Decarbonising farming with a co-created, circular service model


Expertise: service design, sustainability, business model design

My Role: Service Designer at Hellon

Client: Yara, a global crop nutrition and agriculture solution provider

Awards: Read more about the case study and awards here

Dates: 2020-21

Project Summary

Covering roughly half of the landmass of Europe, agriculture has a substantial impact on our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While EU is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050, the demand for food and animal feed is projected to grow by 70% and the farmers role is key.

I worked as leading Researcher and Service Designer with Hellon, Yara, and a biofuel processor to design the first iteration of a commercially and globally valid proof of concept which support farmers in reducing their carbon footprint with new services or products that support Yara’s current offerings.

Covering roughly half of the landmass of Europe, agriculture has a substantial impact on our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Farmers are under a lot of pressure: Measuring the emissions is in the early stages, connected to limited public funding and most solutions focus on incentivising farmers to move toward organic farming. Although the European Green Deal sets the direction and the timeline, farmers are often left to find effective solutions to meet the targets themselves.

My role involved applying human and planet centric methodologies, kicking the project off with extensive ecosystem research that engaged Yara, experts, the farmers, and the biofuel processor. Together with Yara, we innovated a solution that leverages the power the value chain has when key players are brought together to collaborate.

After validating the desirability of the new concept with farmers, I collaborated on a business design sprint for a diverse mix of relevant stakeholders to ensure the business viability of the proposition.


The concept of the ‘Objectif COOlza’ service was created, which builds upon offering a mutually-beneficial proposition where Yara, the farmers and the biofuel processor partner can take steps toward a greener future.

‘The COOLza GHG calculator - simulator ’, a tool offered as part of the service, calculates the farmers' C02 and suggests strategies to reduce emissions while increasing their profit. As the first action, farmers opt for Yara's low-emission and highly effective fertiliser and track how their carbon per tonne of grain is reduced.


The low carbon grain is sold to a rapeseed biofuel processor, which offers the farmer a GHG Bonus* of 24e per tonne for their product as a part of a premium programme. They also collect the field waste from farmers, making the operation close to zero-waste and valuable for both parties. The project's outcome included the validated concept, customer journey, value propositions for key stakeholders, a business model, a plan for channel partner cooperation, acquisition and onboarding, and MVP and rollout recommendations.

The pilot was a success. In 2021, a pilot was launched in France with the aim of helping farmers produce low carbon oilseed rape grain. ‘Objectif COOLza’ has already engaged 25 farmers with their 500 hectares - and this is only the first introduction of the circular service.

25 Farmers engaged

-15% CO2
+4,7%* / tonne Value