UK dairy industry signs up to carbon cutting plan

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Carbon dioxide

Dairy industry representatives have signed up to a £15m innovation programme in the UK designed to cut carbon, reduce costs and make manufacturing more competitive.

Dairy UK said that it hopes that its members will become more efficient and innovative as a result of their involvement in the Carbon Trust’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA).

“Efficiency ultimately brings more wealth into the sector, makes businesses more competitive globally and boosts confidence about the industry’s prospects,”​ said Fergus McReynolds, environment manger at the industry group.

Cross-sectoral model

Mark Williamson, director of innovations at the Carbon Trust, said through IEEA, it aims to transform the traditional sector-specific processes that underpin manufacturing in the UK, and he claims that the trust will identify and demonstrate new, lower-carbon methods that could be replicated across each sector.

"By rethinking the way manufacturers operate from the ground up we plan to spearhead a low carbon industrial revolution that will not only reduce emissions but will also increase demand for innovation, generate jobs and cut costs,"​ he said.

The trust said it is inviting companies to collaborate in research, development and demonstration that will establish the business case for commercialising lower-carbon manufacturing processes. It is offering 250,000 match funding to partners in each sector.

Savings

McReynolds said that, based on pilots, the IEEA is expected to save 28 per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in each sector including dairy. Moreover, it is expected to save industry £6 per tonne in implemented CO2 savings.

He told this publication that specific areas where opportunities exist are in order scheduling, through building a market for low carbon products, heat recovery, control of moisture content, burner control, more efficient equipment, as well as R&D.

Milk roadmap

The UK industry group said that it will continue to meet its Milk Roadmap commitments in conjunction with the initiatives planned under the IEEA collaboration.

The roadmap, outlined by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in conjunction with other stakeholders, sets out goals for the industry in reducing its environmental impact.

These targets include a timeline on cutting carbon emissions and water use related to milk production, while also agreeing not to send any factory produced waste to landfill sites by 2020.

Sustainability

The Carbon Trust programme launch comes as the entire European dairy sector continues to undertake green initiatives to improve the sector’s overall environmental impact.

Joop Kleibeuker, secretary-general of the European Dairy Association (EDA), claims maintains that the dairy industry “is not only talking about greenhouse gas emissions reduction, but also working actively on it.”

Last week, he outlined the objectives and scope of the global dairy’s sustainability initiatives at an EU policy seminar in Brussels at which he stressed how focused the dairy sector is on developing emission calculation and mitigation projects throughout the production chain from feed to the finished product.

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