One of the world’s largest dairy companies, Danone, has announced today (Tuesday, January 17) a global action plan to reduce absolute methane emissions from its fresh milk supply chain by 30% by 2030.

Danone expects to remove 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) of methane emissions by 2030.

The ambitious plan builds on the what the company said is the progress it has been making in recent years, already reducing its methane emissions by about 14% between 2018 to 2020.

Danone emissions plan

A reduction in methane emissions will have immediate benefits for the climate that reductions in CO2 cannot achieve on their own, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Dairy production from cattle makes up an estimated 8% of total human-caused methane emissions, as part of agriculture and livestock activities which represent approximately 40% of global methane emissions, Danone has said.

The company said that 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 defence;
  • 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.

With today’s announcement, Danone is one of the first food companies 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,” he added.

“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.”

Global Methane Pledge

At COP26 in November 2021 in Glasgow, the US and European Union (EU) unveiled a Global Methane Pledge, seeking 30% reductions globally by 2030 from 2020 levels of human-caused releases across oil and gas as well as other major sectors such as livestock, agriculture, coal mining, and waste.

This could eliminate over 0.2˚C warming by 2050, preventing more than eight gigatons of CO2e emissions from reaching the atmosphere annually by 2030.

This new framework secured 103 initial national pledges (representing nearly 50% of global anthropogenic methane emissions and over two thirds of global GDP), and today it has increased to 150 members.