Fonterra has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, with a 30% reduction by 2030 from a 2015 baseline.
The announcement comes as the New Zealand dairy company partners with the country’s Ministry for the Environment to develop an initiative towards a low emissions future.
Fonterra said the partnership is an example of how the private and public sectors can work together to accelerate New Zealand’s transition to a low carbon economy.
The zero greenhouse gas target will be achieved by making changes at Fonterra’s manufacturing sites and adopting new technologies.
Having set an interim target of climate-neutral growth to 2030 for on-farm emissions in New Zealand, any growth in the company’s milk production will have its resulting carbon emissions reduced or offset.
Fonterra Global Operations chief operating officer Robert Spurway said the latest initiative identifies actions to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.
“This is an exciting and ambitious partnership, which will have a material impact on climate emissions,” he said. “We are committed to helping New Zealand achieve its Paris Climate Agreement commitments. That’s why we’ve set new targets to reduce both our on-site and on-farm emissions.
“We are improving our energy use efficiency, as well as adopting lower emission energy sources. This includes the introduction of biofuel into our tanker fleet and we have made a commitment to have 100 electric vehicles within our light vehicle fleet by 2019.
“We are also exploring low emission energy supply options for our sites, such as electricity and wood biomass. We will only use coal as a last resort, with a target of no new coal boilers installed from 2030.”
New Zealand’s Sustainable Business Council executive director Abbie Reynolds added: “Reducing agricultural emissions will be one of the biggest challenges of the transition to a low emissions economy in New Zealand. Net zero emissions by 2050 is an ambitious and challenging target. It shows strong leadership, and will be welcomed by many New Zealand businesses.”
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