The largest certified organic dairy company in the world is not content to be carbon neutral. Horizon Organic, a Danone unit, wants to go even further with a plan to reduce, capture or offset more emissions than it produces.
The company’s goal is to become “carbon positive” by 2025.
The plan can help boost the industry’s green credibility when more people choose vegetable milk due to environmental concerns.
Cattle emit methane from greenhouse gases as part of the digestive process, and vegan competitors position themselves as the ecological alternative to cow’s milk. Recently, Starbucks announced a move to emphasize non-dairy options and reduce its carbon footprint.
Faced with the unprecedented and prolonged fall in demand for cow’s milk, the dairy sector is betting on all kinds of innovations and marketing initiatives to win back consumers.
Meanwhile, the Dairy Management association has highlighted agricultural practices and new technologies that have helped to make the sector greener.
“We need to be a more social and environmentally friendly company,” said Mariano Lozano, CEO of Danone North America, in a telephone interview. “Cows are part of the solution, not the problem.”
Horizon Organic will reinforce regenerative agriculture initiatives with its 600 family farming partners to increase practices such as cover crops, reduced crops and grassland restoration. Controlling the cow’s diet can help reduce methane emissions.
A $ 15 million fund aims to finance more sustainable agriculture, potentially reducing the use of inputs like fertilizers. Third parties, such as the Carbon Trust organization, will monitor the initiatives.
“In terms of business, it makes sense to reduce inputs from farmers,” said Lozano.
Image: A $ 15 million fund aims to finance more sustainable agriculture (Image: Pixabay)