DENMARK – Arla Foods, the largest dairy in the UK, has become among the first in the dairy sector and one of only 59 food and beverage processors globally, to have its targets verified by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

The Danish multinational company has used the fame to launch its Climate Roadmap – Towards Carbon Net Zero Dairy, detailing how it will deliver against its 2023 climate targets, and reduce emissions across its entire value chain, encompassing its farms and production sites, and logistics.

Arla said that its scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction target is consistent with changes needed to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees. Scope 1 covers Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions that a company makes directly while scope 2 covers indirect emissions such as energy.

The dairy giant also aims to reduce scope three emissions by 30 percent per kg of milk and whey by 2023, also against a 2015 baseline to meet the SBTi’s criteria for ambitious value chain goals in line with current best practices.

Ben Wood, Senior Sustainability Manager for Arla UK said: “Dairy has a defining decade ahead. The demand for dairy is growing around the world and we have a growing population to feed. But we must face the challenges of reducing emissions to create a healthy planet alongside healthy people.”

Achieving approval for our scope one and two emissions from the SBTi is a key milestone on our way to ensuring we tackle the issues around food production and being one of the first dairy companies globally to get this approval highlights our commitment to sustainable food,”

Arla’s plans for sustainability

Arla’s emissions come from five key areas: farming, which accounts for 83% of emissions; production (4%); packaging (2%); logistics and transport (2%); and other areas (9%), such as the purchase of whey by the global Arla Foods business.

As part of its strategy to meet these goals, Arla has a plan to switch to 100 percent renewable electricity across production sites by 2025 and use alternative fuels such as biogas in its transport and logistics systems.

The company will also be switching to 100 percent recyclable packaging and removing all virgin fossil plastic across its branded products by 2025; and using green fertilizers on its farms, among other things. 

Wood revealed that the fourth largest dairy company in the world with respect to milk volume knows that it has challenges to overcome when it comes to reducing its impact and that’s why the company is seizing the opportunity by investing across the entire value chain.

The cooperative structure means that collaboration is the mission and is working across its 2,100 UK dairy farms to share knowledge and bring about the all-important changes needed to develop even more sustainable food, that continues to deliver profitability for farmers and create a stronger planet.

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