The move is part of Arla Foods’ long-term strategy to become carbon neutral by 2050 and will contribute to reducing the organization’s greenhouse gas emissions by 63% by 2030. Through the agreement, the co-op will also fulfil its promise to use only renewable electricity across its Danish operations by 2025.
Achieving carbon reductions of 58,000 tons per year, the co-op will purchase electricity from an unsubsidized wind farm called Nørre Økse Sø located near the town of Brovst in Jammerbugt Municipality.
The site, which already has a wind farm built on it, will receive 11 new turbines over the next two years; these will commence operation in November 2024, with Arla’s electricity supply deal coming into force no later than January 1, 2025. The co-op’s contract with Eurowind Energy is for 10 years, and each year, 58,000 tons of carbon will be saved, equal to 8% of Arla’s total CO2 footprint for scope one and two. Arla also receives renewable energy from solar cells, biogas engines, and own units from a number of its own farms throughout Denmark.
Hanne Søndergaard, sustainability director at Arla, has welcomed the green electricity agreement. “Every day, we work on fulfilling our climate goals – both in terms of production and among our owners,” she said. “This involves being able to produce all our products with green electricity. The new agreement is therefore an important milestone in our climate work. And I am proud that there already is clarity about the path to deliver on this ambition.”
The dairy giant has already reduced its CO2 emissions from production by 25 percent since 2015 and its sustainability goals, revealed in detail recently as part of its sustainability roadmap announcement, have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as ‘consistent’ with emissions reductions required to keep global warming to 1.5⁰C. The co-op is just one of 61 food and beverage producers in the world to has had its targets verified by the SBTi.
Securing the contract with Eurowind Energy also means that Arla stays on track to meeting its 100% green electricity target for Europe by the end of 2025. A spokesperson for Arla told DairyReporter: “The Danish market has been our priority, and we are very pleased that we have now reached our goal. Work now continues in our other markets and we aim to reach 100% green electricity by the end of 2025 [in Europe] as well.”
Jens Rasmussen, CEO of Eurowind Energy, concluded: "We are proud that Arla has chosen to enter into the agreement with us. With its ambitious climate strategy, Arla is leading the way and we are happy to be able to supply green electricity, so that Arla can pursue its goals and contribute to the green transition. The agreement also means that we can build another subsidy-free green energy plant. In the future, we will enter into more agreements of this type to further accelerate the green transition”.