LONDONDERRY — Organic yogurt maker Stonyfield Organic says it is committed to lessen its carbon output by 30% by 2030.
“A healthy planet is one of Stonyfield’s guiding tenets, and we’re proud to be among the earliest corporations to take significant action toward driving down global greenhouse gas emissions,” said Lisa Drake, Stonyfield’s director of sustainability innovation, in a press release.
The company said the initiative aligns with the broader goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius and to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 49 to 72% between 2010 and 2050.
Stonyfield is one of 50 companies in North America, and 232 globally, that have signed on to meet the targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, which is a framework in which businesses make commitments to take on climate change.
It’s a collaboration between the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), World Resources Institute, World Wide Fund for Nature and the United Nations Global Compact.
Alberto Carrillo Pineda, CDP’s renewable energy director, said the latest science makes it clear that more needs to be done to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
“The next few years are critical, and companies like Stonyfield Organic have a vital role to play in helping achieve transformation at the pace and scale that is needed,” Pineda said.
Drake said Stonyfield is committed to advocating for policies that will help the United States tackle climate change.
“It seemed like the right time to make this big commitment,” Drake said Tuesday.
Drake said she first became aware of the Science Based Targets initiative in 2017, got company approval to pursue a program in December 2018 and had the company’s plan validated by the initiative in April.
“We are the first company in New Hampshire to make this kind of commitment. We’re certainly proud of that,” Drake said.
Stonyfield announced it publicly in the summer to coincide with its recent announcement of the OpenTEAM initiative, which Drake said is a critical component of achieving the company’s carbon goals on the agricultural side of the business.
Stonyfield Organic is launching a new $10 million tech initiative to create smart farms.
In addition to agricultural emissions, the company is also focusing on emissions from energy use, packaging material, distribution and waste.
Drake hopes to achieve more efficiency in the entire distribution network and use more plant-based plastics and recycled material in the company’s packaging.
On the energy side, she said Stonyfield has long been buying carbon offsets.
“We always sort of saw that as a segue ... to renewable energy,” Drake said.
The goal, she said, is to transition about 30% of Stonyfield’s energy use to renewable energy either with direct energy production at its Londonderry facility or from any of the new solar arrays to come online in the state’s grid in the coming years.
Drake said she would encourage other New Hampshire companies to adopt similar commitments to reduce their carbon emissions.