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What do biodegradable leather, sustainability data and robots have in common? The answer is simple, Danish Crown. They are all examples of measures Danish Crown has taken in the past year to improve sustainability in the group.

It is Danish Crown's ambition to cut the climate impact of the group's meat production in half by 2030 compared to 2005 and to produce climate-neutral (net-zero) meat in 2050. And the group is well on its way, Danish Crown has now reduced emissions by 30 percent.

- I am extremely proud that we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions so significantly. At Danish Crown, we want to challenge the global meat industry and be at the forefront to ensure a sustainable transition of food production. To do so, the fight against climate change is essential, and the challenges cannot wait to be solved. We must deliver now, says Jais Valeur, CEO at Danish Crown.

In connection with the publication of Danish Crown's annual result, the group also published its annual sustainability report. In the report, Danish Crown reports on its progress and initiatives during the year in key areas such as climate reductions, innovation, and working environment. Below are three examples from the report:

Farmers are following the Climate Track

The greenhouse gas emissions in the group's value chain are biggest at the farms of the Danish Crown owners – the Danish farmers. But it is also on the farms, where the potential and impact for reduction is the highest. All Danish Crown's Danish pig and cattle suppliers are part of the group's climate programme, Klimavejen, and during 2021/22 they were joined by suppliers of organic calves. In September, Danish Crown announced a new sustainability premium, so that for the first time the group will reward farmers who make an extra effort in the name of sustainability in cash. The premium is paid to farmers who are sustainability certified and can document the pigs' feed consumption.

One of the new projects the farmers in Danish Crown have engaged in is hard to say but holds great potential. Nitrification inhibitors can simultaneously limit the amount of greenhouse gases from slurry and at the same time ensure a better utilisation of nitrogen for the benefit of the plants.

- Preliminary results show that the emission of greenhouse gases from the fields that have received slurry where the agent has been added has been reduced by between three and five percent per kilo Danish pork, which is very significant for a single initiative.

Leather that can return to nature

Scan-Hide, a subsidiary of Danish Crown, owns SPOOR, which develops and offers traceable leather produced from animal hides from Danish Crown. SPOOR has previously made a name for themself through large collaborations with, among others, Danish design company, Fredericia furniture and Roccamore. And now the company has developed a new tanning method that makes the leather biodegradable, compostable and free of chromium and aldehyde.

Three-figure million investment in robots to eliminate heavy lifting at abattoirs

Sustainability at Danish Crown is not just about climate reductions, but also about working conditions. At Danish Crown's pig abattoirs, the employees today lift parts of the pig weighing up to 15 kg whenever these must be hung up or taken down from racks. It is one of the most demanding tasks at the abattoirs, because of heavy lifting and repetition. With the help of a newly developed robot, this task no longer burdens the employees at Danish Crown's abattoir in Blans, Southern Jutland, Denmark. The robot can handle all parts of the pig in both removal and hanging, so that the employees do not have to do the repetitive heavy lifting. The plan is for similar robots to be installed at all Danish Crown's Danish pig abattoirs by 2026 – a three-digit million investment.

- The three examples show that because Danish Crown is owned by Danish farmers, we have a special opportunity to take responsibility for our entire value chain and drive sustainable development all the way from farm to fork. At the same time, we want to be leading in our industry when it comes to transparency, which is why I am proud that we can talk about our efforts throughout the year in our annual sustainability report, says Jais Valeur.

Read the entire Sustainability report for 2021/22 here.