2022-03-28 08:30Press release

UN Stockholm+50 Conference needs to address circulating nutrients

Linnéa Sellberg, Project leader and owner representative at Ragn-Sells and Pär Larshans, Director of Sustainability at Ragn-Sells.

In June, Sweden hosts the 50-year anniversary of the first UN Conference on the environment. Environmental company Ragn-Sells will be an active part in the discussions as well as in the preparatory meeting held in New York on March 28. The aim is to raise global awareness of the potential of circulating nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, critical in order to produce enough with food in the world.

– Humanity’s ways of sourcing and handling key nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, are deeply problematic and damaging to people and planet alike. The nations present at the UN Stockholm+50 Conference have to pave the way for circular solutions for nutrients, says Linnéa Sellberg, Project leader and owner representative at Ragn-Sells.

Fifty years ago, in 1972, Sweden hosted the first-ever global conference on the environment, which resulted in the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). After five decades of international cooperation, there is growing concern as environmental problems continue to accelerate, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not expected to be met in time. As world leaders meet in Stockholm, they will discuss how to accelerate multilateral cooperation in order to accomplish Agenda2030, the Paris agreement, and global framework on biodiversity (CBD).

One area that requires urgent attention during this year’s conference is the issues concerning food production.

– In the 50 years since the last Stockholm Conference, the problems with phosphorus and nitrogen have only gotten worse, and they now represent the most transgressed planetary boundary. Now is the time for action before it is too late. Every nation needs to prioritise the recycling of these key nutrients today, says Linnéa Sellberg.

For example, The UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA) approximates that only 20 percent of nitrogen added to agriculture ever reaches our tables. The rest causes astonishing damage, estimated by UNEA at up to 3 400 billion US dollars annually in addition to enormous human suffering.

Ragn-Sells presents circular solutions for phosphorus and nitrogen, as well as potassium. Ordinary sewage sludge contains large amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen which are not put to use today, but can be recovered with new technology and brought back to the fields.

– If we are serious about creating a sustainable society, we have to start using the raw materials we already have over and over again. We look forward to contributing our knowledge about recovering key nutrients from waste and advocate for a new way of converting wastewater treatment plants into resource plants in the circular economy of tomorrow, says Pär Larshans, Director of Sustainability Ragn-Sells.

Along with Ms. Sellberg, Mr. Larshans will be the company’s representative participating in the preparatory meeting in New York on March 28.

For further information, please contact
Linnéa Sellberg, Project leader and owner representative, +46 70 927 29 37, linnea.sellberg@ragnsells.com
Pär Larshans, Director of Sustainability, +46 70 927 29 63, par.larshans@ragnsells.com
Emma Ranerfors, Press Officer, +46 10 723 24 16 , press@ragnsells.com

About Ragn-Sells Group

Ragn-Sells is a family owned corporate group, with operations in four countries. We started our journey in 1881, and since 1966 we have been involved in waste management, environmental services, and recycling. We collect, treat, detoxify, and recycle waste and residual products from businesses, organisations, and households so that they can become feedstock into new production processes. www.ragnsells.com


Emma Ranerfors
Press Officer
Emma Ranerfors