A three year collaboration between FrieslandCampina and Danone has led to more than 17% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (measured from 2015 to 2020). This reduction has been realised through FrieslandCampina’s dairy farmers implementing sustainable farming practices and green energy projects. This is applied for dairy ingredients specifically provided to Danone. FrieslandCampina used the Annual Nutrient Cycling Assessment to track progress resulting from the sustainable farming practices. This extensive monitoring tool is used by almost 10,000 FrieslandCampina member dairy farms and gives farm specific insights, such as the size of their carbon footprint.
Committed to making our food system more sustainable, FrieslandCampina and Danone are both running extensive sustainability programmes to reduce their environmental impact. Both companies have committed to reaching net zero, as one of their climate goals, as well as improving soil health and biodiversity. One of the ways to achieve these goals is through regenerative agriculture practices. FrieslandCampina and Danone both want to support farmers on the journey towards a sustainable future, which led to this partnership.
Net zero and nature-positive
Simone Boitelle, Director Global Corporate Affairs FrieslandCampina noted: “For over 150 years already, FrieslandCampina believes in cooperation to achieve great results. And this collaboration is yet another great example. Supporting farmers to produce milk in balance with nature, is the key to a more sustainable, climate neutral and nature positive future. I am very proud of our member farmers who make this possible, they deserve the stage for these strong results!”
Yann-Gaël Rio, Danone’s Global Vice-President for Nature & Agriculture, added: “Sustainable dairy farming is a key priority in Danone’s journey to achieving net zero emissions. This partnership demonstrates that by combining our expertise, we can accelerate the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices to help reduce the climate impact of dairy farming. While this is a great step, there is more to be done, and we are looking forward to supporting more farmers in their transition by extending this partnership for an additional three years.”
What did the FrieslandCampina dairy farmers do?
Depending on the nature of their farm, dairy farmers can take different measures to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The impacts from the measures implemented were tracked through the Annual Nutrient Cycling Assessment. Some examples of the measures taken are:
- More protein harvested from their own farm land, further reducing the impact from sourcing feed from far away;
- Optimising the cow’s diet composition: keeping a well-balanced nutritious diet that supports animal health and welfare, while reducing enteric methane emissions;
- Energy measures: generating green electricity through use of solar panels, windmills and manure digesters; avoiding fossil fuels through bio-based diesel and/or reducing energy use (for example by recovering heat from milk cooling). In addition the manure digesters not only generate renewable electricity but also help to reduce methane emissions through manure storage.
What’s next for regenerative farming?
The positive results from this partnership encouraged Danone and FrieslandCampina to extend the collaboration for an additional three years. The two companies will continue their efforts together with the goal to reduce GHG emissions resulting from the production of ingredients sourced from FrieslandCampina by over 7%. This would result in almost a 25% GHG emission reduction over the course of the multi-year collaboration.
In the coming years, FrieslandCampina and Danone say they will continue their joint efforts to create innovative solutions to scale up and accelerate the transition to regenerative farming.