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Arla Foods Environmental Strategy 2020 sets new standards

In June 2011, Arla Foods launched its Global Environmental Strategy 2020, which maps the entire environmental impact of its dairy products and includes a pledge to reduce global CO2 emissions by 25% by 2020 within the areas of production, haulage and packaging.

Arla Foods is a global dairy company owned by Danish, Swedish and German dairy farmers.  It is responsible for employing 16,000 people and has operating production facilities in 13 countries; it is the world’s largest producer of organic dairy products. 

In launching its strategy, the company claims to be the first UK dairy processor to go beyond reporting its own operations and include its suppliers, those on the Arla Foods Milk Partnership.  Within the UK its focus is on reducing CO2 emissions by 34% by 2020 within its own operations on a 2005 baseline.   Other key targets include:

30% of energy will come from renewable sources by 2020;

Reduction in the amount of water use by 20% by 2015;

By 2012, no waste will be sent to landfill;

Achieving the Courtauld 2 target of a 10% carbon reduction in packaging by 2012;

Meeting Dairy Roadmap targets of incorporating 30% recycled plastic in our fresh milk bottles by 2015 and 50% by 2020;

Supporting their farmers to reduce on-farm emissions.

Most of the reduction will derive from biogas plants and the construction of the worlds largest, and CO2 neutral, dairy outside London.

Nb. The report refers to CO2 emissions but it is not clear whether the expressed carbon footprint means the total climate change impact of all the greenhouse gases - the carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2e. From the context it appears that CO2e is meant.

In a recent interview with Arla Foods, the corporate environmental director highlights the challenges of achieving the sustainability goals.  Coverage can be found here

Arla’s corporate responsibility reporting can be read here. 

Reporting of the strategy by the Global Dairy Agenda for Action on Climate Change (GDAA) can be read here. 

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