Danone has announced that it has received carbon neutral certification for its baby formula production facility in Wexford, Ireland.

According to the company, the achievement marks the first baby formula production site in the world to be certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust.

The move is a step towards Danone’s commitment of achieving zero net carbon emissions across its entire value chain by 2050 and forms part of its ‘One Planet, One Health’ frame of action.

Located in Wexford, the plant produces baby formula brands such as Aptamil, Cow & Gate and Nutrilon for consumers in 41 countries around the world.

Danone claims that its facility has been transformed into a carbon neutral site between 2010 and 2020, whilst doubling production volumes. Over the last decade, carbon emissions have been curbed by switching energy sources and improving the waste management in the facility.

Today, Danone claims that the plant is powered by 100% renewable electricity using a biomass boiler powered by sustainable wood fuels. So far, 10,000 tonnes of C02 have reportedly been saved, representing a 70% reduction in the factory’s direct carbon footprint.

Meanwhile, all waste from production processes or packaging materials are now recovered making it a zero-waste to landfill facility. Digital technologies have also been implemented to enable the plant to become a paperless site.  

“We’re very proud that our Wexford factory is officially the world’s first carbon neutral infant formula factory; it marks a significant step in our industry towards sustainable production solutions,” said Gustavo Hildenbrand, general manager for Danone Specialised Nutrition UK & Ireland.

Emmanuel Faber, chairman and CEO of Danone, added: “The carbon neutral certification of Danone Wexford is an excellent illustration of implementing climate action to protect health of the planet and of the people.

“This is only a first step and we should accelerate even more to create a low-emissions, climate resilient future. It is through key investments like this one that we take a step forward towards reaching this ambition.”

In 2019, Danone announced a NZD 40 million ($26.5 million) investment in its Nutricia spray drying plant for baby formula in New Zealand to help the site achieve carbon neutrality by 2021.

Danone now plans to reduce the climate impact of its other baby formula production site in Macroom, Ireland.