Our vision is more relevant than ever

We make sustainable food production possible has been on our agenda for many years and gives us a clear focus. The DeLaval Sustainability Group have looked at our materiality analysis and talked to customers to identify ten key areas of priority.

The DeLaval Sustainability Group is appointed by Group Management and through them we have a structured way of working with sustainability. Lars Johansson, SVP Corporate Communications & Sustainability, explains that our focus lies in what we are doing to reach our vision. “Overall, we continue to look at sustainability from three main perspectives; Environment, Food & Animal Welfare and Social & Economics.”

“While focusing internally on our own goals for sustainability, we understand that dairy producers have their own goals. They can only be achieved by knowledge transfer and applying new technologies that make their businesses more efficient and profitable.”

Product development to help our customers become more sustainable
We have for many years been striving to reduce the environmental impact of every litre/Lb of milk produced. This is by far the greatest contribution we can make to achieving the UN goals on climate change.

In practical terms, it means developing products and solutions that improve efficiency and milk yield on farms; always with sustainability and animal welfare standards in mind. From the earliest development phase to application on the farm this is a priority.

Process for product development

A couple of examples of recent product launches with specific sustainability benefits is the DeLaval VMS™ V310, the first milking system that automatically confirms heat and pregnancy during the milking process. During last year our milking robot DeLaval VMS™ V300 was enhanced with an improved teat-spray function.

Every time we help a farmer find a way to produce more milk from the same herd, we’re making food production more sustainable ─ by introducing a new working method on the farm, a new parlour, better liners, better hygiene, better data to make better decisions, by cutting disease and keeping cows healthier, by increasing their milking lifetime.

Animal welfare and farm profitability
“Animal welfare is not just important in its own right. It directly affects areas ranking high in our materiality analysis, such as ‘long-term profitability, ‘milk quality and food safety‘ and ‘product development to improve customer productivity’,” explains Fabian Bernal, Dairy Advisory. Sr. Manager, Industry Affairs & Sustainability Market Area North America, and part of the DeLaval Sustainability Group.

“A healthy animal provides more milk, at a better quality and for more years. We provide technologies, solutions, and knowledge that support good animal welfare and best management practices,” Fabian continues. There are four specific areas where we support animal welfare in the herds of our customers:

• Ensuring animal welfare is an integrated part of the development of our products and solutions.

• Offering client support through dairy advisors and technical support.

• Continuous education and training internally and externally.

• Research collaborations with universities and industry related organisations.

Our key areas of priority
While identifying which sustainability topics were most important to us, we looked both at our customers’ operations well as our own.

In 2018, we conducted several interviews with key stakeholders in the dairy industry and our DeLaval employees. The external stakeholders included dairy processors, industry associations, global organisations, academic institutions, NGO’s and customers. Internally, we carried out interviews with a broad audience of employees across DeLaval. In addition, we engaged in in-depth discussions in 2019 with farmers across Europe via the EDF (European Dairy Farming) organisation.

The result of these discussions showed us the main sustainability challenges facing European dairy farmers. These topics are also relevant for our customers in other parts of the world. These topics are still relevant today, and we continue to have an ongoing dialogue with internal and external stakeholders. For more information about our goals, strategies, and results, please reference our recently published 2020 DeLaval Sustainability Report .

Dairy products are needed to feed the growing population
“We must not forget that the demand for dairy is high and is increasing around the globe. Milk contains 18 of 22 essential nutrients that are recommended in a healthy diet. The protein in milk is of high-quality, containing a good balance of all essential amino acids. We should all be proud of what we do and remember that dairy is a good business to be in,” Lars concludes.

Lars Johansson, SVP Corporate Communications & Sustainability