The Power of Data: How Our Farms Are Tripling the Speed of Their CO2e Reductions
28 October 2020

The Power of Data: How Our Farms Are Tripling the Speed of Their CO2e Reductions

The 9.900 farmer owners of Arla put their energy into reducing energy consumption. All over the world, our dedicated farmer-owners work hard to reduce their CO2e footprints – and now a new initiative will pave the way for further reductions. Arla is the first dairy company in the world to launch a global initiative to collect energy data from farms and turn that data into tangible results.

Improving the sustainability of dairy farming

The farms that supply the milk for Arla Pro are among the most climate friendly in the industry. On average, Arla farms emit 50% less CO2e per litre milk than the global average. But in a world that cries for action and where consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the choices they make, we simply don’t rest on our laurels.

To speed up our CO2e reductions, Arla has launched a new global initiative: All 9,900 Arla farmer-owners are offered a data-driven energy check that will provide them with a clear overview of where and how to reduce their CO2e footprint. Besides helping farmers cut energy costs and reduce emissions, the data can be shared and used to identify better ways of working across the industry.

Our farmers have already reduced their emissions by 24% since 1990, but we know that it’s not enough. As all other industries, we have to do more – and faster.

Jan Toft Nørgaard, Chairman of the board, Arla

Turning data into action

So, how does it work? Well, the recipe is actually quite simple: Our farmers enter relevant information about their farm, their work processes and their energy consumption into a standardised digital tool. The data is then analysed by external energy experts who present each farmer with list of changes to implement – from switching to sustainable energy sources to trying out new types of animal feed. It all depends on the farm and the farmer. Some farms have reduced their CO2e footprint by as much as 4% per year, simply by participating in the program.

Sharing knowledge to make a difference

By collecting energy data from up to 9,900 farms, we’re building the world’s most comprehensive set of verified energy data from milk production. This data not only helps our farmers work more efficiently, it can also be applied and used across the dairy industry to increase energy-efficiency on a global scale. By sharing data and working together to come up with new innovative solutions, we believe that real and lasting change is possible.

The data we acquire can be used to gain a deeper understanding and develop research-based solutions in close collaboration with the agricultural industry and researchers. It’s an important tool that can help us identify the most effective solutions to apply in the fight against climate change.

Jan Toft Nørgaard, Chairman of the board, Arla

Our energy check

  • The energy check tool was initiated in 2013 and has contributed to speeding up CO2e-reductions ever since.

  • Some farms have reduced their CO2e footprint by as much as 4% per year, simply by participating in the program.

  • The tool applies an internationally approved method of calculating CO2e footprints developed by The International Dairy Foundation (IDF).

Our climate goals

  • It’s our goal to reduce CO2e emissions by 30% before 2030 and be completely CO2e neutral by 2050. The goals are approved by SBTi (Science Based Targets Initiative).

  • Farms play a key role in this process: From 1990-2015 our farmers have reduced their emissions by 24%.

Exploring the Environmental Impact of Dairy Farming

Interested in delving deeper into our commitment to fostering sustainability within the dairy industry? Click on the link below to gain access to valuable information about our Climate Check tool and its impact on our carbon footprint.

Learn more about how we measure carbon footprint

Read more about our sustainability initiatives

Read more