Methane Interview Story


Danone's Commitment to Regenerative Agriculture Drives Work Toward Global Methane Reduction

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Methane Interview Story

Danone's Commitment to Regenerative Agriculture Drives Work Toward Global Methane Reduction

- By Chris Adamo, VP, Public Affairs & Regenerative Agriculture Policy, Danone North America

To deliver on Danone’s mission of bringing health through food to as many people as possible, we depend on climate and nature. And, as a global leader in both dairy and plant-based food and beverages, our ambition is to make food that preserves and regenerates nature for generations to come. To achieve this, we are committed first and foremost to decarbonizing our business, transforming our full value chain in line with what’s required to limit warming to 1.5°C, and leading where we can have the most impact: methane. 

Addressing methane emissions is a critical aspect of climate change mitigation, alongside reducing carbon dioxide emissions. As a large dairy company, and also a leader in regenerative agriculture efforts, we know how important it is to partner with farmers, and other organizations, to reduce our emissions from dairy production and help our farming partners not only produce nutritious food, but also climate solutions within their farm systems.  

Since 2017, Danone has been investing in regenerative agriculture with our farming partners across the globe, and last year we built upon these efforts with a monumental commitment to methane reduction: 30% reduction in our fresh milk supply by 2030. Since then, the team has been working hard with the right partners to continue the positive momentum. To date, our actions have included: 

  • We joined forces with the Global Methane Hub to accelerate innovation in methane reduction through the Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator. The Accelerator aims to create new scalable and practical solutions for dairy farmers to reduce methane emissions. 

  • Along with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and other large food companies, we helped launch the Dairy Methane Action Alliance to accelerate action and accountability on methane across the dairy sector. By joining this groundbreaking initiative, we commit to annually account for and publicly disclose methane emissions within our dairy supply chains, and to publish and implement a comprehensive methane action plan by the end of 2024.

  • We are partnering with Cornell University and Symbrosia, a Hawai’i-based cleantech startup, to help support research aimed at assessing the effectiveness of seaweed oil extract for methane reduction in cows. Symbrosia is also backed by Danone Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Danone. This study is set to begin in May 2024.  

  • We have already invested in an array of manure and methane technologies & projects with our U.S. dairy farming partners and are looking forward to another set of future investments as we partner with the USDA Climate-Smart Grant. 

These actions and ambitions are at the heart of our sustainability strategy. While they are steps in the right direction, the work has only just begun. We will continue to pioneer efforts to mitigate climate change with the help of our partners and peers. One of our key partners in these efforts is EDF – our work benefits greatly from their leadership. 

Today I am excited to sit down with Katie Anderson, Senior Director, EDF+Business Food & Forests, to discuss how Danone and EDF are partnering together, why we need more public and private sector partnerships to create change, and how large dairy companies like Danone can help reduce methane emissions.  

Chris Adamo, Vice President of Public Affairs and Regenerative Agriculture Policy: Katie, a pleasure to connect with you today, thank you for joining me. To start, can you share a bit more about your background and your role at EDF?  

Katie Anderson, Senior Director, EDF+Business Food & Forests (KA):

Thank you, Chris. It’s great to connect with you again. As senior director of the Food & Forests team on EDF+Business, EDF’s corporate engagement arm, I work to catalyze the food and agriculture industry to set ambitious climate goals and implement strategies for improving environmental outcomes at scale. I have nearly a decade of experience advising major food corporations on how to reduce the climate impacts of their global supply chains, with a particular focus on reducing methane and nitrous oxide emissions, and stopping tropical deforestation. I also have a Masters of Environmental Management degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.  

CA: Now, for readers who may not know, can you explain what methane is and why it is a significant concern in the context of climate change? 

KA: Absolutely. Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas, with more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere. In fact, around 25% of the warming we experience today is due to methane. That means that cutting methane emissions today will help us avoid the worst impacts of climate change–and we’ll see the difference in our lifetimes.  

CA: EDF and Danone have been partners since January 2023, working collectively on addressing global methane emissions. How did our partnership with EDF start and why is it imperative we work together [could also ask, why or how does EDF decide to partner with companies? 

KA: EDF and Danone first began working together through the Transform to Net Zero (ToNZ) initiative in 2021, and following that collaboration, we were proud to join Danone last January to launch a strategic partnership to support Danone’s methane reduction ambitions. Danone and EDF are working together in such areas as improved science, data and reporting standards, innovative financing models to help farmers of all sizes, and catalyzing industry and policy leadership through advocacy. 

The business case for proactive leadership on climate change within the food system, both on methane and beyond, makes clear why it’s so urgent that we work together. Enhancing the sustainability of food production and land use has the potential to generate economic benefits of $5.7 trillion and offer a $4.5 trillion annual financial opportunity for businesses by 2030. Failure to meet climate targets, however, makes our food systems and farmers vulnerable to the impacts of a warming planet—such as severe floods, droughts and desertification—thereby increasing supply chain risks.EDF’s partnership with Danone is a wonderful example of our work with businesses to create game-changing climate solutions. Over the past 25+ years, we’ve shared our science, policy, and economic expertise with 1 in 3 Fortune 500 companies to find triple wins for business, people, and the planet 

CA: What other organizations and partners is EDF working with to help drive these efforts?  

KA: EDF works with partners across the ecosystem to achieve our mission to build a vital Earth for everyone. In the food and agriculture space alone, we work with farmer groups in India, policymakers in the U.S., scientists in China, investor groups in the E.U., and companies across the globe, among others, to drive climate action for a just, equitable, and climate-proof food future.

CA: Coming out of COP28 last month, the annual UN Climate Conference, was there anything that surprised you or any clear calls to action around methane?  

KA: Methane was in the spotlight at this COP. As you know, a major “methane moment” came when six global food and dairy companies — Bel Group, Danone, General Mills, Kraft Heinz, Lactalis USA and Nestlé — joined EDF to announce an alliance to accelerate transparency and action on methane reductions in the global dairy supply chain.

It was also a major win when over 50 major oil and gas companies signed a pledge to slash their methane pollution to nearly zero by 2030. And in another great step forward, the U.S. EPA announced its strongest-ever methane rules for the oil and gas industry, setting an example for other nations. 

CA: Can you discuss the significance of the Dairy Methane Action Alliance that EDF and Danone launched together with several other companies, and how it contributes to global efforts in reducing methane emissions? 

KA: Absolutely. Something we haven’t directly addressed yet is that methane from cow burps and cow manure plays a significant role in climate change. That means that companies with dairy supply chains have a huge role to play in driving down global methane emissions while continuing to supply a source of nutrition and support farmer livelihoods. At COP28, these six global food companies came together in a historic alliance to commit to help reduce and account for the methane emissions in their dairy supply chains. 

These leading food companies together represent more than $200 billion in revenue. With these companies’ global reach and supply chains, their commitment to transparently account for and act on methane emissions is a massive step forward on climate action for the dairy industry. Now, we need the rest of the global dairy supply chain to join us. 

CA: Danone recently announced that we are partnering with Symbrosia, a Hawai’i-based cleantech startup, and Cornell University on a study focusing on methane reduction through seaweed oil. Are there emerging technologies or innovative approaches similar to this that EDF is particularly excited about in the context of methane reduction? 

KA: Solutions to drive down emissions from enteric methane—the methane emitted when ruminants, like cows, digest their food—represent some of the greatest opportunities for innovation. There are some really exciting solutions emerging, and we analyzed some of the new breakthrough technologies for reducing enteric methane last year in this guide.

That said, many of these solutions are still emerging and more research is needed to ensure safe and effective products are commercially available. There is a greater appetite for innovation now, and we are glad that Danone is supporting such critical efforts. 

CA: Looking ahead, what are the EDF's goals and expectations in terms of methane reduction, and how can individuals and organizations contribute to these efforts?

KA: At EDF, our goal is to reduce human-caused methane emissions by 30% by 2030. But no one organization or company can achieve this goal alone. We need concerted efforts from policymakers, scientists, and innovators to support the sector and generate the speed and scale needed. For more on ways to contribute, I’d encourage companies to get in touch with our EDF+Business team at to learn more about opportunities for corporate action on methane, and I urge everyone to go to to learn more about this methane moment and ways we can all take action today. 

Methane Interview Story

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