Arla plant

Source: Arla Foods UK 

The dairy co-op is now aiming to cut CO2e scope one and two emissions by 63% by 2030

Arla Foods has revised its plan to cut CO2 equivalent scope 1 and 2 emissions by 30% by 2030 to a more ambitious 63%, having already achieved a 24% reduction since 2015.

Among a host of new climate commitments announced this week, the dairy Co-op said it aimed to achieve its new global target via plans to convert to “fossil-free” milk tankers and distribution trucks powered by biogas, biodiesel and electricity – in a move that more than doubled its scope one and two emission reduction targets.

The goal was in line with the most ambitious target in the Paris Climate Agreement to keep global warming to 1.5°C higher than pre-industrial levels and had been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), Arla said.

To help meet the 63% figure, the business will increase total sustainability investments by 40% over the next five years to more than €4bn.

And in addition to converting its logistics fleet, the supplier has also committed to working with customers and farmers to reduce total mileage across the company through optimised route planning for its milk tankers, as well as increasing engagement with logistics suppliers to help reduce their CO2 emissions as well.

Arla said it would also convert to 100% green electricity in Europe through green power purchase agreements and investment in wind and solar projects, complemented by purchased guarantees of origin for electricity produced on Arla farms.

How is the dairy industry addressing climate change?

Other carbon-cutting commitments include reducing energy consumption through investments in low-energy solutions across Arla’s dairy sites – using, for example, heat recovery solutions including heat pumps, electrification of boilers and general optimisation of electrically powered equipment.

It follows the launch of a regenerative agriculture project by Arla in the UK last September, while its wider sustainability initiatives – which include farmer incentives for meeting certain targets under its Arla 360 scheme – meant it already produced less than half the global dairy industry’s average carbon emissions per kilo, the supplier revealed last April.

“The demand for dairy across the world continues to increase as we tackle issues of food poverty and malnutrition,” said Arla Foods UK MD Ash Amirahmadi.

“With Arla’s farmer owners already among the most carbon-efficient farmers in the world, it is right we also show leadership in reducing carbon emissions across the production and operational side of the co-operative.”

Arla’s 30% reduction target for scope 3 emissions from its entire value chain would remain in place, pending a review of sector guidance from the SBTi later this year.