Dairy co-op Arla doubles carbon reduction target for operations

The farmer-owned co-op has announced plans including a switch to fossil-free trucks and conversion to green energy

Arla Foods says it is scaling up its climate target for operations from a 30% cut to 63% by 2030, with plans to green its transport and energy use.

The farmer-owned co-op says it will convert to fossil free trucks, green electricity and low-energy solutions, with the new target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as consistent with reductions required to keep global warming to 1.5°C.

Arla says the new targets more than doubling its scope one and two emissions reductions, adding that it has already achieved a 24% reduction since 2015. To help reach the 63% target it will continue to invest into sustainability actions and plans to increase total investments by 40% to £3.3bn over the next five years. 

Key actions include:


  • The conversion of Arla’s owned fleet of milk tankers and distribution trucks to fossil free solutions through biodiesel, biogas and electric vehicles
  • Work with customers and farmers to reduce total mileage across the company through optimised route planning for its milk tankers
  • Increased engagement with logistics suppliers to help reduce their own COemissions


  • The conversion to 100% electricity in Europe through green power purchase agreements and investment in wind and solar projects, complemented with purchased guarantees of origin for electricity produced on Arla farms
  • Reducing energy consumption through investments in low-energy solutions across Arla’s dairy sites – such as heat recovery solutions: heat pumps, electrification of boilers and general optimisation of electrical powered equipment.

Ash Amirahmadi, MD of Arla Foods UK, said: “Arla is one of only 59 food and beverage processors globally and one of the first farmer-owned dairy co-operatives in the world to have a 1.5°C target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. 

“The demand for dairy across the world continues to increase as we tackle issues of food poverty and malnutrition. With Arla’s farmer owners already among the most carbon efficient farmers in the world, it is right that we also show leadership in reducing carbon emissions across the production and operational side of the co-operative.”

The SBTi is expected to launch a new sector guidance in 2022 for Forest, Land and Agriculture with more detailed requirements for setting science-based targets than previously available for companies in land-intensive sectors.

Hanne Søndergaard, Arla Foods’ executive vice president with responsibility of agriculture and sustainability, said; “Our ambition is to be in line with a 1.5°C trajectory in all three scopes of our value chain when it becomes possible. We will therefore review the SBTi’s new sector guidance when it’s released to see whether any changes to our current plans will be required.”