Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Synlait emissions down in ‘challenging’ season

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‘Absolute’ on-farm emissions decreased despite growth in supply base.
Synlait’s Grant Watson says it remains committed to building a future where food production positively affects people and the planet.
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Synlait Milk says it has made continued improvements to its greenhouse gas emissions, with “significant progress” on farm through the efforts of its farmer suppliers.

The listed dairy company has published its sustainability and greenhouse gas inventory reports.

In 2018, Synlait released a plan to “significantly” reduce its environmental impact over a 10-year period. It planned to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35% per kilo of milksolids (kg/MS) on farm and 50% per kgMS off farm by 2028.

The on-farm reduction included 50% cuts in nitrous oxide, 30% in methane production and 30% in carbon dioxide.

At its results announcement, Synlait said its farm suppliers experienced a particularly challenging 2021-22 season, leading to reduced milk volumes.

Due to reduced production, Synlait’s on-farm emissions intensity per kg/MS increased 1% over the past year.

That equates to a 9% reduction compared with the 2018 target.

However, Synlait’s “absolute” on-farm emissions decreased by 3.2% compared with the 2021 financial year.

That reduction was despite growth in its supply base. 

Alongside GHG reduction, Synlait’s farmers reduced nitrogen loss per kg/MS solids by 29% against the 2018 base, and by 9.4% since FY21.

Total off-farm emissions have remained steady since last year, with a 1% reduction.

Emissions intensity per kilogram of product was reduced by 21% compared with FY18.

Significant reductions in off-farm emissions were expected in FY23, with the completion of two key decarbonisation projects.

The dairy company’s chief executive, Grant Watson, said disruption had tested its resilience in recent years, but it remains committed to building a future where food production positively impacts people and the planet.

“We continue to make notable progress against our environmental targets, and the effort by our farmer suppliers towards reducing their impact on the environment stands out in our FY22 results,” he said.

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