TILLAMOOK, ORE. – Tillamook County Creamery Association released its 2022 Stewardship Report, highlighting updates and its climate action plan, with a goal to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
The Oregon-based dairy cooperative shared that it set an interim goal of 30% reduction in absolute emissions by 2030.
Paul Snyder, Tillamook’s executive vice president of stewardship, said the cooperative is making gradual progress toward its goals in the first year, while also “working to do more, do better and increase our momentum” in the meantime.
"We will be the first to say that we don't have all of the answers and we have a lot more work to do, but we do have a dedication to continuous improvement, a challenger mindset, and a commitment to help protect and preserve our ecosystems now and for future generations,” Snyder said.
The climate action plan includes such initiatives as converting Tillamook’s 16-truck fleet to use a new renewable diesel fuel, upcycling cheese scraps at its cheese-making facility, a new soil carbon benchmarking program on cooperative farms, and measuring and reducing GHG emissions.
Tillamook reported a 9% reduction of total GHG emissions compared to its 2020 baseline (slightly up from 2021), and participating cooperative farms took a voluntary survey to measure their specific GHG footprints. Snyder said the uptick in the data was due to more robust, highly accurate analytics the company now has in place.
"Our progress dashboard reflects a range of realities that include exceeding, meeting and, in some cases, falling short of our goal," Snyder said. "We're committed to transparency and will not hide the realities, and in fact are motivated when we see room for improvements … which is what our climate action plan journey is all about."
He said Tillamook wants to make real-world impacts with its plan and it is focused on accuracy and improvements.
The report also details how Tillamook supports its dairy farms and surrounding communities. The cooperative provided the following stewardship updates from the past year:
• Raising awareness of affordable broadband in Tillamook County, Ore., by partnering with American Connection Corps, a program that reported a 400% increase in enrollment nationally in federal subsidy programs for broadband internet in remote areas.
• Scoring 100% on NSF International’s farm evaluation.
• Receiving Vendor of the Year in Target’s food and beverage category, earning recognition for leading the dairy category.
• Adding a paid day off for employees to celebrate and participate in a day that is important to them and their heritage.
• Securing funds totaling more than $200,000 for the Tillamook, Ore., community through a grant-writing workshop Tillamook sponsored for local nonprofits.