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Creating a sustainable future for dairy production

Today the Danish cooperative dairy Arla Foods and it’s 10,300 farmers announced their new ambitious climate targets, aiming at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent per kilo of milk over the next decade and to work towards carbon net zero by 2050.

Livestock farming alone is responsible for up to 18% of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, according to the United Nations. With the new climate ambitions, Arla Foods takes the next big steps towards sustainable dairy production and carbon net zero dairy.

“As a leading international cooperative dairy with 10,300 farmers and perhaps the most comprehensive knowledge of milk and dairy production in Northern Europe, we will accelerate the transition to sustainable milk production. For many years we have been working on sustainability and we need to do more and work faster, especially to combat climate change that affects everyone on earth, not least us farmers,” says milk producer and chairman of Arla Foods, Jan Toft Nørgaard.

Several focus areas from farm to store

Some of the tools to reach the targets is to switch to more sustainable operations such as renewable energy, sustainable packaging and lower waste production, while farmers can plant more trees and bushes to help absorb carbon and improve biodiversity. Optimisation of the feed composition is also a research area that Arla is investing in to reduce cow’s methane emissions.

Since 1990, Arla farmers have reduced emissions per kilo of milk by 24 per cent. The CO2 reduction from Arla’s operations, including packaging and transport, has been 22 per cent since 2005 – even though Arla’s milk intake since then has grown by over 40 per cent.

“Arla farmers are excellent and progressive farm managers and Arla will support them as much as possible with tools, new technology and new knowledge from scientists and experts. As a business we are also stepping up our transformation to more sustainable operations using non-fossil fuels, renewable energy, sustainable packaging and less waste with a wide range of new initiatives that we will unfold during 2019 and onwards,” says Peder Tuborgh.

Arla’s climate ambitions has been defined using inputs from university researchers and NGO’s in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the UK and is guided by Science Based Targets to set the goals necessary to help keep global temperature increase below 2°C.

Source: Arla Foods