FrieslandCampina launches hydrogen-powered milk truck in journey towards CO2-neutral future

NETHERLANDS – Dutch multinational dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina is putting its first 50 tonnes hydrogen-powered milk truck into use as part of efforts to improve the sustainability profile of milk transport. 

According to a statement from the company, the trucks will be used in the Netherland’s Groningen region where infrastructure supports their use as the company explores possibilities of introducing them to other parts of the country. 

This is not the first time FrieslandCampina is revolutionizing milk transport in pursuit of an emission-free supply chain. 

Over five years ago, the Dutch dairy company started using liquid natural gas (LNG) as a cleaner fuel for the milk trucks. 

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The company says that through the LNG initiative, it successfully stimulated filling stations all over the Netherlands to supply this type of fuel.  

“Now we trying to do the same with hydrogen,” says Hans Wieleman, Manager Milk Logistics at FrieslandCampina. 

Carbon-neutral future

FrieslandCampina has set itself an ambitious goal of reducing gas emissions by more than one third by 2030 as part of a wider goal of achieving carbon neutrality across its entire supply chain by 2050. 

The company notes Milk transport accounts for a significant part of its total carbon footprint, making it a prime target for its sustainability programs.

Some of the initiatives that FrieslandCampina has conducted since 2010 include electric pumping during milk loading, using green electricity generated by dairy farmers to power electric systems on trucks, and installing solar cells on milk trucks to cut dependence on electricity.

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The company notes that as a result of these efforts, it was able to reduce the CO2 emissions of the milk trucks per kilometre driven by 18.1%.  

“Transport is and will remain important to further increase the sustainability at FrieslandCampina. We want to minimise the environmental impact of our milk trucks together with the parties involved,” Wieleman added. 

FrieslandCampina’s transport-focused sustainability program is not the only one in the food industry as other companies have also adopted green transport to improve the sustainability profile of their operations.

PepsiCo’s snack division Fritolay has, for instance, announced that it will replace all existing diesel-powered vehicles at its Modesto manufacturing plant in California, with zero-emission (ZE) or “near-zero-emission” (NZE) vehicles by the end of 2021.

Heineken also recently rolled out e-trucks to deliver beer in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and in Sao, Paulo, Brazil in an effort to cut emissions from its supply chain.

The company noted that transport accounts for 11% of its carbon footprint and was hopeful that the success of the pilot programs in the Netherlands and Brazil will help it make diesel fumes in cities “a thing of the past.” 

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