Valio to cut dairy’s carbon footprint to zero by 2035

Fonterra extends MyMilk initiative to support young farmers
Credit: Alexander Chaikin

Valio, the Finnish dairy manufacturer, claims that it will cut dairy’s carbon footprint to zero by 2035.

As well as fighting climate change, the company claims that the move will also provide food makers with sustainable produced food ingredients.

“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,” says Timo Pajari, SVP, Food Solutions Sales at Valio.

“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.”

To help accomplish this aim, the company said that all its farms are becoming “carbon farms”. In 2019-20, it will training “at least” 200 volunteer farmers in carbon farming.

Another key step includes the development of the new Valio CARBO grass seed mix which, it says, “further improves the carbon binding ability of grasslands”.

Other climate measures include the usage of biogas to replace fossil fuels and the development of plant-based packaging.

The first biogas-fuelled 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,” said Pajari. “For instance, cows are fed mainly grass instead of soy.”