Dairy giant Danone says its plant in Co Wexford has become the first infant formula production site in the world to be certified as carbon neutral.
The company said the plant’s net zero carbon rating has been certified by the Carbon Trust, an independent global climate change and sustainability consultancy.
Danone’s Wexford facility employs 350 people and produces leading formula brands such as Aptamil and Cow & Gate for consumers in 41 countries.
The group said it had transformed the plant into a carbon neutral facility between 2010 and 2020 while doubling its production volumes.
To curb emissions, the plant sources 100 per cent renewable electricity and uses a biomass boiler powered by sustainable wood fuels.
This has resulted in 10,000 tons of CO2 savings compared to the plant’s emissions in 2010, representing a 70 per cent reduction in its direct carbon footprint.
Since the end of 2019 the remaining direct carbon emissions of the plant have been fully offset with other sustainability initiatives, including implementing digital technologies for efficiencies and recovering all waste.
Danone said the milestone is a step towards achieving the company’s goal of zero net carbon emissions by 2050.
"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," Danone chairman and chief executive Emmanuel Faber said.
“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,” he said.
“ It is also a step towards realizing our commitment to achieving zero net carbon emissions across our entire value chain by 2050,” he said.
In 2015, Danone committed to zero net carbon emissions across our full value-chain by 2050 . In 2019, it joined 86 other global companies in signing the Global Compact’s Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees pledge.