- Dairy giant Danone announced a partnership with the Global Methane Hub to reduce methane emissions in the dairy supply chain, becoming the first corporate sponsor of the Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator. The fund has raised $200 million thus far from an alliance of charitable organizations and governments.
- The goal of the accelerator program is to scale solutions for livestock farmers that can help them reduce enteric fermentation, which causes methane production in cattle. The money will fund research into feed additives, genetics, vaccines and other tech advancements to curb production of the harmful greenhouse gas, Danone said in a statement.
- As pressure mounts from activist investors and governments, more dairy producers are working to combat enteric fermentation. Danone is aiming for a 30% reduction in methane emissions from its fresh milk supply chain by 2030.
Danone’s partnership arrives as leaders in policy, science and business convene in Dubai for the United Nations COP28 conference this week, where the role of dairy in global emissions will be discussed. Dairy livestock production accounts for 8% of human-caused methane emissions globally, according to IPCC data cited by the yogurt giant.
Part of the partnership will also entail a pilot project in Morocco involving 1,000 farmers. The producers will use a tool that intends to improve cattle diets by identifying locally available feed options that can help lower emissions and boost productivity, according to Danone.
“Our partnership with the Global Methane hub is a key milestone in creating, testing, and deploying impactful and practical solutions in the field of methane reduction,” said Antoine de Saint-Affrique, Danone’s CEO, in the press release. “This will allow the world to keep enjoying the benefits of yogurt and help secure a sustainable future to many rural communities.”
Danone’s investment follows previous efforts in greenhouse reduction. In 2022, the company led a $7 million funding round for startup Symbrosia, which claims its seaweed-based feed additive can reduce methane emissions from cow burps by 80%.
Several companies in the meat and dairy space are using partnerships and investments to reduce cattle emissions of methane, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s launched a pilot program on 15 of its dairy farms in 2022, with a goal of halving the farms’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2024; the effort includes the use of seaweed-based additives. And earlier this year, agriculture giant Cargill announced a new methodology for its farmers to measure emissions reductions, in order to ascertain the impact of feed additives on livestock.