Embracing sustainability: our commitment at DeLaval

In DeLaval’s Sustainability Report 2023, we highlight our global sustainability activities, performance, and progress towards our 2030 goals. Our strong partnerships and focus on innovation are helping farmers achieve more with less, while our detailed double materiality assessment and ‘scope 3’ downstream measurements show significant progress.  

Our commitment 

At DeLaval, our vision remains steadfast: to make sustainable food production possible, a dedication that has guided us for over 140 years.  

In 2023, we made significant efforts to further decrease our environmental footprint and foster a corporate culture centered on diversity, equity and inclusion. We also collaborated closely with our valued customers – dairy farmers – providing them with solutions for sustainable milk production. Our products and services can play a crucial role in promoting healthier cows that produce more milk per day, resulting in a reduced environmental footprint per litre of milk. This not only helps farmers comply with stringent environmental regulations but also ensures their long-term sustainability and success in the industry. 

Overview of key highlights from 2023

  • Establishment of new sustainability-centric partnerships, exemplified by our collaboration with John Deere for the Milk Sustainability Center. 
  • Undertaking a comprehensive Double Materiality Assessment. 
  • Achievement of our diversity and inclusion targets for female managers. 
  • Introduction of a novel lifecycle assessment tool, facilitating informed decision-making in product development and support. 
  • Formulation of a new animal welfare policy in 2023, slated for implementation in 2024. 
Anna-Pia Järnfors

Anna-Pia Järnfors, SVP Corporate Communications & Sustainability, DeLaval, highlights: “Profitability and sustainability are intertwined. One example is robotic milking, which not only simplifies farm operations for employees but also enhances the milking experience for cows. Farms achieving higher milk yields per animal experience reduced environmental footprints per litre of milk produced, and greater economic viability. Innovation remains the cornerstone of sustainability for us.” 

Key achievements from the 2023 Sustainability Report 

  1. A continued focus on innovation 

We introduced the next-generation DeLaval Rotary E500 rotary milking system, which improves efficiency and reduces stress on cows. Additionally, we launched the DeLaval Plus Behaviour Analysis tool, leveraging sensors and AI to enhance cow health and productivity, providing farmers with extensive data to drive sustainability through healthier and more productive cows. Furthermore, we introduced new teat disinfectants and the DeLaval Plus Disease Risk application, supporting farmers in maintaining cow health and mitigating disease risks.  

In line with our dedication to animal welfare, we introduced a new animal welfare policy in 2023, building upon our adherence to the internationally recognised Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare. This policy aims to intensify efforts in establishing sustainability targets for animal welfare such as providing continuous education and training for stakeholders and offering proactive global support through dedicated dairy advisors. 

  1. Growth through sustainability-focused collaborations – the Milk Sustainability Center 

Collaboration was a top priority with DeLaval partnering with renowned agricultural machinery company John Deere to establish the Milk Sustainability Center – a digital tool designed to assist farmers in making informed decisions for efficient and sustainable operations. Scheduled for launch later in 2024, this tool integrates field and herd data to measure nutrient use efficiency (NUE), assess CO2e emissions, and identify areas for improvement, empowering farmers to optimise productivity and minimise environmental impact.  

  1. Double materiality assessment 

To better understand how we could further double down on our sustainability commitment, we conducted a rigorous double materiality assessment, engaging with stakeholders across the dairy value chain to identify key environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics. This exercise yielded a nuanced understanding of the most pressing sustainability challenges facing the company and our stakeholders. From this assessment, 14 focus areas were delineated, serving as guiding pillars for DeLaval’s sustainability strategy. Based on the results from our 2023 materiality analysis, we have now placed innovation at the center of our sustainability approach, along with a diverse range of other areas. 

Our identified focus areas following our double materiality assessment

  1. Environmental progress 

We’re working on understanding and reducing our emissions. Our main focus is on ‘scope 3 downstream’ emissions, which come from using our products and make up 75% of our emissions. We want to make our products even more energy-efficient and ensure they’re used well. We’re also looking into other areas like materials, transport, and packaging to cut emissions. Our goal is to cut scope 1 and 2 emissions by 30% and set a target for scope 3 emissions by 2024. We’re investing in renewable energy and waste reduction, like using 29.5% renewable energy in our own operations. Additionally, we’ve introduced a new tool for assessing our products’ environmental impact and trained staff to use it. So far, we’ve cut energy use by 3.4% compared to 2022, with more goals ahead.  

5. Social sustainability and governance 

a. Diversity and inclusion 

We’ve met our target of having 25% female managers by 2025, but we’re still working to increase overall female representation. Our focus on gender diversity extends to fostering inclusivity across different backgrounds, ethnicities, experiences, and skills, which enhances innovation and customer support. We continue collaborating with universities globally to offer students real-world experiences, fostering mutual learning opportunities and staying abreast of the latest technologies and industry trends.  

b. Ethical standards 

Ensuring fair conditions in the dairy industry is vital for ethical, environmental, and animal welfare reasons. We’re committed to upholding ethical standards throughout our supply chain and among our distributors, though monitoring customer adherence remains a challenge we’re actively addressing. 

c. Sustainability awards 

In 2023, DeLaval introduced the DeLaval Sustainability Awards to recognise outstanding achievements in safety, quality, environment, and innovation within our company. 

Looking ahead

Anna-Pia Järnfors, says: “Our aim is to reduce our environmental footprint, boost efficiency with innovations in automation and digitalisation. Through partnerships and employee well-being, DeLaval is supporting a sustainable future for generations to come in the dairy industry.”