Danone, one of the world’s largest dairy companies, announced on Tuesday that it intends to reduce absolute methane emissions from its fresh milk supply chain by 30% by 2030 through collaboration with farmers, other companies, and governments on regenerative practices.
Scientists and policymakers are calling for aggressive action to reduce methane emissions, which have emerged as a major threat to the global climate.
More than 100 countries pledged a 30% reduction in methane emissions from 2020 levels by 2030 at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2021. However, few have developed specific plans to achieve that goal.
Danone expects to remove 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent methane emissions by 2030 by working directly with 58,000 dairy farmers in 20 countries.
Between 2018 and 2020, the French company reduced methane emissions by approximately 14%.
Danone announced four new methane reduction initiatives for Africa, Europe, and the United States this year. It is also launching a collaboration with the non-governmental organization Environmental Defense Fund, as well as working with the US Department of Agriculture and the European Commission-funded Climate Neutral Farms project.
Simple techniques can have a big impact, according to Chris Adamo, Danone’s vice president of regenerative agriculture policy.
“In Belgium and Spain, for example, we’re looking at a variety of different manure options. We’ve been finding that, for example, with one technique that is just different management of manure, you’re literally removing the liquids so that the solids dry — the solids then become a better substitute, actually, in many cases for synthetic fertiliser on the crop side as well. But that mere separation itself can have anywhere from a 25-35% reduction in methane from the manure itself,” Adamo told Reuters on a phone call.
Danone declined to say how much money it would spend on its plans.
“The costs are really, frankly, somewhat unknown, or early days in terms of estimating because these are new technologies that are coming out,” Adamo said.
Approximately 60% of methane in the atmosphere is emitted by industrial sources such as oil and gas pipelines and drill sites, as well as feed lots, croplands, and landfills.
According to Danone, dairy production from cattle accounts for an estimated 8% of total human-caused methane emissions, as part of agriculture and livestock activities that account for approximately 40% of global methane emissions.
In the future, the company will include methane emissions in its extra financial disclosure.
(Adapted from ThePrint.in)