Lars Lindén, CEO of Ragn-Sells Group, during the inauguration of the Swedish pavilion, kicked off by representatives from the Swedish government.

Time to summarise COP28

The climate summit in Dubai has concluded, and after extended negotiations, the countries have reached a final document. This document marks the first time that circular economy is mentioned as a global solution to reduce carbon emissions.

19 Dec 2023

Although this recognition may be relatively small, it is deemed a victory according to Ragn-Sells' Chief Sustainability Officer, Pär Larshans: 

 - If we are serious about creating a sustainable society, we must use the resources we already have, over and over again. The inclusion of the circular economy as a solution in the final document signifies a crucial milestone in initiating discussions on circular material flows.  

As a participant in both the Swedish and Estonian delegations, Ragn-Sells had the opportunity to actively contribute to the dialogue on circular economy practices. In total, Ragn-Sells hosted ten sessions in three different arenas and participated in even more sessions. In the session “Is the European Green Deal Delivering - And What's Next?" Ragn-Sells moderated EU Commissioner Kadri Simson, who predicted that the EU would reduce CO2 emissions by 57 percent, an improvement compared to the target of 55 percent by 2030. 

Food production in focus 

One focus area during COP28 was food production and supply. Consequently, Ragn-Sells' initiative, the “10 billion challenge”, addressing the task of feeding 10 billion people on the planet by 2050, with 70 percent expected to reside in cities that also need to be built, gathered significant attention during the summit.  

On the Aquaculture theme, the focus was on Ragn-Sells’ project called Havbruk, where fish excrement from Norwegian fish farms can provide electricity to 600,000 Swedish households and capture large amounts of phosphorus each year, instead of ending up in the sea. 

- Circular technology for fish farming means a lower carbon footprint, less strain on the fjords, and more fish from each farm. At the same time, we harness valuable raw materials and contribute to reducing Europe's dependence on importing energy and fertiliser, says Irja Sunde Roiha, CEO of Ragn-Sells Havbruk AS, who participated in COP28.  

Irja Sunde Roiha, CEO of Ragn-Sells Havbruk AS Irja Sunde Roiha, CEO of Ragn-Sells Havbruk AS

Ragn-Sells' innovation company EasyMining presented their three technologies for extracting nutrients for mineral fertilisers from waste: Ash2Salt for potassium and other salts, Ash2Phos for phosphorus, and Aqua2N for nitrogen. 

 - We showed the world how, by reusing the nutrients we have already produced, we can significantly reduce climate impact. Our message is that circular fertilisers are the only way to achieve sustainable food production, says Jan Svärd, CEO of EasyMining, who was on-site in Dubai. 

“Ever seen poop paint before?” 

Through the Ash2Phos process, which turns sewage sludge ash into phosphorus products, a red silica sand emerges as a valuable co-product. The sand is iron-rich and holds significant potential for various applications in materials. 

In the Swedish Pavilion, Ragn-Sells innovation company EasyMining showcased two innovative products resulting from the Ash2Phos process. These products, a brownish mud-paint and a sound-absorbing panel, not only demonstrated the versatility of circular materials but also showcased their commitment to transforming waste into valuable resources.  

“Ever seen poop paint before?”

Climate needs circularity 

According to the United Nations, the extraction of our virgin resources accounts for 50 percent of our total emissions and 90 percent of the biodiversity challenge and water stress. 

- Besides circular material flows being included in a final document, statements emphasising the importance of protecting coastal areas and safeguarding water are crucial for us. Circular material flows are absolutely essential for mitigating several of our climate challenges, and the biodiversity challenge, as well as the water stress, concludes Pär Larshans. 

Most of Ragn-Sells' sessions are recorded and can viewed via Business Sweden and the Nordic pavilion.