Dairy Sustainability Report targets industry wide reduction in emissions and packaging waste

The progress of Australia’s dairy industry in meeting its 2030 farming and manufacturing sustainability goals and targets is detailed in the latest Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Report.

Published today by the Australian Dairy Industry Council together with Dairy Australia, the report reveals the status of a broad range of goals and targets aligned to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It includes new targets on human rights, climate change, food waste and antimicrobial stewardship.

Manufacturers have agreed to a new commitment for 100% of dairy packaging waste to be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025, in line with Australian Government commitments. Progress will be monitored against data provided by all dairy companies to the Dairy Manufacturers Sustainability Council and Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation.

This year’s report also incorporates a new industry wide commitment for a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases in the next decade, with consideration to accelerate this commitment to carbon neutrality.

Speaking at the 2019 Australian Dairy Conference in Melbourne, dairy farmer and Chair of the Dairy Sustainability Steering Committee and Consultative Forum, Chris Griffin, said the report showed progress, along with areas for improvements in the commitments of the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework, which was first launched in 2012.

“Sustainability issues are front of mind with consumers around the world, particularly following the recent bushfires. Our Sustainability Framework presents a shared vision for continuous improvement, building confidence in the community that the Australian dairy industry is committed to being sustainable, while providing nutritious food for a healthier world.

“In practice this means farmers investing more in renewable energy, working to reduce emissions and increasing water-use efficiency. It means dairy manufacturers ensuring that 100% of their packaging can be recycled or composted, that more waste is diverted from landfill, and the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption is reduced.

“This report shows where and how we are delivering on these targets, meeting our commitments to the community, our people, the environment and our animals, and where additional effort is required to ensure we are at the forefront,” said Mr Griffin.

Chair of the Australian Dairy Industry Council and President of Australian Dairy Farmers, Terry Richardson, said the report put the Australian industry among the most progressive in terms of industry wide commitments and transparency.

“The Australian dairy industry’s approach to sustainability issues is quite unusual, in that the targets we have set are industry wide and agreed to by both farmers and manufacturing companies. Sustainability and community trust are interdependent and critical to our long- term viability. We have ambitious targets to deliver measurable outcomes and hope this report provides the transparency needed to give the community confidence that our industry is taking responsible action now and in the future,” Mr Richardson commented.

Grant Crothers, President of Australian Dairy Products Federation said sustainability was an important pillar of the Australian Dairy Plan which will be finalised in the coming months.

“Sustainability is a central component of the Australian Dairy Plan and we look forward to supporting its priorities through our Sustainability Framework. Assisted by the tools, research and services from Dairy Australia, Australian dairy farmers and manufacturers will continue to make progress on sustainability as we look to meet our 2030 targets,” Mr Crothers said.

To download the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Report 2019 or for further information visit: https://susoz.dairyaustralia.com.au/

Media Contact:

Ashley Mackinnon, Public Affairs Manager

M: 0407 766 153

E: media@australiandairyfarmers.com.au

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