Peter McBride


Sustainability – Reducing carbon emissions


Peter McBride, Chairman of Fonterra Co-operative


Da jia hao, kia ora, hello. For those of you who missed my opening speech, I'm Peter McBride, Chairman of Fonterra Co-operative. 

Thank you to the People's Government of Hohhot City in Inner Mongolia and Mengniu Group for the invitation to speak here today on this important topic.

Global Dairy Platform has a membership of global dairy companies, associations, scientific bodies and other partners who collaborate pre-competitively to lead and build evidence on dairy's role in the diet. The CEO of Fonterra currently holds the role of chairman.

For more than a decade, the Global Dairy Platform has led the dairy sector's collaborative efforts to encourage the appropriate intake of nutrient-rich dairy foods and demonstrate the sector's role in sustainable agriculture.

The platform is governed by a Board of 12 directors, who are all representatives of the world's leading dairy companies, including Mr Jeffery Liu from Mengniu.

Together, we aim to demonstrate dairy's contribution to global food systems, lead healthy diets and sustainable livelihoods.

Never has this been more relevant than today. With an increased focus on climate change and the health of our planet it is more important than ever before that we reaffirm our commitment to producing sustainable dairy nutrition for generations to come. 

Dairy farmers are stewards of the land and soil – one of the most valued assets of a farm.

Sustainability and protecting natural resources allow farmers to not only grow their businesses but also ensures the land's preservation for future generations.

The dairy sector is continually finding new ways to improve its sustainability performance, such as increasing energy efficiencies, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing water use, saving energy, and lowering operating costs on-farm. 

Farmers globally are striving to improve yields and are decreasing their environmental footprint. 

One of the ways that the Global Dairy Platform has demonstrated its commitment to continual improvement is through the Pathways to Dairy Net Zero initiative launched in late 2021. 

More than 180 organisations representing nearly 40% of global milk production have declared their support for this ambition. 

Through this initiative our global dairy sector has become part of the solution to some of the world's biggest challenges. 

By optimising productivity and reducing emissions, our efforts today will safeguard nutrition security and secure a future for us all.

Events like this are vital in achieving our collective goals. They give us a chance to come together to collaborate and share our expertise for the betterment of our industry and the world.

Fonterra – Sustainability (context)

Let me now give you some context of the role Fonterra plays with respect to sustainability.

Fonterra is a New Zealand dairy co-operative made up of around 9,000 farming families who proudly share the goodness of dairy nutrition with the world. 

Globally, high value demand for dairy is growing faster than supply, and for our co-operative, that's an opportunity to drive more value from what we have. 

New Zealand already provides some of the most sustainable nutrition in the world. The country has a pasture-based system dairy system, with a carbon footprint around one third of the global average.  

But this is no longer enough. Customers, consumers, and the world, expect more and doing nothing is simply not an option. 

This is why Fonterra is a supporter of the Pathways to Dairy Net Zero initiative and key part of Fonterra's strategy is to be a leader in sustainability, with an aspiration to be net zero by 2050. 

Strategy – sustainability (our approach)

With this in mind, we are progressing sustainability action across our business. 

A few weeks ago, we announced a lift in our decarbonisation ambition, targeting a 50% absolute reduction in Scope 1&2 emissions by 2030, from a 2018 baseline. This is an increase on our previous target which was a 30% reduction by 2030.

To achieve this, we will be bringing forward some of our work to exit out of the coal we use in our manufacturing operations.

The Co-op will also shortly announce a Scope 3, or on-farm emissions, target. 

Accelerating our emissions reduction plans will not only help Fonterra achieve its goals but will also contribute to the global dairy industry's pathways to becoming net zero.

To achieve this ambition, we need to work collectively and globally to find new lower emissions technologies and solutions to reduce biological methane production.

This requires all global dairy companies to explore multiple technologies to ensure we can transition to renewable energy and create farming systems that produce less methane.


We should acknowledge that there is no single solution to the issue of emissions.

The Global Dairy Platforms sees great value in long-term partnerships, where we proactively work with governments, businesses, scientists, and customers to help develop a variety of solutions. 

To tackle the complex climate issues that we face - will take a collective effort by us all.

So, I ask you all to keep investing in solutions and striving for better. 

Thank you.