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Danish Crown aims to challenge the global meat industry by taking the lead in the efforts to ensure a sustainable transition of food production. The group has now taken yet another step in a more sustainable direction by becoming one of the first large European meat producers to be validated by the international Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).  

“The green transition of the food industry is completely essential for Danish Crown, and our business strategy builds on massive sustainability investments. Being validated by the SBTi, we have now received confirmation from the UN and the world of science that our timetable towards 2030 is realistic and represents an international, scientific approach to substantially reducing our climate emissions. Consequently, we can now confidently announce the initiatives we intend to rely on to meet our targets and specifically how much each initiative will contribute,” Jais Valeur explains.

The SBTi is a partnership consisting of, among others, the UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The programme helps set a clear path for businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to such a large extent that it will contribute to capping the global temperature rise at 1.5°C, which is the level the scientific world has set to avoid major climate catastrophes.    

How Danish Crown will reduce its climate footprint 

Danish Crown has defined an ambition of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent from 2005 to 2030, and the group has a vision of producing climate-neutral meat by 2050. Science Based Targets has approved the part of the targets that we will pursue from 2020 to 2030.  

The effort to reduce emissions extends throughout Danish Crown’s value chain, but the greatest reduction potential lies with the group’s owners, the Danish farmers. In this context, Danish Crown has identified a long list of initiatives, of which the four most important are: 

  • Optimization of manure handling incl. increased utilization of manure for biogas. 
  • Field technologies that ensure feed grain with less climate impact.  
  • Feed conversion efficiency through ”Danish Crown Data” 
  • Deforestation-free soy in feed 

Overall, Danish Crown intends to reduce its global emissions by 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 in the period from 2020 to 2030 alone. This estimated annual reduction of CO2e emissions is equivalent to removing more than 500,000 cars from the road.  

“We have a huge task ahead of us on the farms and in our production, but because we are a cooperative and control our entire value chain, Danish Crown also has a unique opportunity to deliver the required reductions. Combating climate change is paramount, and we cannot put off resolving the challenges. We must deliver now,” says Jais Valeur.  

The validation from Science Based Targets is an important step in Danish Crown’s sustainability efforts, in which the data-driven approach already plays a key role. The Danish Crown Data programme enables the group’s pig producers to follow selected parameters such as feed efficiency and pig growth, and each farmer can benchmark performance against other producers. The SBTi and the data programme are both important components on the road towards a greener, more transparent and data-driven food sector. 

Facts about the Science Based Targets initiative

The Science Based Targets initiative is a joint effort between the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the UN Global Compact (UNGC), whose mission is to life corporate ambitions with respect to climate initiatives. The initiative helps businesses define targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are in accordance with the scientific requirements for limiting global warming to below 1.5°C/2°C relative to pre-industrial temperatures.  For more on the initiative, click here.

The green transition of the food industry is completely essential for Danish Crown, and our business strategy builds on massive sustainability investments.
- Jais Valeur