Arla Foods outlines roadmap to net-zero emissions

In a first for the UK dairy industry, Arla has launched its Climate Action Roadmap – Towards Carbon Net Zero British Dairy as the cooperative works to provide consumers and retailers with clear information around the future of sustainable dairy production. 

The new climate roadmap lays out how Arla will deliver against its 2030 climate targets by taking action to reduce emissions across its entire value chain, encompassing its farms, production sites and logistics.

Arla’s scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction target is consistent with changes needed to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees – the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement. These are among the first dairy industry climate targets to be verified by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and require the cooperative to reduce scope one and two emissions by 63%, against a 2015 baseline. Arla also aims to reduce scope three emissions by 30% per kg of milk and whey by the same date, also against a 2015 baseline, which meets the SBTi’s criteria for ambitious value chain goals in line with current best practice. Arla is the first UK dairy cooperative, and one of only 59 food and beverage processors globally, to meet this standard. Arla aims to reach carbon net zero across its entire business by 2050.

Ben Wood, senior sustainability manager for Arla UK, said: “Dairy has a defining decade ahead. The demand for dairy is growing around the world and we have a growing population to feed. But we must face into the challenges of reducing emissions to create a healthy planet alongside healthy people. Achieving approval for our scope 1 & 2 emissions from the SBTi is a key milestone on our way to ensuring we tackle the issues around food production and being one of the first dairy companies globally to get this approval highlights our commitment to sustainable food.

“Milk is among the most nutritious, natural and accessible products on the shelves today, and our climate roadmap is another step on our long term journey to producing it in the best possible way for the planet.”

Arla’s emissions come from five key areas: farming, which accounts for 83% of emissions, production (4%), packaging (2%), logistics and transport (2%), and other areas* (9%) with significant improvements already having been made against a 2015 baseline. During the last seven years alone, Arla UK has reduced emissions by 14% on farm (per kg of raw milk), by 24% across production, by 25% in transport and logistics, and by 18% in the packaging process.

To achieve its 2030 targets, Arla will now accelerate activity across each area, with key actions including:

Scope one and two – to achieve a 63% reduction in emissions by 2030


  • Switching to 100% renewable electricity across production sites by 2025 will contribute 58% of the emissions reductions we need to make in production by 2030
  • Optimising energy use, will contribute 42%

Transport and logistics

  • Using alternative fuels, such as biogas (some of which is generated from slurry), will contribute 86% of the emissions reductions that we need to make in transport and logistics by 2030
  • Optimising logistics to reduce emissions, will contribute 14%

Packaging – we aim to

  • Use 100% recyclable packaging across branded products by 2025
  • Remove all virgin fossil plastic across branded packaging by 2030

Scope three – to achieve a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030

On farm

  • Helping our farmers to adapt more sustainable feed production practices, 27% contribution to achieving the on-farm emissions that we need to make by 2030
  • Optimising farm resource use, 26%
  • Utilising renewable electricity sources, 10%
  • Using biogas, some of which is generated from cow slurry, 10%
  • Improving breeding practices, 10%
  • Carbon farming through peat soils and carbon sequestration, 10%
  • Using green fertilisers, 7%

Wood, added: “We know that we have challenges to overcome when it comes to reducing our impact and that’s why we’re seizing the opportunity by investing across our entire value chain: starting at farm level through to the products ending up on the supermarket shelves.

“Our cooperative structure means that collaboration is in our blood and we’re working across our 2,100 UK dairy farms to share knowledge and bring about the all-important changes needed to develop even more sustainable food, that continues to deliver profitability for our farmers and create a stronger planet.”

To read the full report and see how Arla is reducing emissions across its entire business, click here.


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