells.

The world’s population is expected to increase by 2 billion people in just 30 years, with a much larger share living in cities, according to the UN. Having enough to eat without increasing the strain on the planet’s limits requires new and innovative attitudes to food production. One key solution is making sure that agricultural nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen are circulated in loops, connecting city sewers to farmland, instead of constantly producing new fertiliser using harmful methods.

Pär Larshans, Hållbarhetschef, Ragn-Sells

Pär Larshans, Director of Sustainability at Ragn-Sells

– The way nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus are sourced today is damaging to both people and the planet. By turning wastewater treatment plants into resource plants, they can produce the fertilisers necessary for food production to meet the needs of a growing population in a sustainable way, says Pär Larshans.

Today, agriculture is responsible for a third of global climate emissions. Among the Planetary Boundaries defined by scientists, nutrient overload is the one area where we have already gone the farthest beyond what the earth can take. When taking into account how human lives are affected, it becomes even more clear that ill-advised use and production of phosphorus and nitrogen cause higher levels of risk of irreversible effects today than climate change or diminishing access to water.

Since fertiliser nutrients are vital to agriculture’s ability to produce enough food, the solution is not to stop using them, but to reform the entire system around their production and use, Ragn-Sells will argue at Climate Week NYC.

The seminar "Towards sustainable material consumption in a net zero NYC – the case of buildings and food", moderated by Robert Watt, Engagement Director at the Stockholm Environment Institute, will be held in New York on September 19th, starting at 2;00 pm (EST). It will also be broadcast via Business Sweden – register for free.

For further information, please contact:
Pär Larshans, Director of Sustainability, Ragn-Sells Group, +46 (0)70-927 29 63, par.larshans@ragnsells.com
Emma Ranerfors, Press Officer, Ragn-Sells Group, +46 (0)10-723 24 16, press@ragnsells.com


Fact box: Climate Week NYC
Climate Week NYC is an event that has taken place every year in New York City since 2009. The summit is held alongside the UN General Assembly and brings together international leaders from business, government and civil society to showcase global climate action. Climate Week NYC is run by The Climate Group.

Detailed information about Climate Week NYC can be found on their website.

About Ragn-Sells Group

The environmental company Ragn-Sells converts waste into raw materials that can be used over and over again. Ragn-Sells drives the transition to a circular economy through solutions that reduce its own and other actors' environmental and climate impact. Ragn-Sells wants to be living proof that caring for the earth and business go hand in hand. Ragn-Sells is a family owned corporate group founded in 1881. The company operates in four countries and employs 2,500 people. In 2022, Ragn-Sells’ turnover was SEK 8.7 billion. www.ragnsells.com


Emma Ranerfors
Press Officer
Emma Ranerfors