Fonterra has announced a significant step towards its climate ambitions with its latest on-farm emissions target and release of its climate roadmap.
The cooperative is targeting a 30% intensity reduction in on-farm emissions by 2030 (from a 2018 baseline), which will see it further reduce the emissions profile of its products. 86% of Fonterra’s emissions are on-farm, with the new target set to reduce emissions intensity by tonne of fat- and protein-corrected milk collected by Fonterra.
Fonterra expects this target to be achieved through a number of routes, including a 7% reduction through farming best practice such as feed quality and improving herd performance. It expects a 7% reduction through novel technologies that it is developing through its AgriZeroNZ joint venture which is working to find a solution to methane, and other partnerships. The coop expects an 8% reduction through carbon removals from existing and new vegetation and 8% reduction from historical land-use change conversions to dairy.
Fonterra’s CEO Miles Hurrell said: “Our collective efforts, to reduce emissions from on-farm, across our operations and by our R&D teams, will help future-proof Fonterra, supporting our ambition to be a long-term sustainable coop for generations to come. At the other end of the supply chain, as a large part of our customers’ Scope 3 emissions, today’s announcement further demonstrates to them that we are committed to being their sustainable dairy partner of choice both now, and into the future.”
Fonterra’s chairman Peter McBride added: “There is significant variation within and across farming systems when it comes to emissions intensity. We are confident that we can make solid progress towards our target by working together and sharing information farmer-to-farmer. It will require a combination of sharing best farming practices and technology to reduce emissions – it’s both our biggest opportunity and our biggest challenge.”
He continued: “We have deep empathy for the challenges our farmers are already dealing with. The coop’s approach will be to work alongside farmers, not against them, as we collectively make progress towards our target, including investing in methane reduction technologies”.
Fonterra also launched its ‘Climate Roadmap,’ a plan that outlines the actions the coop will take towards its 2030 targets and ambition to be net zero by 2050. In the roadmap, Fonterra says by 2025, 100% of its New Zealand farms will have farm environment plans, it will implement a zero-deforestation commitment across primary deforestation-linked commodities and a 40% reduction in the number of sites that use coal.
By 2037, the coop hopes eliminate all remaining coal use, achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
The coop has also released its first climate-related disclosure report, which identifies risks and opportunities related to climate and helps it plan for the future. New Zealand is the first country in the world to pass a law introducing mandatory climate-related risk reporting, with it becoming mandatory next year for around 200 New Zealand companies, including Fonterra.
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