The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has unveiled the Net Zero Initiative, which aims to help US dairy farms to implement new technologies and adopt sustainable practices.
The initiative has been created to advance the industry’s environmental stewardship goals, which were developed by the Innovation Center, a forum that convenes dairy farmers and industry stakeholders to align on social responsibility priorities.
The goals, to be reached by 2050, include: achieving carbon neutrality or better; optimising water usage while maximising recycling; and improving water quality by optimising utilisation of manure and nutrients.
The Net Zero Initiative aims to create incentives for farms to adopt the practices and technologies needed to reach the industry’s sustainability goals, and to remove barriers in terms of accessibility and economic viability.
The Innovation Center has also announced an up to $10 million commitment from Nestlé and a multi-year partnership with the company, which owns brands such as Carnation, Stouffer’s and DiGiorno.
As part of its efforts to support the Net Zero Initiative, Nestlé will work to scale access to environmental practices and resources on farms across the US.
Nestlé is the first partner to join the Net Zero Initiative, supporting the industry’s sustainability commitments with funding and expertise.
“Supporting and enabling farmers through the Net Zero Initiative has the potential to transform the dairy industry,” said Jim Wells, chief supply chain officer for Nestlé USA.
“Scaling up climate-smart agricultural initiatives is key to Nestlé’s ambition to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and will help reduce the carbon footprint of many of our brands. We are excited to collaborate with US dairy and our suppliers to contribute to an even more sustainable dairy supply chain.”
As of October 2020, 27 dairy companies representing 68% of US milk production have voluntarily adopted the ‘U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment’. Companies that sign up to this social responsibility pledge agree to contribute to the industry’s ability to track and report on progress on its goals and commitments.
“The US dairy community has been working together to provide the world with responsibly produced, nutritious dairy foods,” said Mike Haddad, chairman, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
He continued: “We know a lot more is possible – proven science and evidence from dairy’s existing best practices tells us we can get to net zero. This is not only good for dairy farmers, it’s also good for all businesses that serve dairy, the communities where we farm and the millions of people who enjoy dairy every day.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019