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Valio’s Sustainability Report compiles sustainability work achievements, goals and development targets


Valio’s Sustainability Report 2023 has been published. The report is a compilation of the achievements, goals and development targets of our ambitious sustainability work. The Sustainability Report covers current information about the progress of our climate programme, our work on biodiversity, energy efficiency at our plants, and the wellbeing of people and animal welfare.

Valio’s sustainability measures progressed purposefully during 2023. Our goal is to cut the carbon footprint of milk to zero by 2035. We are reducing emissions, growing carbon sinks and creating circular economy solutions. We are improving animal welfare, and we are working to increase biodiversity. Here are some highlights of our sustainability work in 2023.

Plans for biogas production advanced

Development of Valio and energy company St1’s joint venture Suomen Lantakaasu Oy’s business operations advanced swiftly. We selected the site for the Kiuruvesi biogas plant, which is the largest of the planned plants. In addition to the centralised biogas plant in Kiuruvesi, three satellite plants are planned in nearby municipalities in Upper Savo. The biogas plant being constructed in Nurmo will produce domestic renewable energy and various types of biofertilisers from manure and agricultural byproducts from local farms. New plant sites are also being explored in Central and North Ostrobothnia. In total, these projects cover up to half of Suomen Lantakaasu’s target of 1 TWh.

1,500 dairy farmers completed carbon farming training

Climate change can be mitigated by increasing the carbon sequestration of fields through carbon farming methods. By organising carbon farming training events for Valio’s dairy farmers, we are promoting more climate-sustainable farming and food production. By the end of 2023, we had trained about 1,500 farms, i.e. an estimated 40 per cent of all Valio farms. Carbon farming is already happening on almost 130,000 hectares.

Valio’s dairy farm emissions calculated with certified Valio Carbo® Farm calculator

A total of nearly 2,500 farms, representing nearly 80 per cent of Valio’s total milk procurements, calculated the carbon footprint of their own milk production. The calculator now also takes into account the emissions from peatland, emissions from refrigerant spills, and emission reductions from the use of a feed additive.

Feed solution reduces methane emissions

Valio has successfully piloted the use of a methane-reducing feed solution at Valio dairy farms. In 2023, there were 40 farms and more than 3,000 cows included in the pilot. The feed additive worked well in practice, and during the pilot there have been no problems with production, milk quality or animal health.  According to several international studies the feed solution can reduce the amount of methane produced during cow digestion by up to 30 per cent. The impact on the carbon footprint of milk is more than 10 per cent.

Improvements in energy efficiency

In 2023, we made major improvements in our energy efficiency. During the year, we installed a new heat pump system at Valio’s Seinäjoki production plant. We carried out more than 50 other energy-efficiency actions at our production plants during the year, such as LED lighting replacements, wash optimisations, ventilation upgrades, refrigeration plant renewal and steam recovery.

We started mapping the nature impacts of our entire value chain

We have identified biodiversity risks and opportunities for business. We also actively monitor national and international biodiversity-related regulation and its development. The main risks in the food sector relate to the weakening of the ecosystem services and the major ecosystem changes caused by the accelerating loss of biodiversity.

Peatland research progresses and first restoration project launched

About one fifth of the arable land of Valio farms is organic soil and peatland. Peatlands are areas that have been converted from swamp and peatland forests into arable land, and their challenge from a climate change perspective is high erosion, i.e. the release of carbon from the soil into the atmosphere.  

By developing farming practices, it is possible to mitigate the climate impacts of peatland to some extent. Valio has participated in peatland studies for several years.

With regard to low yielding peatland, the most effective climate measure is to re-wet the fields to natural wetlands or to restore them back to swamps. In 2023, Valio started its first peatland restoration project in the framework of the Watershed Management project.

Northern Europe’s first recycled plastic tethered cap for beverage packaging

We want to be pioneers in circularity. That’s why we launched a new tethered cap made from 30% certified recycled plastic. The tethered cap reduces the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the environment, and the use of recycled plastic promotes the circular economy.

Read more on Valio’s sustainability report 2023.

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