Early life nutrition
Measuring for success: how we’re keeping track of our sustainability progress
Discover what we’re doing to create a more sustainable dairy industry and how we’re reporting on our progress for improved visibility into our sustainability progress.
Making the dairy industry more sustainable with transparent tracking and reporting
Kyle Brookmeyer discusses FrieslandCampina Ingredients’ long-term monitoring of sustainability progress and how we’re making access to this data more accessible.
Sustainability has never been such a major collective focus. In fact, for the first time ever, the health of the planet overtook the health of the population as the top consumer concern in 2022¹. With the threat of global temperatures rising, we’re all becoming increasingly aware of the changes we need to make to ensure a healthy future for people and the planet.
At FrieslandCampina Ingredients, we are committed to creating nourishing health solutions in balance with nature. We’ve got big ambitions and have committed to being climate-neutral by 2050. As part of this journey, we’re making our progress even more accessible, so our customers have everything they need to communicate openly and honestly with their consumers.
We sat down with Kyle Brookmeyer, our Innovation Change Manager, to learn more about how we’re measuring and reporting on our sustainability progress.
1. What measurements does FrieslandCampina Ingredients currently have in place to track its sustainability progress?
Sustainability in dairy covers a broad range of metrics. Everything from improving biodiversity and reducing emissions to securing a better living for farmers and guaranteeing access to affordable nutrition for everyone. This is why we measure our sustainability progress using a broad range of metrics. For example, we have been consistently measuring and reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 2010. And being a data-driven company, we have been improving the quality of on-farm GHG emission data so we can continuously improve our results and our reporting.
Another example of our industry-leading reporting is our unique and advanced biodiversity monitor that helps us track the nitrogen and ammonia levels in soil, the population dynamics of insects and pollinators, our greenhouse gas emissions in grams of CO2 per kilo of milk per hectare, and more.”
Looking at our broader supply chain, we’ve implemented systems that allow us to monitor important sustainability metrics like our energy and water usage. These systems give us a really granulated look at how our production facilities function and allow us to identify hotspots so we can focus on high-impact measures and projects.
We’re also committed to measuring our results within the wider industry. That’s why we’re taking part in a movement called the Sustainable Dairy Partnership (SDP), which is further improving our sustainability transparency in the dairy industry.
2. What is the Sustainable Dairy Partnership and how has it helped FrieslandCampina Ingredients track and measure its sustainability performance?
The Sustainable Dairy Partnership was launched by the SAI (Sustainable Agriculture Initiative) Platform and is designed to communicate and promote continuous sustainability improvements in the dairy industry.
The SDP is made up of dairy co-operatives, dairy ingredient companies and companies that use dairy ingredients in their products. By being part of the SDP, companies can view detailed reports on the sustainability of different company’s ingredients. These reports allow people to compare and contrast the metrics that matter most to them and their customers.
We’re taking part in this movement to help provide our customers with even more information about our sustainability successes and because we believe increased transparency and collaboration has a huge impact on sustainability in the dairy industry.
3. Why is it so important to keep tracking sustainability progress?
Sustainability is a huge priority in the food and nutrition industries. And progress is made when companies are held accountable. This is why continuous tracking and transparency is key. By meticulously monitoring our sustainability progress, we can demonstrate that we are taking big steps in the right direction towards climate-neutral dairy. Measuring and making the results public also helps to ensure credibility which is key to winning over increasingly sceptical consumers.
Furthermore, by accurately measuring our progress we’re able to see what sustainability targets we’re reaching and what areas need more attention. Transparency isn’t just about sharing the good progress, it’s also being honest about what you could be doing better and the steps you’re going to take to achieve that.
Transparency can also contribute to the creation of common standards that can be used within the industry. With common standards, it becomes easier to compare the climate impact of different companies, which I think is a hugely important step to ensuring we’re all doing our part to create a more sustainable future.
4. Is there anything else FrieslandCampina Ingredients could be doing to provide environmentally friendly ingredients?
Sustainability has gone beyond a trend for companies to tap into. It’s our duty to ensure a healthy future for generations to come. We’re seeing the impact of climate change more regularly in our daily lives – it’s something that’s much closer to a lot of us than it has been in the past.
For FrieslandCampina Ingredients, and our parent company, FrieslandCampina, sustainability has been at the heart of our operations for decades. And we’ve already made substantial progress:
- In 2010, at FrieslandCampina in the Netherlands, 22.5% of the energy used was from renewable sources. By 2017 all our European production facilities used 100% green electricity. A large portion of this electricity is generated by our member dairy farmers – almost 3,000 member farmers generate sustainable energy using solar panels, windmills or biomass.
- In 2014, a sustainability-based performance-related premium for member dairy farmers was put in place under our Foqus planet programme. Our member farmers received this premium if they met certain targets related to biodiversity, climate, energy, animal health and animal welfare.
- From 2020 to 2021, we saw a 3.8% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on our member dairy farms and to date, 83.9% of our member farmers use a form of pasture grazing.
Our goal is the same as it’s always been, to provide quality nutrition to people all over the world in balance with nature.
To learn more about what we’re doing to track our sustainability progress and create a more sustainable dairy industry, check out our sustainability hub.
 Innova, Top Trends, 2022
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