Nestlé has joined the US dairy industry to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Innovation Center for US Dairy has unveiled the Net Zero Initiative, an industry-wide effort that will help dairy farms worldwide implement new technologies and adopt economically viable practices.

The initiative is described as “a critical component” of US dairy’s environmental stewardship goals, endorsed by dairy industry leaders and farmers, to achieve carbon neutrality, optimised water usage and improved water quality by 2050.

“The US dairy community has been working together to provide the world with responsibly-produced, nutritious dairy foods,” says Mike Haddad, chairman at the innovation center for US Dairy. 

“With the entire dairy community at the table – from farmers and cooperatives to processors, household brands and retailers – we’re leveraging US dairy’s innovation, diversity and scale to drive continued environmental progress and create a more sustainable planet for future generations,” he says.

Transforming the US dairy industry 
The Innovation Center for US Dairy also announced a US$10 million commitment and a multi-year partnership with Nestlé to support the Net Zero Initiative and scale access to environmental practices and resources on farms across the country.

“Supporting and enabling farmers through the Net Zero Initiative has the potential to transform the dairy industry,” adds 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. The collaboration with US dairy and our suppliers will help to contribute to an even more sustainable dairy supply chain.”

Environmental goals for 2050
The industry prioritised the most crucial areas of ecological sustainability as the foundation for its goals:

– Become carbon neutral or better,
– Optimize water use while maximizing recycling.
– Improve water quality by optimizing the utilization of manure and nutrients.

In 2008, US dairy was the first agricultural sector to commission a life cycle assessment on fluid milk, which showed that dairy accounts for 2 percent of total GHG emissions in the US.

In fact, due to innovative practices in cow health, improved feed and genetics, and modern management practices, the environmental impact of producing a gallon of milk in 2017 has shrunk significantly from 2007, requiring 30 percent less water, 21 percent less land and a 19 percent smaller carbon footprint.

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