Our climate ambition

Our planet is facing a climate challenge. Farming and dairy carries a responsibility, but also a great opportunity to contribute positively and help solve that challenge. At Arla we want to be part of the solution. 

We want to reduce Arla’s total CO2 emissions by 30 per cent per kilo of milk by 2030 and work towards carbon net zero by 2050.

As the leading international dairy cooperative owned by 9,900 farmers, we are committed to accelerating the transition to sustainable dairy production with intensified focus on the farms. Our excellent and progressive farmers have done a lot so far. CO2 per kilo of Arla milk is already less than half the global average, but our ambitions are even higher.  

Across the world, dairy is enjoyed by consumers and dairy plays an important role in providing healthy and sustainable nourishment to a growing world population – now and in the future. 

We have worked towards sustainable farming for years and we need to go further and faster, not least to help fight climate change, which affects everyone on the planet, especially us farmers.

Jan Toft Nørgaard
Dairy farmer and Chairman of Arla Foods

Arla’s environmental goals towards 2050

Better Climate: Carbon Net Zero

Clean Air and Water: Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycles in Balance  

More Nature: Increase Biodiversity and Access to Nature

Targets

Arla’s climate ambition has been defined using inputs from university researchers and NGO’s in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the UK and is guided by Science Based Targets to set the goals necessary to help keep global temperature increase below 2°C.  

The Science Based Targets initiative is a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). 

C02 measurement on farms

Arla follows the internationally recognized methodology for carbon footprint calculations at farm level, developed by the International Dairy Federation. We have developed a farm carbon assessment tool and to date it has been used more than 5,000 times on Arla farms.  

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Reducing emissions

The lion’s share of the total emissions from a dairy value chain comes from the farms.  For obvious reasons it’s not possible to reduce a cow’s methane emissions completely, but it can be significantly reduced, for example through optimised feed composition, which is a research area that Arla is investing in. To counteract the emissions, an important part of the strategy is working with Arla farmers to quantify and increase the carbon captured and stored in the soil as part of increasing their positive contribution.

For the farmer, a key enabler is to understand where the farm’s main climate impact is and how it can be reduced. Since 2013, almost 700 on-farm meetings have been conducted to educate groups of farmers on sustainability measures and more than 5,000 climate assessments have been conducted on Arla farms. 

Sustainable dairy starts at the farm | Carbon Net Zero by 2050

Sustainable dairy farming

Since 1990, the Arla farms across Northern Europe have collectively reduced CO2 emissions per kilo of milk by 24%. This means that the carbon footprint of a kilo Arla milk is already about half the global average. 

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Renewable energy

Today, 27% of Arla’s site-related energy use is based on renewable sources. We will continue to reduce our energy consumption and make the switch from fossil to renewable. 

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Renewable energy | Carbon Net Zero 2050
Reducing food waste | Carbon Net Zero 2050

Food waste

We work hard to reduce waste at our dairies, and we continually develop new initiatives to inspire consumers to eat every last bit of our wonderful products instead of throwing them away. 

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