Arla commits to being carbon-neutral by 2050
Changes are possible given the rapid pace of change in technology and ever-increasing farm efficiencies, says company.
Europe’s largest dairy co-operative, Arla Foods, has announced its Climate Change initative. Says UK Managing Director Ash Amirahmadi, “One of the greatest challenges facing us all is providing natural, nutritious food for a growing population whilst reducing our collective impact on the world around us….the new ambitions will ensure Arla’s farmers, production sites and products continue to play their part in developing a sustainable world for everyone.”
By 2050, says the company, its operations from cow to consumer will be carbon net zero, with any unavoidable emissions (for example, from farms) entirely offset by improvements elsewhere in the supply chain, will balance nitrogen and phosphorus cycles to support clean water systems and will aim to further increase biodiversity across the countryside.
The co-operative, which is owned by 10,300 farmers across the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium, says it has set its new targets having shown that business growth can be achieved without environmental impact. Arla says that while it has managed almost 50 per cent more milk since 2005, its CO2 emissions have reduced by 22 per cent across production and packaging; on farms CO2 emissions per kilo of milk have reduced by 24 per cent since 1990.
Arla says it believes that, while ambitious, these changes are possible given the rapid pace of change in technology and ever-increasing farm efficiencies. Arla UK ‘s initiatives to date have seen it cut annual emissions of carbon from the UK’s largest dairy at Aylesbury, Berkshire, by more than half (15,000 tonnes), by switching to using biogas. It has also entered into an agreement with FareShare to redistribute surplus products to charities, and reduced its UK carbon footprint by 48 percent.
Arla farmer owner Jonathan Sharp comments, “We’ve taken some big steps at Arla, but we can’t take our feet off the pedal. Every business and individual in every walk of life will need to think about their impact on the world in the years to come.”