LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC – Canadian dairy cooperative Agropur announced it is committed to reducing 30% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced at its plants in Canada and the United States by 2031.
Agropur shared that its GHG reduction targets were approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and it also plans to reduce GHG emissions across its value chain by 24% per kilogram of milk processed by 2031. Like many in the dairy industry, it is targeting net zero emissions by 2050.
Per Agropur, 54% of the electricity its Canadian facilities use comes from renewable energy sources – hydroelectricity and solar, wind or tidal energy. In the US, the company said it has reduced energy intensity by approximately 7.5% since 2016.
The company also said it will continue efforts to become more energy efficient and use more renewable energy sources in Canada and the US as it moves toward achieving its science-based targets.
“This initiative aims to obtain validation of our GHG reduction targets by SBTi, a credible and internationally recognized organization, [and] demonstrate our determination to move towards more sustainable dairy processing,” said Agropur chief executive officer Émile Cordeau. “In addition to supporting our members' and dairy farmers' initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of their on-farm operations, we are committed to supporting our customers' sustainability efforts by, among other things, improving the recyclability of our packaging, promoting circular economy principles and working to limit food waste.”
One of Agropur’s recent commitments involved developing packaging for its OKA brand cheeses that is 100% recyclable and uses 43% less raw materials.
In the US, Agropur in 2021 joined Farmers for Sustainable Food, which promotes sustainable practices. In Canada, the company launched in 2022 a sustainable farms pilot project that collects data on both animal welfare and environmental performance.
Through a partnership with La Chaufferie, a distillery in Quebec, Agropur helped develop an alcoholic beverage called La Crème d’icitte, which is made from milk permeate, the byproduct of the ultrafiltration process.