Uelzena dairy group targets continued emissions reduction with sixth sustainability report
Dairy ingredients business Uelzena has unveiled its sixth sustainability report, offering a core focus on targeting reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and evaluating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, writes Neill Barston.
The study, titled “Designing the future together” explores progress, made by the German-based group during 2020 across central areas of its activities including products, production, employees, and social and regional responsibility.
As the business noted, it is continually working on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in production and throughout its value chain, recognising that it is essential to focus on the upstream processes – specifically milk production.
A pilot project was initiated with the aim of decreasing avoidable emissions in this area. It tackles the carbon footprint of the milk and demonstrates options for the dairy farmers to reduce their own emissions.
Furthermore, as the company added, the covid-19 pandemic turned the working and business world upside down, with lockdown measures and their economic impact also affecting employees of the Uelzena Group in a variety of ways.
Positive effects included a stronger team spirit and the expansion of digital possibilities, while negative effects were caused by the many necessary process adjustments.
Ensuring the health and safety of the employees whilst also sustaining the business processes as a milk-processing company was a major challenge the company believed had been handled successfully.
Sustainable milk production Incorporating sustainability aspects with regard to the primary ingredient of milk holds an especially high priority for Uelzena as a milk-processing company.
In 2020, the volume of raw milk supplied rose by further seven percent. 76 percent of this milk is VLOG certified. Which means that no genetically modified crops are used in the cattle feed. In order to investigate sustainability aspects at the level of milk production, Uelzena participates in the QM sustainability module milk.
A second round of the survey commenced in the reporting year with the aim of joint further development based on the obtained findings. Transparent sustainability communication Sustainability reporting offers all stakeholders transparent and reliable information on the company’s economic, ecological and social activities, and creates a framework for joint dialogue. The exclusively online report is published annually and is based on international GRI standards (Global Reporting Initiative) according to the “core” option.
Jörn Dwehus, Chairman of the Board of Uelzena, said in a statement on 2020’s performance that despite clear challenges that persisted amid the pandemic, there were some positive developments, including the expansion of its facilities with work beginning on its new spray drying plant holding considerable potential.
He said: “The year 2020 was a difficult year – and it has left its mark. Nevertheless, the year also yielded positive developments. For instance, the quick and competent implementation of measures by our employees at all sites ensured operation was maintained. The team spirit and close connection of our workforce, even under different working conditions, helped the Uelzena Group successfully navigate the crisis.
“The sustained commitment of Uelzena’s milk suppliers to the demanding foodstuff milk and the welfare of the dairy cows will secure the future of Uelzena eG in the long term. Combined with the successful basis of the company group, it is the joint objective to generate a competitive milk payout.”