Arla’s Environmental Strategy 2020 sets new standards
|Source : Arla Foods|
Arla’s new environmental strategy for 2020 aims high.
From focusing exclusively on the impact from production, transport and packaging, the recently completed strategy plan now encompasses the entire environmental impact of dairy products - right from the farm to the consumers’ wheelie bins.
Involving the farmers
Involving the farmers is a key component of the environmental strategy. One groundbreaking initiative is Arla’s plan to set up test farms in Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany and Finland where farmers can study the results from their farm’s activities in respect of reducing environmental impact. At the same time, scientists will have the opportunity to test cultivation methods, feed combinations and machinery.
There has been a lack of this type of information, however, Arla has been carrying out measurements and analysis of the environmental impact from farms for some time in order to define the reference point for environmental improvements, explains Environmental Director, Jan D. Johannesen:
”We cannot say precisely what our measurements will be,” he says. “However, the strategy is highly ambitious in that we must now develop and implement a new standard for environmental, sustainable milk production. When we have finished collating the data, we can define the starting point and, therefore, the specific goals which we expect to be ready in 2013.”
Zero waste of food and materials
Another ambition in the environmental strategy is for Arla to eliminate waste entirely. This means that what is normally regarded as valueless waste should now be regarded as recyclable material. In future, all packaging for dairy products must be 100 per cent recyclable.
Waste, however, also includes food waste, particularly in homes. On average, between the farm and the consumer’s kitchen, there is 12.5 per cent waste of which more than half is accounted for by the remains of dairy products in consumers’ dustbins.
”This is obviously difficult for Arla to control,” Jan D. Johannesen says. “But we would like to help consumers reduce their food waste by, for instance, varying the sizes of our products so they match consumer requirements and inspire them to use what’s left over in new recipes.“
50 per cent sustainable energy
Compared to other, more conventional environmental targets, the ambition is to reduce water and energy consumption by three per cent per year up to 2020 and to ensure that half the energy consumption at that time comes from sustainable energy resources. This will be achieved by investments in biogas plants for which the raw material is slurry from Arla’s own farms.
Arla’s climate strategy remains unchanged, but is now part of the overall environmental strategy.
The CO2 target is still a reduction of 25% between 2005 and 2020 within the areas of transport, production and packaging.
Most of this will derive from the biogas plants and the construction of the world’s largest, and CO2 neutral, dairy outside London.
More information at:
- Jan Dalsgaard Johannesen
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