KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Sustainability software developer Athian announced that Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) became the first purchaser of verified carbon credits via Athian’s carbon insetting marketplace.

Farmer-owned dairy manufacturer DFA has a goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its supply chain by 30% by 2030.

Athian explained that dairy farmers can go through a third-party verification process to certify that a farm avoided GHG emissions, thereby creating a carbon credit. Such credits go into Athian’s livestock carbon insetting marketplace, where they can be purchased by companies in the dairy value chain and CPG companies, helping them reach Scope 3 emissions reduction goals.

DFA president and chief executive officer Dennis Rodenbaugh said dairy farmers “have always been the true stewards of the land, the air and water,” and have long worked toward reducing their carbon footprint.

“However, the necessary systems have not been in place to quantify their tremendous environmental progress in a manner that would compensate for the ongoing investments they have made over generations,” Rodenbaugh said. “The marketplace can now finally allow farmers to realize financial benefits from their initiatives.”

He added: “We’re gratified to see this science-based, third-party verified and validated system coming to life with the Athian platform and that dairy farmers are among the first to prove it works. The dairy industry has been positioned to rapidly advance progress. By working within the value chain on an insetting approach with the companies we work with every day, and now farmers can directly benefit.”

Athian shared that Jasper DeVos, a DFA dairy farmer-owner in Texas, used the company’s first accepted protocol to generate carbon credits for reducing enteric methane and improving feed utilization, resulting in close to 1,150 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) reduction.

Per Athian, if the entire US dairy industry implemented the same intervention, “it could avoid 4.7 million metric tons of CO2e emissions annually from enteric, feed and manure emissions, accelerating the impact animal agriculture has in being part of the climate solution.”

The makers of the platform said dairy farmers of all sizes may reduce GHG emissions, quantify and validate reductions, and sell credits through the carbon insetting marketplace.

“It’s exciting to see the full value chain come together to accelerate climate progress,” said Paul Myer, CEO for Athian. “Athian’s carbon credit marketplace is different than the traditional offsetting carbon marketplaces because it keeps the value inside of the animal protein value chain and allows each participant to gain unique value from the transaction. The farmer is able to create a new revenue stream, the food companies who have had challenges meeting their Scope 3 emissions reductions are able to make significant progress and, ultimately, we’re able to mark progress against aggressive global goals.”