We’re a network of scientists and stakeholders working towards more sustainable nitrogen management

Our mission & vision

The International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) is the leading science-policy platform for the sustainable management of nitrogen – highlighting its role as an essential resource and major environmental threat.

Meet the Steering Committee


...the latest policy-relevant research on nitrogen production, consumption, and losses to the environment, and the ensuing impact on ecosystems and human health


...a forum and catalyst for interdisciplinary nitrogen research via the tri-annual INI conference in addition to other events and activities


...multi-stakeholder engagement for the development of evidence-based policies for sustainable nitrogen management


...regional efforts to improve nitrogen management from local to global scales.

The overarching vision that motivates INI is a world that optimizes nitrogen’s beneficial role in food production while staying within nitrogen’s planetary boundary to safeguard the environment and human health.

The world’s nitrogen cycle is out of balance, causing major environmental, health and economic problems

Essential Resource

On the one hand it is an essential nutrient that fuels photosynthesis and life itself. Our ability to harness nitrogen into synthetic fertilizer via the Haber-Bosch process feeds half the world. Many parts of the world need better access to nitrogen to guarantee food security, made only harder by a warming climate.

Planetary Pollutant

On the other hand, when nitrogen is lost to the environment, it exacerbates almost every major environmental problem, from air and water pollution, to biodiversity loss, stratospheric ozone depletion, and climate change. Nitrogen’s unique chemistry, means that one atom of nitrogen can take on many forms, each with its own specific impact on the environment and human health.

Sustainable Management

Better managing our relationship with nitrogen is in many ways a microcosm of the grand challenge of sustainable development: ensuring the social and economic wellbeing of the world’s population, without permanently damaging the environment we depend on. The International Nitrogen Initiative is devoted to better understanding and addressing this challenge, connecting nitrogen research with relevant national and international stakeholders across the world.


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