Danone, one of the world’s largest dairy companies, has announced a global action plan to reduce absolute methane emissions from its fresh milk supply chain by 30% by 2030.

The business expects to remove 1.2 million tons carbon dioxide equivalent of methane emissions by 2030. This ambitious plan builds on the progress Danone says it has been making in recent years, already reducing its methane emissions by circa 14% between 2018 to 2020.

As a leader of the dairy category, Danone is determined to play its role to reduce methane emissions, focusing on:

  • working with farmers to implement regenerative dairy practices and develop innovative solutions;
  • collaborating and partnering with peers, governments and Environmental Defense Fund to scale innovation, reporting and advance financing models;
  • advocating and engaging with governments to improve methane policies, data and reporting as well as funding for research and to support farmers transitioning to regenerative dairy practices.

Danone is the first food company to set a methane reduction target and align with the ambition of the Global Methane Pledge launched at COP26. The company will report on its methane emissions, as part of its extra financial disclosure.

Antoine de Saint-Affrique, chief executive officer of Danone, said: “Dairy products are an affordable source of nutrition for many people, at the core of our mission to bring health through food. As one of the largest dairy companies, we take the challenge of both producing more to feed a growing population and greatly reducing emissions and impact on climate.

“Our ambitious plan to reduce methane emissions – in line with Global Methane Pledges from 150 countries – is a commitment to build regenerative dairy.

“This step change requires a collective effort. Working with farmers, partners and governments, we have the power and duty to build farming models that benefit the climate and society, taking a step forward to tackling global warming together.”

Working with farmers to transition to regenerative dairy

Danone works directly with 58,000 dairy farmers across 20 countries and has already supported projects for dairy farms in 14 countries, through its regenerative agriculture program, initiatives such as Farming for Generations and with Danone Ecosystem.

Collaboration and partnerships

Danone is launching a partnership with Environmental Defense Fund, a global non-profit environmental organization working in nearly 30 countries.

The Environmental Defense Fund will work with Danone on:

  • improving science, data and reporting for agricultural methane emissions to ensure climate benefits are real and durable.
  • advocating for action from the dairy industry and governments to prioritize agricultural methane solutions.
  • advancing innovative financing models, such as co-funding models between
  • companies and governments, to deploy farmer-friendly solutions, faster.

Working with governments

Danone considers that policy is critical to unlocking systemic solutions to support dairy farm transformation, from supporting research and innovation, to co-financing, to ambition-setting, to driving a level playing field.

Danone North America is working closely with the US Department of Agriculture to support farmers in reducing methane emissions though a comprehensive regenerative strategy where improved manure management strategies create methane reductions and improve fertilizer use on cropland.

In Europe, Danone is supporting the European Commission’s Climate Neutral Farms (ClieNFarm) project to co-develop and upscale systemic locally relevant solutions to reach climate neutral, resilient and sustainable farms across Europe.