California’s Trinkler Dairy Farm, a Nestle supplier, has become the first pilot farm within the U.S. Dairy Net Zero Initiative (NZI). With an initial $1.5 million investment from Nestle, Trinkler will test new technologies and implement sustainable farming practices to demonstrate the economic viability of achieving net zero emissions within the next five years. The dairy farm aims to reduce its GHG emissions 30% by 2023.
The U.S. dairy industry accounts for an estimated two percent of all GHG emissions in the country, much of which is methane. To reduce GHG emissions, dairy farms can incorporate energy efficiency improvements, methane digesters, advanced nutrient recovery technologies, and carbon capture and storage, among other strategies and technologies. All of these require significant investment so the pilot program is aimed at not only measuring environmental impact but also determining the economic costs and benefits. Impact data will be analyzed by scientists at the U.S. Dairy Innovation Center starting in 2022.
The initiative is a key milestone in Nestle’s $10 million, multi-year partnership with the NZI to develop sustainable practices, products and markets, as well as a critical component of the U.S. dairy industry’s goals to achieve carbon neutrality, optimize water usage and improve water quality by 2050. The majority of Nestle’s emissions stem from its supply chain and dairy accounts for approximately 16% of Nestle’s overall U.S. carbon footprint.
“Dairy industry research and World Wildlife Fund analysis show that large U.S. dairy farms could reduce net emissions to zero in five years, and by investing in sustainable technologies, farms could see an annual return of $1.9 million, accelerating progress and the direct benefit to farming families, the dairy industry, the economy, and our planet,” said Jason Clay, Executive Director, Markets Institute, World Wildlife Fund. “Efforts to get to net zero emissions are a critical step toward transforming the dairy industry.”