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Sustainable Dairy Brands Leading the Way


Did you know that along with meat, the production of dairy products releases more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than any other type of food production? As dairy products experience a growing demand, the need to tackle its negative effect on the environment is now more important than ever before.

The evidence is clear, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the Global Dairy Platform. Their 2019 report shows that global dairy emissions increased by 18% between 2005 and 2015. In this time, milk production has also grown by 30%. The report declares that there is now “a clear case for immediate and more ambitious action” to lowering their environmental impact.

However, some businesses are already proving that they have what it takes to be sustainable dairy producers. This certainly rings true for the British dairy sector. The new Dairy Roadmap paves the way for the industry to improve the environmental impact associated with the production of dairy products. The campaign drives eco targets and has seen real progress so far. The sector has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, waste and other pollutants. It has also improved its resource efficiencies.

The Roadmap will continue to change in line with improving standards and new eco targets, driving challenges for the dairy sector to improve in the future. Flogas Britain has investigated the leaders of this sustainable mission within the dairy sector.

Arla Foods reach to recycle

You may recognise Arla as one of the world’s largest dairy producers. They’ve shared their commitment to sustainability through their ‘Stronger Planet’ initiative. In the document, they explain their ambitions relating to food waste and net-zero operations. They aim to protect nature and promote sustainable farming.

The business’ ambitions are wide-ranging, from achieving carbon net-zero across all its operation by 2050 to achieving 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. One similar target includes a 50% reduction in food waste between 2015 and 2030.

The campaign also has more scientific targets, such as increasing biodiversity and maintaining the balance of nitrogen and phosphorus cycles in production.

Arla has shown progress since the start of its sustainable campaign. While milk production has increased by 50% since 2005, Arla has cut it processing, transport, and packaging emissions by 25% at the same time.

Recognising that 80% of supply chain emissions were generated at the farm, Arla also completes ‘climate checks’ at its suppliers’ farms. This helps 2,300 UK farmers to reduce their carbon outputs. This is achieved by assisting with herd sizes and their housing, feed, fuel, and using more renewables onsite.

Yeo Valley promotes organic farming

Known as Britain’s largest organic dairy brand, Yeo Valley is famed for its yoghurts, milk, and butter products. The company believes that sustainability is the most important aspect of its work. Its campaign, ‘Put Nature First’, highlights the company’s commitment to protecting the planet for the future.

Yeo Valley has a variety of sustainable initiatives to help protect the environment. For example, its farms generate all their electricity from renewables. Their cowsheds use an acre of solar panels to help power their activities.

The company says that organic farming is the best way to reduces greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture. Organic soils are said soil be great ‘carbon sinks’ that can lock away harmful carbon and prevent it from entering the atmosphere. No chemicals or artificial fertilisers are used. Instead, Yeo Valley has dedicated 25% of its 2,000-acre site to create a home for wildlife in the area.

Yeo Valley has also signed up to the Plastic Pact. This ensures that they are dedicated to ensuring that all its packaging is fully recyclable and made from 100% recycled plastic. Today, Yeo Valley do not use plastic lids on its cream containers, they have created a 100% recycled yoghurt pot, and a milk bottle made from up to 50% recycled products.

Müller make responsible choices

Müller UK & Ireland sources its milk from 1,600 farmers across Britain to create its established dairy products. Its environmental strategy emphasises doing ‘the right thing throughout the whole supply chain’. In turn, it sets out some ambitious green goals.

Müller has promised that it’ll be carbon net-zero by 2050. Using 2015 as a baseline, it’ll also reduce its total carbon footprint by 40% and use 100% responsibly sourced feed by 2025. By 2030, it also plans to cut food waste by 50%. In addition to these sustainable pledges, Muller also wants to double the amount of product which is redistributed to charities by 2023.

Plastic is also on the watchlist for the yoghurt maker. It expects that all of its packaging will be recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025. Furthermore, its plastic packaging will be made from 30% recycled materials by 2025. Müller already uses 100% recycled milk bottles, and in 2019 it saved 700 tonnes of plastic by light-weighting its bottles and caps.

Milk in glass bottles is still lucrative for Müller’s Milk and More business, with 100 million pints of milk distributed to 500,000 homes in England every year. Its 500 delivery vehicles are electric, making it the largest operator of electric vehicles in the UK. This saves 3.4 million litres of diesel each year.

Visit our dedicated dairy energy page to see how we help your business with its energy requirements.