Ragn-Sells led water talks at WTO

On Monday, June 17th, Pär Larshans, the chief sustainability officer of Ragn-Sells, took center stage at the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD). As the only external speaker, Larshans led a pivotal working group session on water management, co-convened by Canada and Costa Rica.

04 Jul 2024

Watch the recording of the session at WTO 

Pär Larshans highlighted the potential of wastewater as a vital resource to alleviate the strain on freshwater supplies. One of the key issues discussed was the dwindling global freshwater resources and the challenges posed by saltwater utilisation. Climate change exacerbates these problems, particularly in coastal areas where saltwater contamination threatens the livelihoods of the majority of the world's population.

"Trade and technology can contribute to solving our water issues. Resource treatment plants replacing wastewater treatment plants will be one important solution to implement. Today, the role of wastewater treatment plants is 'to do bad things less bad' – this needs to change so that legislation pushes for a producing resource focus instead," Larshans stated.

Advocating for a transformative shift from traditional wastewater treatment plants to resource treatment plants, Larshans underscored the need for societal adoption of ‘resource plant’ principles. He challenged outdated linear principles from the 1970s, which focus solely on waste reduction, and emphasised the importance of embracing circular principles. "This approach not only generates high-quality raw materials but also integrates detoxification, paving the way for sustainable solutions," he explained.

Furthermore, Larshans highlighted the need for trade agreements to support the sourcing of recirculated raw materials. He argued that the allowance to use these materials should be based on the quality of the output, not their origin. As a starting point, he suggested focusing on phosphorus, which would enhance water management and provide more fertilisers for agriculture.

Larshans elaborated on the benefits of circular innovations in resource plants: “If we are serious about creating a sustainable society, we need to use our resources over and over again. Through circular innovations, we can produce freshwater for agriculture and industry, generate essential energy in various forms, eliminate N2O emissions, and create valuable products like nitrogen fertiliser and high-quality phosphorus for animal feed,” said Pär Larshans.

The session at the WTO TESSD underscored the crucial role of sustainable water management in addressing global environmental challenges and highlighted the innovative approaches necessary for a sustainable future.

Watch the recording of the session at WTO 

Download the presentation

Innovative solutions for water management from Ragn-Sells

The different Ragn-Sells innovations that were included in the speech was the following:

The patented solutions Ash2PhosAqua2N and Ash2Salt, developed by Ragn-Sells innovation company EasyMining, a subsidiary of Ragn-Sells. Ragn-Sells Havbruk, project of collection of fish sludge from fish farms. PFAS solution SELPAXT developed by Chromafora (where Ragn-Sells is one of the shareholders).