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Reducing our impact

As the global effort to reduce greenhouse gases gains momentum, the world is turning to agriculture for solutions in food production and energy. Meeting these challenges will require new tools, new technologies and ingenuity. As a global agribusiness at the intersection of food and fuel, we are taking an enterprise approach to mitigate our impact on the environment and supporting our owners and customers as they look to mitigate their impact, while ensuring reliability — and boosting resiliency — for their businesses. These objectives are central to delivering on our commitment to communities and people.

Measuring GHG emissions

To demonstrate our commitment to adopting and operationalizing international sustainability standards, CHS is developing an enterprise greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory that follows the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. A greenhouse gas inventory is a quantitative measurement of a company’s carbon footprint that follows a rigorous annual process to track emissions sources, reductions and removals. Inventories provide the foundation to develop climate-related strategies.


CHS refinery greenhouse gas emissions, calendar year 2022

(Laurel, Mont., and McPherson, Kan.) 

2,211,017 tCO2e

Scope 1: Direct emissions from combustion of fuels on site, physical and chemical processes, fugitive (leaked) gases

301,008 tCO2e

Scope 2: Indirect emissions from utility-purchased electricity

2,512,024 tCO2e

Total emissions


In fiscal year 2023, we engaged an independent third-party firm to begin building out our greenhouse gas inventory with our refineries at Laurel, Mont., and McPherson, Kan. This work built on nearly a decade of scope 1 (direct emissions) measurements to include scope 2 (indirect sources) emissions from utilities. Results from the work were shared with senior leaders and teams across CHS to prepare the organization for an enterprisewide approach in 2024 and beyond.

EarthOptics ATV
Investments in emerging technology

CHS evaluates and invests in emerging technology through Cooperative Ventures, a $50 million venture capital fund created by CHS and Growmark. Together, CHS and Growmark influence millions of acres owned and managed by thousands of farmer-owners. Cooperative Ventures has four fields of play: crop production, last-mile supply chain, farm business enablement and sustainability.

The fund has completed investments in two emerging technology companies: EarthOptics and Sabanto. EarthOptics is an ag tech startup developing next-generation soil-mapping technologies that enables data gathering at the field level beyond what is possible with traditional soil sampling. Sabanto is a hardware and software company that develops autonomous capabilities in tractors.

Crane loading a barge with fertilizer
Low-carbon nitrogen fertilizer

CHS is partnering with CF Industries, one of the world’s largest producers of nitrogen fertilizer, to accelerate quantifiable and certifiable agriculture and food system greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions through production and distribution of low-carbon nitrogen fertilizer. This initiative was announced in May 2023 as part of the U.S.-United Arab Emirates Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) program that seeks to catalyze global innovation in climate-smart agriculture.

CHS supplies nitrogen fertilizers to our cooperative and farmer-owners through CF Nitrogen, LLC, a joint venture between CF Industries and CHS. Collaborating to provide low- or zero-carbon fertilizer is a natural extension of that long-term relationship.

To address the GHG footprint of food production, both companies will leverage CF Industries investments to produce ammonia, the building block of nitrogen-based fertilizers, with reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The integrated CHS supply chain and distribution network will supply the low-carbon fertilizer to cooperatives and farmers to help reduce the overall carbon footprint of agriculture.