Net Zero Initiative launched in the US

The Innovation Center for US Dairy has unveiled the Net Zero Initiative, an industry-wide effort that will help US dairy farms of all sizes and geographies implement new technologies and adopt economically viable practices. The initiative is 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, 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.”

The Innovation Center for US Dairy also announced a key milestone on its journey toward carbon neutrality – an up to $10 million commitment and multi-year partnership with Nestlé to support the Net Zero Initiative and scale access to environmental practices and resources on farms across the country.

Jim Wells, chief supply chain officer for Nestlé USA notes, “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. We are excited to collaborate with US dairy and our suppliers to contribute to an even more sustainable dairy supply chain.”

The 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals uses the most pressing areas of environmental sustainability as the foundation for its goals:

  1. Become carbon neutral or better
  2. Optimise water use while maximising recycling
  3. Improve water quality by optimising utilisation of manure and nutrients.

The Net Zero Initiative is a collaboration of dairy organisations and represents a critical pathway on US dairy’s sustainability journey. Many of the practices and technologies needed to reach the industry’s goals largely exist but require further research and development and overall greater accessibility across farms of all sizes and geographies.

The dairy community will continue to demonstrate its progress in the environment, animal care, food safety/traceability and community contributions through the U. Dairy Stewardship Commitment. As of October 2020, 27 dairy companies representing 68% of the nation’s milk production have voluntarily adopted the commitment.

For more information on US dairy’s sustainability journey, visit USDairy.com/Sustainability.

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