Valio said the objective helps fight climate change and provides food manufacturers with sustainably produced food ingredients.
“Our goal is to cut dairy’s carbon footprint to zero by 2035. It is a good example of our concrete sustainability actions. Instead of just compensating for emissions, we are making major changes in our production chain in order to bring the carbon footprint of dairy down to zero in the future,” Timo Pajari, SVP, food solutions sales at Valio, said.
“Our 2035 goal − carbon neutral dairy − means that the same amount of emissions is reduced and removed from the atmosphere as is generated on the farms, in transportation, at the plants, and in package manufacturing.”
He added that food manufacturers and consumers want to know where the raw materials come from, making traceability and transparent procurement important customer requirements in ingredients sales.
“Transparency is in the heart of Valio’s operations. All milk is traceable back to an individual farm. Finnish cows are among the healthiest in the world, and every cow at Valio farms even has a name,” Pajari said.
“All Valio farms are becoming carbon farms, as we organize carbon farming trainings for Valio’s dairy farmers. In 2019–2020, we will train at least 200 volunteer farms. All Valio farms will complete the training by 2035.”
Another development is the new Valio CARBO grass seed mix that further improves the carbon binding ability of grasslands.
Other Valio climate measures include the usage of biogas to replace fossil fuels and the development of plant-based packaging. The first biogas-fueled milk collection and distribution trucks hit the road in 2019, and Valio is working towards using cow manure to produce biogas.
“In Finland, the production of carbon neutral milk is an achievable goal, as the production methods differ from those elsewhere,” Pajari said.