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Danone plans to reduce methane 30% by 2030

Dive Brief:

  • Danone has announced a plan to reduce methane emissions from its fresh milk supply chain by 30% by 2030. According to the company, it aims to achieve this goal by working with farmers to implement regenerative agriculture practices in its dairy supply chain.
  • The company also is partnering with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to “scale innovation, reporting and advance financing models.” Danone said it is working with governments to enact policies that promote the reduction of methane in the agricultural system.
  • As environmental groups pressure companies to curb methane production, dairy companies are implementing strategies to decrease the production of the greenhouse gas. Methane makes up roughly 32% of human-caused methane emissions globally, according to the United Nations and is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Dive Insight:

By targeting methane, Danone aims to lower the carbon footprint of its supply chain, which sources from 58,000 farmers across 20 countries.

In a statement, the company’s CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique said that by working with farmers and policy makers, it has “the power and duty to build farming models that benefit the climate and society, taking a step forward to tackling global warming together.”

The company’s goal to reduce methane by 30% by 2030 falls in line with the Global Methane Pledge, which was signed by 150 countries at the United Nations COP26 climate conference in November 2021.

Danone said it already has reduced the greenhouse gas emissions in its fresh milk supply chain by 14% between 2018 and 2020, which contributes to its goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

In partnering with EDF — an influential nonprofit in the sustainability sphere — Danone is signaling a serious commitment to taking action on methane. This effort includes improving data on methane emissions to enure goals are durable and advancing funding models between governments and companies, the dairy giant said in the press release.

“Danone is the first food company raising this type of ambition, but it can’t be the last,” said EDF president Fred Krupp in a statement. “This is the decisive decade for climate action. We invite other food companies, farmers and policymakers to join us on a path toward 2030 climate results.”

The goal is not the first action from the company to tackle greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain. In June 2022, Danone’s venture capital arm led a $7 million funding round for Symbrosia, a startup that developed a seaweed-based feed additive for cattle that it claims reduces methane emissions by 80%.

Dairy companies are implementing new farming methods to lower their output of the highly potent greenhouse gas. Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s launched a pilot program in 2022 to bring its emissions to half of the industry average by 2024, through methane-reducing feed additives, technology and increasing carbon sequestration.

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