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Sustainable dairy farming

Landscape view of a field with sheep
Landscape view of a field with sheep

At the heart of Arla's farmer-owned cooperative is the dairy farm itself, and our commitment to sustainability begins there.

We strive to ensure that our farms work in harmony with surrounding ecosystems, from the natural environment to local communities and economies. We have farmed the land for generations, and we have the benefit of decades of knowledge and experience that helps us continually take steps to do things better.

Actions we’ve taken to make dairy farming more sustainable…

Arla's CO2e emissions are about 1/2 the global average
Arla's CO2e emissions are about 1/2 the global average

Since 1990, Arla farmers have reduced emissions per kilo of milk by 23 percent (1990-2019), and we continually strive to cut more as we know there is more to be done. By introducing Climate Checks on all of our farmers, which suggests methods to minimise emissions, we are confident that we are on our way to reducing even more CO2e.

Read more about Climate Checks
We take care of our cows
We take care of our cows

A thriving dairy farm needs happy, healthy animals. To ensure the wellbeing of our cows, we have created Arlagården®, our farm-quality management programme. Through this tool, we are building one of the largest animal-welfare databases in the world to help us track our cows' welfare, from their hygiene to the composition of their milk, so we can continue to find ways to do things better.

33% (2019) of our energy comes from renewable sources
33% (2019) of our energy comes from renewable sources

Across our European operations and our farmer owners, we favour different types of renewable energy depending on national initiatives. E.g. wind turbines, solar panels, or biogas.

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Climate Checks Support Improvements on Farm

Arla’s ClimateCheck programme helps our dairy farmers target and reduce their CO2e emissions.

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A Fossil-Free Future

To achieve our goal of Carbon Net Zero, we are working towards operations that are totally free of fossil fuels, instead relying on renewable energy sources that include wind turbines, solar panels, and even biogas from waste incineration. 

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Making the Most of Manure

Cow poop is poised to be pivotal in a renewable-energy revolution, and pioneering Arla farmers have already begun harnessing its power.

Our global
ambition

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of milk with 30 % from 2015 levels, by 2030

The UN Global Goals of Sustainable Development

The UN Global Goals of Sustainable Development

Our work towards more sustainable dairy farming supports UN SDGs

  • No. 6 - Clean Water & Sanitation by ensuring nitrogen & phosphorus are in balance on our farms.
  • No. 7 - Affordable & Clean Energy by using renewable energy sources on our Farms.
  • No. 12 - Responsonsible Consumption & Production by leading the way in dairy farming.
  • No. 13 - Climate Action by continuing to reduce the CO2e on our farms and working towards Carbon Net Zero in 2050.
  • No. 17 - Partnerships for the Goals by working with others and the farming industry to ensure a sustainable dairy future for us all.