Tetra Pak herds dairy firms into decarbonization taskforce

By Teodora Lyubomirova

- Last updated on GMT

Getty/zorazhuang
Getty/zorazhuang

Related tags Dairy processing Sustainability Processing and packaging Innovation Milk water reduction

The food processing and packaging company is inviting dairy industry stakeholders to examine how the sector could drive down emissions from dairy production and processing.

Tetra Pak has set up the Dairy Processing Task Force, a ‘joint coalition’ where ‘a wide variety’ of stakeholders would pre-competitively evaluate existing technology and emissions reporting frameworks. The aim is to optimize the way the dairy processing sector approaches decarbonization, while the outcome of the work will be communicated through the Global Dairy Platform network, an industry body governed by representatives from Fonterra, Arla Foods, Saputo, Dairy Farmers of America, Leprino Foods, and others. Tetra Pak will also leverage its global network to further communicate the outcome and make the results available to interested parties.

While the core deliverables of the taskforce are yet to be firmed up as members join in, the initiative's focus is expected to revolve around greenhouse gas reduction measures and mitigation strategies; best-practice sharing; implementation of reduction solutions, and establishing industry standard sustainability guidelines and reporting frameworks to encourage consistency. DairyReporter understands that a number of major dairy manufacturers have already joined the taskforce and the intention is to open discussions as early as August.

“The aim of the Task Force is not to develop new ways of reporting emissions, but rather to evaluate existing approaches to reporting to identify possible areas for improvement, as well as solutions that will help reduce emissions within these areas,” explained Heinrich Iversen, Processing Director at Tetra Pak. “The Task Force is open for anyone to sign up, participating actively in the work to gain direct insight.”

Getting efficient

According to Tetra Pak’s Iversen, finding ways to optimize existing systems is equally if not more important than building new ones. “New technologies are continuously being developed and evaluated for possible use across the industry, and there is still work to be done here. However, it is also about exploring how existing technologies can be applied in new ways, supporting current processes to become more efficient with lower emissions, as a result.”

He went on to explain that the company recently helped two customers reduce their water usage by upgrading their membrane filtration systems. “With the first dairy customer, we implemented a membrane filtration system to reduce milk product losses by 308,000 litres annually, recover 7,800 litres of water daily, and ultimately reduce wastewater volume requiring treatment by 730,000 litres annually. The dairy collects white water from different processes daily. Using membrane filtration, it can now concentrate the white water to reduce milk product losses and recover water, which can be used for cleaning processes, reducing the need for fresh water. 

 “Similarly, we helped a dairy-producing ingredients customer to optimise its membrane filtration system to support the reduction of wastewater discharged, chemicals used, and energy consumed, as well as provide the capacity and capability to purify spent caustic from evaporators for reuse over several years.”

Iversen reiterated that while these are examples from within Tetra Pak’s network of clients, this initiative is designed to attract a much wider set of industry representatives. “We are encouraging a wide variety of companies to join the effort, in order to ensure broad representation across the industry,” he added.

“Our hope is that by the end of this year, the taskforce will have identified some specific areas that it can start working on, implementing solutions to prove the effectiveness in reducing emissions.”

Related topics Processing & packaging Dairy drinks

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