Denmark-based dairy company Arla Foods sets sustainability goals for 2020 that include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% for production, transportation and packaging

LOS ANGELES , November 10, 2011 () – Denmark-based dairy company Arla Foods amba has set sustainability goals for 2020 that include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% for production, transportation and packaging, reported DairyReporter.com on Nov. 10.

To reach these targets, the company is separating its production and emissions calculations because of the difficulty in improving sustainability while continuing to grow, said Jan Dalsgaard Johannesen, corporate environmental director at Arla Foods.

For the five-year period of 2005-2010, the company was able to cut emissions by 6%-7%, but production rose by 6%-7%, he said, noting that this represented a “decoupling,” DairyReporter.com reported.

Arla Foods has set specific sustainability targets in four areas, including carbon emissions, waste, agriculture, and energy and water resources, Johannesen said.

Farmers are taking more of an active part in the effort, which involves the product’s lifecycle starting at the farm and ending with its end-use by the consumer. In the coming years, Arla Foods would like to establish a sustainable dairy farming standard, Johannesen said.

Arla Foods also wants to increase its use of renewable energy so that it accounts for half of the company’s energy use by 2020, Johannesen said. This could be accomplished in various ways, such as by producing biogas in partnership with its farmers, Johannesen said.

Biogas plants could, for instance, be built to process manure into fuel that Arla Foods could use in its operations. In Sweden, where there are substantial forest resources, the company could use woodchips for insulation or to produce power at its facilities, Johannesen said.

The approaches vary from country to country, depending on the culture, infrastructure, rules and the help that is offered, Johannesen said. In Northern Europe, the company has “good cooperation with non-government organizations and other stakeholders, although we generally do worldwide,” he said.

In some countries, for example, Arla Foods uses plastic rather than fibers in its packaging and it has recycling in some countries but not in others, Johannesen said.

The primary source of this article is DairyReporter.com, Montpellier, France, on Nov. 10, 2011.

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