B2B partnerships ‘crucial’ to drive down carbon emissions in dairy – ING

This is according to research conducted by ING, which also looks at how methane-reducing feed additives and other sustainability measures could influence production costs and competitiveness; how major dairy firms are addressing their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions targets, and which how much carbon is emitted by some of the global dairy-producing regions.

According to the report, almost every company among the 30 largest dairy processors in Europe, North America, New Zealand, Australia and China has communicated a scope 1 and 2 carbon reduction target, while two thirds have set a scope 3 target.

ING estimates that the majority of emissions in dairy (80-85% upstream plus 10-15% downstream) are scope 3; these are indirect emissions that occur both up and down the value chain. The rest (around 5%) are scope 1 & 2 emissions, typically occurring during the production and transportation of dairy products.

The scope 3 targets set by major dairy firms are often intensity-based rather than absolute targets, which could ‘create tension with national emissions targets for agriculture that require an absolute reduction’, notes Thijs Geijer, senior sector economist and author of the report. The bank’s economist says that absolute targets are ‘gaining traction’, however, since these are often required by the SBTi, the non-profit that runs the only global framework for corporate net-zero targets in line with climate science.

Popular sustainability measures likely to drive up milk prices

Measures that are getting ‘a lot of attention’ in the industry – from methane-supressing feed additives to carbon sequestration and the introduction of anaerobic digesters – come with a range of challenges and would likely lead to milk price increases, according to the report.