Arla partners with retail giants to drive Scope 3 emissions reductions

Arla, the UK's largest farmer-owned dairy firm, has entered into key commercial collaborations with major retailers including Aldi, Asda, Morrisons and Starbucks, in a bid to enhance cooperation between the dairy industry and its retails partners to reduce collective carbon emissions.

Arla partners with retail giants to drive Scope 3 emissions reductions

These progressive agreements capitalise on Arla’s on-farm climate data and are dedicated to reducing the companies’ Scope 3 (indirect) emissions and improving reporting accuracy.

Arla Foods Europe’s executive vice president Peter Giørtz-Carlsen said: “Dairy is an important category for our retail and foodservice customers, and for some of them, emissions from dairy constitute a significant part of their Scope 3 emissions.

“Currently, this translates into increased interest in entering into partnerships, which we welcome. Our Scope 3 leadership also provides us with new commercial and strategic opportunities for our milk pool.”

The new partnerships encompass more than one billion litres of milk from Arla’s UK farmers who are part of Arla’s climate data programme and Sustainability Incentive Model.

Arla’s Sustainability Incentive Model was formulated in collaboration with Arla’s farmer board and the active involvement of Arla’s 8,500 farmer-owners.

These initiatives empower farmers with the tools to efficiently reduce emissions on their farms, supported by financial incentives.

Arla farmer from Chester Arthur Fearnall said: “It is our experience that carrots are better than sticks when it comes to driving real impact on farm.

“As farmers who own Arla, we are pleased to see customers like Aldi, Asda, Morrisons, and Starbucks partner in the future of sustainable dairy production.”

Customer Sustainability Programme

Arla has streamlined its diverse on-farm sustainability measures into the Customer Sustainability Programme (CSP), designed to add value for its retail and foodservice clients, who are actively seeking to lower their Scope 3 emissions.

Customers engaging with Arla through the CSP invest in the cooperative’s ongoing efforts to reduce on-farm emissions, in return gaining access to on-farm R&D projects and pilot programmes. They also receive more precise on-farm data, including CO2 footprint per kg/milk, and customised data reports.

Arla’s Customer Sustainability Programme (CSP) is set to be introduced to retail and foodservice customers across its core European markets throughout 2024.

Additional incentives for farmers

In addition to customer investments through the CSP, Arla has set aside an annual budget, with €300m already allocated, to reward and incentivise farmers.

Arla is also set to embark on projects with the participating customers and aligned farmers, aimed at reducing on-farm emissions through innovative research and testing in areas such as feed additives, herd genetics, biodiversity, and fertiliser usage.

Arla’s emissions reduction target

At the start of the year, Arla Foods more than doubled its decarbonisation reduction goal of 30% across its operations to 63% by 2030, as part of approved science-based targets that support a 2050 net-zero vision.

The new target has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as consistent with reductions required to keep global warming to 1.5°C.

In August this year, the company launched its Climate Roadmap – Towards Carbon Net-Zero Dairy, which outlines the solutions and steps the company will take to deliver on its climate goals.

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