Danone plant becomes first official carbon neutral baby formula factory

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Danone Wexford facility
Danone Wexford facility

Related tags Infant formula sustainable Certification

Danone's production facility in Ireland is the first baby formula production site in the world to be certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust, an independent global climate change and sustainability consultancy.

This certification is a big step in Danone’s ‘One Planet. One Health’ commitment to achieving zero net carbon emissions across its entire value chain by 2050.

The facility in Wexford has been transformed into a carbon neutral plant over the last ten years. It creates zero-waste to landfill, is powered by 100% renewable electricity and production volumes have still doubled in the time these changes have been made.

Danone Wexford is located in one of the world’s leading sustainable grass-fed dairy sectors and employs 350 people. It produces leading brands like Aptamil, Cow & Gate and Nutrilon for consumers in 41 countries around the world.

The plant sources 100% renewable electricity and uses a biomass boiler powered by sustainable wood fuels. This has resulted in 10,000 tonnes of CO2 savings compared to the plant’s emissions in 2010, representing a 70% reduction in its direct carbon footprint, whilst doubling its production volumes since then. Since the end of 2019 the remaining direct carbon emissions of the plant have been fully offset with Gold Standard certificates.

The facility has become a paperless site, using drones for monitoring inventory and innovative technologies for monitoring energy. Sustainable wood fuel powering the boiler is sourced from the local wood chipping industry, to deliver a positive economic impact in Wexford County.

The firm also contributes to regenerative agriculture practices in Ireland as a verified member of Origin Green, the only global food and drink sustainability program uniting Government, food producers and the private sector. 

Emmanuel Faber, Chairman and CEO of Danone, said: “At extraordinary times like the one we are living at the moment, it is more important than ever to protect the local ecosystems where we operate and create sustainable value for everyone. Our One Planet. One Health frame of action puts climate at the core of our growth model. The carbon neutral certification of Danone Wexford is an excellent illustration of implementing climate action to protect health of the planet and of the people.

"It is also a step towards realising our commitment to achieving zero net carbon emissions across our entire value chain by 2050 and I truly want to congratulate our people in Wexford for realizing an ambitious vision set more than 10 years ago. This is only a first step and we should accelerate even more to create a low-emissions, climate resilient future. It is through key investments like this one that we take a step forward towards reaching this ambition.”

From 2019, Danone has committed to showing a carbon-adjusted recurring earnings per share that takes into account the estimated financial cost for the absolute GHG emissions on its entire value chain. This initiative connects with Danone’s ambition to become a Certified B CorpTM globally, using ‘business as a force for good’ to create sustainable value for all and protecting our planet.

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