Volta Greentech and Coop look to milk with reduced climate footprint

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Fredrik Åkerman and Leo Wezelius from Volta, with Magnus Johansson. Pic: Coop
Fredrik Åkerman and Leo Wezelius from Volta, with Magnus Johansson. Pic: Coop

Related tags Sweden GHG emissions Milk Cooperative

Volta Greentech, a Swedish startup company and one of the companies in the Swedish food tech accelerator Bloomer, has created an algae feed supplement it says has the potential to reduce methane emissions in cows by 60 to 90%.

The first commercial study will start with the feed supplement, with the aim of ensuring the quality of the milk and with the aim of developing a commercial product in Coop's stores in Sweden in 2021. The study will be carried out with 24 dairy cows and is expected to be completed in November 2020.

Methane emissions from cows account for just over 5% of Sweden's national greenhouse gas emissions.

Volta Greentech said its ambition is to enable commercialization of the algae feed supplement on a large scale and accelerate the work of reducing the climate footprint of the Swedish dairy industry.

The study is being carried out together with Coop at a farm near Falköping, where they are testing implementation and ensuring that the milk quality is not affected.

“For decades, both politicians and companies have talked about the importance of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, emissions in Sweden in 2018 increased by 0.9%,”​ Leo Wezelius, CMO at Volta Greentech, said.

“One of the largest sources of emissions is enteric methane gas from cows, which is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in heating the atmosphere. With this initiative, the grocery trade is for the first time on the way to soon be able to sell food products from cows that are completely or partially methane-free.”

As a partner, Coop is involved in and supports commercialization by helping to develop methane-reduced, long-term sustainable consumer products

“The solution has enormous potential, but in order to succeed, we need to work with both agriculture and the food industry from supplier to store. The Bloomer accelerator has given us good conditions to work close to Coop to implement the solution in their value chain,”​ Wezelius said.

Coop Sweden's president and CEO Magnus Johansson, who has been a mentor for Volta Greentech and participated in their work, said, “Bloomer is a fantastic accelerator program where we have created a platform for entrepreneurial companies such as Volta Greentech to take their solutions to the next level and make food Sweden more sustainable. I follow their development with excitement and am happy that Coop can be an enabler that supports their important work going forward.”


Related topics R&D Sustainability Dairy Health Check