Danone’s Karicare milk formula brand commits to carbon neutrality

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Danone will also move to 100% renewable electricity for all its New Zealand plants next year.  Pic: Danone
Danone will also move to 100% renewable electricity for all its New Zealand plants next year. Pic: Danone

Related tags: Dairy, Danone, Infant formula, Sustainability, carbon neutral

Danone has announced its New Zealand milk formula brand, Karicare, will achieve carbon neutrality at each stage of the product lifecycle by 2030.

Karicare will join other Danone brands – such as Horizon Organic, which has also committed to becoming carbon neutral, and evian and Volvic, which are already carbon neutral – on Danone’s journey to becoming a zero-net carbon company by 2050.

Karicare’s journey to carbon neutrality is aided by its production in New Zealand, which also has an ambition to be net zero on greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“At Danone, our core belief is that the health of the planet and health of people are interconnected. That’s why we’re committed to taking real steps that help us bring our products to market in a way that minimizes any impact on climate change, including transitioning production of our milk formula products to practices that are more sustainable,”​ said Rodrigo Lima, managing director, Nutricia Oceania.

Danone said it will also work with its New Zealand suppliers and farmers to foster regenerative agricultural practices and improve soil health, continue to invest in decarbonization of operations and focus on packaging circularity.

Karicare carbon emissions associated with operations is a significant area of focus, the company said. This includes installing a biomass boiler to provide renewable heat at its South Island spray drying facility in Balclutha. Announced in July 2019, the NZ$30m boiler will be operational in 2021 and will eliminate around 20,000 tonnes of CO2​ emissions per year. 

Danone will also move to 100% renewable electricity for all its New Zealand plants next year. Between the move to renewable energy and biomass-based heating, the total operational CO2​ emissions at the Balclutha plant will be reduced by 95%.

Danone’s ambition is to make packaging 100% circular across all its brands. This means eliminating unneeded packaging, designing for recycling, reusing or compositing and ensuring that the material produced stays in the economy and doesn’t become waste or pollution. A circular approach to packaging reduces carbon emissions due to greater reuse and recycling, leading to less reliance on virgin materials.

Karicare’s packaging across the total portfolio has a high level of recyclability due the use of tin plate in its cans and the widespread use of recyclable plastics for items such as scoops and snap-seal lids. Consistent with Danone’s global ambition, all Karicare’s packaging will be either recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

The carbon neutral journey for Karicare will commence with the newly launched Karicare Gold Plus+ Organic, which will be certified carbon neutral in 2022. All other products in the Karicare range will be progressively certified up to 2030, at the latest.

“Danone’s approach to carbon neutrality is to focus on reductions first and foremost,”​ Lima said.

“We continuously act together with our partners to reduce our emissions in agriculture, operations and packaging, then taking responsibility for offsetting remaining emissions to achieve a carbon neutral position.  With carbon neutral Karicare, we’re providing consumers with a more sustainable option and giving them the opportunity to choose a better future for their family.”

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