French food group Danone said the manufacture of its leading New Zealand milk formula brand, Karicare, would be carbon neutral by 2030.
The company said Karicare will join other Danone brands – such as Horizon Organic, which has also committed to becoming carbon neutral, and Evian and Volvic, which are already carbon neutral, as it moves to becoming a net-zero carbon company by 2050.
Karicare has about 40 per cent market share of the New Zealand infant formula market.
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Rodrigo Lima, managing director Nutricia Oceania, said Danone was taking steps to minimise any impact on climate change, including transitioning production of its milk formula products to more sustainable practices.
Danone, once a significant customer for Fonterra, said it would work with its New Zealand suppliers and farmers to foster regenerative agricultural practices to improve soil health, continue to invest in decarbonisation of operations and to focus on packaging "circularity".
The company is in the process of installing a biomass boiler to provide renewable heat at its South Island spray drying facility in Balclutha.
The $30 million boiler will be operational in 2021 and will eliminate around 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, the company said in a statement.
Danone will also move to 100 per cent renewable electricity for all its New Zealand plants next year.
Between the move to renewable energy and biomass-based heating, the total operational carbon dioxide emissions at the Balclutha plant will be reduced by 95 per cent.
Karicare's packaging will be either recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, the company said.
Danone said New Zealand is increasingly fulfilling a unique role for Danone as an innovation hub, with recent moves into categories such as sheep milk and A2 protein milk.
The company has partnered with 20 farms around Balclutha, and is also supplied by Maui Milk, Synlait and Open Country Dairy.
The company says it has invested $150m in New Zealand over the last five years.
In 2017, Fonterra paid Danone $183m in compensation over the 2013 botulism scare after the French firm made a successful claim for damages.