Horizon Organic commits to becoming carbon positive across its full supply chain by 2025

Largest USDA certified organic dairy brand is taking unprecedented action to impact the planet.
calendar icon 3 March 2020
clock icon 4 minute read

Horizon Organic, the largest USDA certified organic dairy brand in the world, today announced a commitment to become carbon positive by 2025. Horizon Organic’s goal is to be the first national dairy brand to become carbon positive across its full supply chain. As a brand that has always pioneered advancements in the organic industry, Horizon Organic will achieve carbon neutrality, and then go even further, to remove, reduce and offset additional emissions from entering the atmosphere, becoming carbon positive.

“Climate change is the challenge of our lifetime—we are out of time on this issue—food and farming must evolve,” said Mariano Lozano, CEO of Danone North America. “This includes helping our farmer partners implement breakthrough regenerative soil practices, cow feed and diet management programmes, and energy efficiency. These steps and more will play a significant role in helping Horizon Organic become carbon positive.”

In the US, agriculture contributes approximately 10 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions . Horizon Organic’s ambition to become carbon positive in the next five years will significantly improve its impacts on the environment. The Horizon Organic journey to carbon positive will start with its new Growing Years whole milk half gallons which will be the brand’s first certified Carbon Neutral product by the end of 2021. Horizon Organic will continue to advance product certifications in direct partnership with family farms through 2025. The brand has already begun the certification process with The Carbon Trust and is working alongside many other friends on the journey, including The Organic Trade Association and Green America’s Center for Sustainability Solutions.

“The Carbon Trust is proud to partner with Horizon Organic to certify products as carbon neutral as they deliver on their plans,” said Hugh Jones, Managing Director of Business Services, The Carbon Trust. “We applaud their ambition to achieve carbon neutrality and go beyond toward carbon positive, removing more carbon than they emit.”

The brand is finalising its full life-cycle assessment and a panel of independent experts will validate the results. The life-cycle assessment will guide specific milestones toward the carbon positive achievement.

To become carbon positive, Horizon Organic will also work collaboratively with our more than 600 direct farmer partners to ensure a farmable future for all. Over the next five years, Horizon Organic will prioritise and focus on the following areas to have the greatest influence and impact when it comes to the planet, and American farms:

Supporting Family Farmers

Horizon Organic values our partnerships with farms of all generations, shapes, and sizes across the country. We understand that many American farmers are facing all-time high debt and are proud to launch the Horizon Farmer Investment Fund (HFIF) to support them, especially as they work to implement more sustainable farming practices. This begins with a $15 million effort from the brand (and a mission to invest more) by way of grants, and low- and no-cost loans, that will help enable the capital, training, technology, and tools needed to create benefits for our planet and to ensure a sustainable future.

“I’ve been a Horizon Organic farmer for more than 20 years, seeing first-hand how organic farming can make a difference in healthy soil, happy cows and great milk,” said Ed Zimba, Horizon Organic farmer partner at Zimba Dairy. “Horizon has always put farmers at the centre, and their ambition to go carbon positive is in-line with my vision for the future of farming. With their support of our farm, and others, the Horizon Farmer Investment Fund will help us do what we do best – roll up our sleeves, tackle the issues and keep on farming, for many generations to come.”

Instituting Carbon-Reducing On-Farm Practices

The commitment to carbon positive builds on the brand’s 30-year legacy of setting new standards for and advancing the organic industry, supporting family farmers, and respecting the environment. Horizon Organic’s on-farm actions will include energy efficiency, soil regeneration, and cow feed and diet management. These issues are all inter-connected and play a key role in the brand’s carbon positive commitment. A five-year partnership with EcoPractices is already in place to conduct in-depth sustainability and soil health analysis, helping track and inform our soil health efforts.

Off-Farm Actions

The brand is investing in optimised transportation and distribution, renewables, emission reductions for its manufacturing facilities, and packaging improvements. 100 percent of Horizon Organic’s beverage cartons will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council by the end of 2020.

Investing in Carbon Reductions and Offsets

Horizon Organic will reduce our impacts and improve our processes, and sequestration potential, within our value chain. To complement a full-scope carbon reduction strategy, the brand will co-create new projects that generate carbon offsets and removals, largely around US-based agriculture. Examples of these projects include restoring prairie lands and forestlands. The options available in the future to reduce, offset and reverse emissions will likely look different than the options of today. Horizon Organic will evaluate and pursue new technology and partnerships on an ongoing basis across the environmental, scientific and financial space to understand innovation and break-through opportunities that could make a difference.

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