Mosaic Employees Apply Innovative Thinking to Achieve 2020 Sustainability Targets
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Mosaic Employees Apply Innovative Thinking to Achieve 2020 Sustainability Targets

December 15, 2015   |   ShareThis

In June, Mosaic announced its 2020 Sustainability Targets. Our goal is to reduce energy use, freshwater use and greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent per tonne of product produced by 2020.

"As global demand for food, water and precious natural resources increases, we are driven to improve how we operate and produce crop nutrients," said Joc O'Rourke, Mosaic President and Chief Executive Officer. "These water, energy and emissions targets build on our existing business strategy, and position us to stretch our environmental responsibility efforts even further."

Since the Targets were published, employees have been working to demonstrate the company’s commitment to shrinking Mosaic’s environmental footprint.

South Fort Meade Washer Energy Efficiency Crew Contest

Phosphate rock is usually found 15-50 feet beneath the ground in a mixture of phosphate pebbles, sand and clay known as phosphate "matrix." The matrix goes to the beneficiation plant, where the largest pieces of phosphate rock are separated from the sand and clay through a washing process.

Darlene Callender, Energy Conservation Engineer, and Josh Adams, Manager of Production, lead an energy conservation contest at Mosaic’s South Fort Meade, Florida phosphate mine to see which crew runs the washers using the least amount of energy. The goal of the contest is to maximize production while minimizing equipment usage, thereby reducing the amount of energy consumed per ton of matrix.

The group faced a challenge when using the energy-consuming “mudball pit” during the washing process. To get back on track, they implemented an Optimal Run Strategy that outlines specific equipment usage recommendations depending on production rates. For example, when the tonnage of matrix moving through the plant is below a specific threshold, employees will turn off certain equipment, which helps manage energy use.

Thanks to Darlene and the washer crews, washer energy use at South Fort Meade is falling steadily. As of the end of July, the overall washer energy was 3.20 kWh/matrix ton – down more than 40 percent since late 2013 when this project was implemented.

As a result, the SFM washer team saved nearly $54,000 in electricity during the first two months of 2015, compared to how they ran a year ago, and have continued to achieve an average monthly savings of $34,000.