One of the greatest challenges facing us all is providing natural, nutritious food for a growing population, whilst reducing the impact on the world around us. That’s why in March 2019, Arla and its farmer owners announced ambitions to be carbon net zero by 2050.
But this is not new for us. We have been working for many years to limit our emissions and even with a 50% increase in milk production since 2005, we have reduced our emissions from processing, transport and packaging by 24% and our on-farm emissions by 24% since 1990.
Since 1990, Arla farmers have collectively reduced CO2 emissions per kilo of milk by 24%. This means that Arla farmers produce milk at less than half the average emissions compared to global dairy production and we are committed to continuing to reduce our footprint as much as we can.
One step on this journey is the introduction of our on-farm climate checks. Our farmers will build one of the world’s largest climate databases as we head towards being climate net zero by 2050.
The checks, which will be scientifically verified, will cover all aspects of dairy farming from herd size to housing, feed to fuel and renewable energy production.
Producing around 3-4 billion litres of milk every year, these on farm changes across Arla’s approximately 2,100 UK farmers could have a significant impact on our overall emissions. The database will also play a key role as we seek to triple the speed of CO2 reductions on farm over the next ten years.
For obvious reasons, it’s not possible to reduce a cow’s methane emissions completely, but it can be significantly reduced, for example through optimised feed composition, which is a research area that Arla is investing in.
To counteract the emissions, an important part of the strategy is working with Arla farmers to quantify and increase the carbon captured and stored in the soil as part of increasing their positive contribution.
Our farmers care for the countryside and are committed to playing their part in protecting the world around us
Farmer Owner, Oxfordshire
Farming is a long-term business with long-term investments and most farmers are working to pass their farm onto the next generation in better shape than when they took it over. Caring for the world around us plays a huge part in that and having the science-based targets to help us keep on improving will ensure Arla’s farmers go even further with their efforts. I’m very proud to think we are trying to improve the countryside whilst making a living producing milk.
The Climate Check
Watch our video to find out about the Arla Climate Check and how this is going to help us achieve carbon net zero by 2050.