Ice cream maker takes to plant-based to reduce climate impact
A large portion of Jude’s ice cream portfolio is made with whole milk and fresh double cream, but as the company looks to the future, balancing its portfolio with more plant-based additions would offer a clear pathway to reaching the business’ climate objectives.
The firm has already achieved a 21% reduction in carbon intensity per liter of ice cream against its 2020 baseline. This means the company is almost halfway to reaching its 2030 target of 43% reduction.
Jude’s says that it has been measuring its scope 1, 2, and 3 carbon emissions ‘rigorously’ since 2020, but alongside introducing operational changes - such as sourcing paper from renewable sources and installing solar panels on its Twyford factory roof in Berkshire, England - making dairy-free products offered one of the most effective routes to carbon reduction. Currently, the company’s portfolio comprises 75% dairy and 36% plant-based products.
To create this report, the ice cream maker worked with carbon footprinting expert, professor Mike Berners-Lee, and his team at Small World Consulting. Berners-Lee said the company’s plant-based ice cream ‘places 80% less demand on the land and has only around half the greenhouse gas emissions compared to their dairy ice cream’.
Chow Mezger, Jude’s MD commented: “Small World’s calculation that plant-based ice cream uses 80% less land used to make dairy ice cream is very encouraging and significant for protecting biodiversity and habitats globally.
“We are delighted to see the continued impact of the many carbon-cutting measures we have taken across the business. A 21% reduction in carbon intensity per litre of ice cream is the result of the hard work of our whole team, and we’re encouraged to see the positive impact of growing our plant-based ranges and investing in solar energy.”
While the dairy industry has made strides in its sustainability efforts, dairy milk’s environmental footprint remains significant. Dairy requires more land and water use compared to any other plant alternative, and is a bigger contributor of greenhouse emissions, too. Dairy is a more nutrient-dense food, however, offering greater concentrations of proteins, minerals and vitamins. Industry bodies, such as the European Dairy Association, have argued that based on its nutrient density, milk has a better benefit-cost ratio when compared to nutrient density value and greenhouse gas emissions versus other beverages.