World’s Largest Organic Dairy Brand Commits to Being Carbon Positive by 2025

farm with Horizon logo

This article originally appeared in Environment + Energy Leader, on March 3, 2020

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. The company plans to achieve carbon neutrality, and then go further to remove, reduce, and offset additional emissions from entering the atmosphere, becoming carbon positive.

The Horizon Organic path 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 Trust2 and is working alongside many other friends on the journey, including The Organic Trade Association and Green America’s Center for Sustainability Solutions.

The brand is finalizing 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. Goals include:

  • To become carbon positive, Horizon Organic will also work collaboratively with its more than 600 direct farmer partners to ensure a farmable future for all.
  • 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.
  • The brand is investing in optimized transportation and distribution, renewables, emission reductions for its manufacturing facilities, and packaging improvements. 100% of Horizon Organic’s beverage cartons will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council by the end of 2020.

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.