GLOBAL – Six major global food companies, including Nestlé, Danone, General Mills, Kraft Heinz, Bel Group, and Lactalis, have launched the Dairy Methane Alliance at COP28, pledging to disclose annual emissions from their dairy supply chains.

The initiative, announced at an event in Dubai, commits these companies to create and implement comprehensive methane action plans.

According to a statement from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the companies will disclose annual emissions and collaborate on strategies to address methane emissions within their dairy supply chains.

While the commitment has been welcomed by environmental advocates, some expressed disappointment over the absence of other major dairy players, including Arla Foods, from the pledge.

Antonia Wanner, Global Head of ESG Operations and Deployment at Nestlé emphasized the importance of broader industry cooperation and sharing insights to make progress toward sustainability goals.

Danone’s Chief Sustainability and Strategic Business Development Officer, Henri Bruxelles, highlighted the power of collective action within the dairy sector to address climate change challenges.

EDF President Fred Krupp stated that these corporations are setting a new standard for accountability, transparency, and ambitious climate action in the food industry.

Agriculture is responsible for nearly 40% of human-caused methane emissions, with the majority coming from livestock, according to EDF.

The Dairy Methane Alliance aims to serve as a model for transparency, accountability, and collaboration in reducing critical emissions within the global dairy industry.

The alliance also called on other international dairy companies to join the initiative and expedite a global shift to climate-smart dairy.

Ceres, a sustainability non-profit organization, will provide technical support and assistance in developing a methane action plan template.

Meryl Richards, Program Director for Food and Forests at Ceres, emphasized the need for companies to take action on reducing emissions and advancing practices for a more sustainable food system.

At COP28, global leaders unveiled initiatives targeting methane reduction, and the UAE called on parties to the Paris Agreement to submit economy-wide national climate targets covering all greenhouse gases.

Additionally, more than US$1 billion in grant funding for methane reduction was announced, including contributions from Danone, which pledged over US$200 million for the Global Methane Hub.

While the Dairy Methane Alliance marks a positive step, advocates stressing the importance of clear targets for methane reductions and a robust plan to achieve them to make a substantial impact on climate change.