Going full throttle on the green transition with steps towards climate neutrality - Foodnation

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Going full throttle on the green transition with steps towards climate neutrality

The Danish parliament has agreed on a landmark climate agreement that marks the next big step in Denmark’s green transition towards climate neutrality. The agreement is a testament to the broad support in all Danish walks of life towards the green transition and the important support from Danish industries.

On the move towards sustainable agriculture and food production

Denmark has already worked tirelessly for several decades to reduce its environmental impact from agricultural production and from 1990 to today decreased greenhouse gas emissions by 16% while production volume has increased 35%. The Danish food cluster is home to one of the most sustainable and least polluting agriculture and food productions in the world. In a study published by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in May 2020, Denmark is ranked in top as a global sustainability leader in meat and dairy productions and in June 2020, Denmark ranks as number 1 in World Economic Forum’s 2020 Environmental Performance Index.

Reaching a CO2-reduction together

In a partnership with stakeholders ranging from large food companies, NGOs and trade unions in Danish agriculture and food production, the industry has presented 24 of its most important suggestions towards the overall goal of the Danish government of reducing Danish greenhouse gas emissions by 70% from the CO2-levels of 1990 before 2030.

It is estimated that if all recommendations are followed with increased efforts in R&D, Danish agriculture and food production could achieve a staggering decrease of CO2 emissions from 1990-2030 at 72%, corresponding to 14.8 billion tonnes.

To highlight a few of the central actions among the long list of recommendations, the stakeholders point out:

  • Frequent sluicing of manure
  • Increased production of biopolymers from biomass to be used in other parts of Danish infrastructure by substituting the usage of fossil biopolymers
  • Increase initiatives within water recycling building on the work done in many public-private partnership (e.g. the Danish partnership DRIP, which works to improve water efficiency in the food industry)
  • Cut food loss and waste throughout the value chain for example by closer collaboration across the value chain and utilizing left-overs from agricultural production
Innovation as the silver bullet in the green approach

The route to further develop the Danish position within sustainable agriculture and food production is through innovative projects done in collaboration between the public and private sector. Examples show promising results such as the Danish biogas company Nature Energy is working together with researchers from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) to turn organic waste into the aviation fuel of tomorrow and the Danish grass seed company DLF is working with University of Copenhagen on finding alternatives to soy protein by using grass as feed in animal production.

The need for a green transition has exponentially accelerated after the market shock caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 and has made it more important than ever to share cross-country knowledge on how to produce more with less. Danish companies are ready to share their experience with partners all around the world.