BayBuzz is generally wary of dairying, because of its dismal environmental track record.
So we were pleasantly surprised to see an account of steps Fonterra is taking to reduce its GHG footprint. The dairy business accounts for 20% of NZ’s entire greenhouse gas emissions – of that 90% comes from on-farm emissions (i.e., mainly the cows), 9% from Fonterra’s manufacturing operations, and 1% from transporting its products to consumers around the world.
Most notably, the company will eliminate the use of coal at its nine processing plants that use this carbon nasty, switching to wood biomass by 2037.
Fonterra will also make one-third of its 820 light vehicle fleet electric over the next three years, and will install its own recharging infrastructure throughout provincial NZ. This will reduce emissions by 52 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year.
Its 481 diesel-operated tanker fleet will remain, with investigation ongoing for alternative fuels.
All of its farmers will have detailed farm environmental plans by 2025, with guidance on mitigating emissions.
Of course the proof will be in the pudding, but these were commitments made in Fonterra’s submission to the Climate Change Commission, so their laundry will be hanging out there for all to see.