Danone’s Karicare brand becomes first milk formula brand in New Zealand to commit to carbon neutrality

NEW ZEALAND – European multinational food company, Danone has announced that its New Zealand milk formula brand, Karicare will achieve carbon neutrality at each stage of the product lifecycle by 2030.

Karicare joins other Danone brands such as Horizon Organic, evian and Volvic, which have or will become carbon neutral as it seeks to become a zero-net carbon company by 2050.

According to the company, Karicare’s journey to carbon neutrality is greatly aided by its production in New Zealand, a country well-known for its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including an abundance of ‘green’ power and investments in clean transportation.

New Zealand also has an ambition to be net zero on greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

“At Danone, our core belief is that the health of the planet and health of people are interconnected. That’s why we’re committed to taking real steps that help us bring our products to market in a way that minimises any impact on climate change, including transitioning production of our milk formula products to practices that are more sustainable,” said Rodrigo Lima, Managing Director, Nutricia Oceania.

To underpin Karicare’s carbon neutral commitment, Danone will work with its New Zealand suppliers and farmers to foster regenerative agricultural practices and improve soil health, continue to invest in decarbonisation of operations and focus on packaging circularity.

Some of these investments include installing a biomass boiler to provide renewable heat at its South Island spray drying facility in Balclutha.

Announced in July 2019, the NZ $30 million (US$19.9m) boiler will be operational in 2021 and will eliminate around 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

Danone will also move to 100% renewable electricity for all its New Zealand plants next year.

Between the move to renewable energy and biomass-based heating, the total operational CO2 emissions at the Balclutha plant will be reduced by 95%.

Karicare’s carbon-neutral journey will commence with the launch of Karicare Gold Plus+ Organic, which will be certified carbon neutral in 2022 and its packaging will be carbon neutral by 2025.

“We continuously act together with our partners to reduce our emissions in agriculture, operations and packaging, then taking responsibility for offsetting remaining emissions to achieve a carbon neutral position.”

Rodrigo Lima – managing Director, Nutricia Oceania

All other products in the Karicare range will be progressively certified up to 2030, at the latest.

“With carbon neutral Karicare, we’re providing consumers with a more sustainable option and giving them the opportunity to choose a better future for their family,” Lima said.

Packaging for Karicare products will also take a “circular approach”, as Danone looks to eliminate unneeded packaging, designing for recycling, reusing or compositing and ensuring that the material produced stays in the economy and doesn’t become waste or pollution.

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“Danone’s approach to carbon neutrality is to focus on reductions first and foremost,” continued Lima. “We continuously act together with our partners to reduce our emissions in agriculture, operations and packaging, then taking responsibility for offsetting remaining emissions to achieve a carbon neutral position.”

Meanwhile, the French headquartered company finalized the sale of its 6.61% stake in Japanese probiotic yogurt maker Yakult Honsha Co. Ltd.

The transaction resulted in a total gross consideration of JPY58 billion, representing €470 million, that will further strengthen Danone’s balance sheet.

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