Oregon-based Tillamook County Creamery Association is committing to the dairy industry’s net zero climate action goals by 2050 to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality, optimize water use efficiency while maximizing recycling and improve water quality by optimizing utilization of manure and nutrients.
To spur progress toward the net-zero goal, Tillamook has set an interim goal of 30 percent reduction in Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
“At Tillamook, our farmers operate with the next generation in mind,” said Paul Snyder, EVP, stewardship. “Since our founding in 1909, our farmer-owners have built everything with a long-term outlook to ensure that farms and communities are here for generations to come. That’s why being good stewards of cows and farms, of people and products, of our communities and the environment, is central to everything we do.”
TCCA’s environmental sustainability goals are backed by its newly developed Climate Action Plan that defines strategies for making climate-related progress over time. Snyder explained that in the past year, TCCA has worked across all departments to outline more than 25 strategies to help achieve the 2030 target.
“The electricity, steam, and fuel that we use at our processing plants and to power our offices and fleet account for only 3 percent of our total emissions,” Snyder said. “The biggest challenge we face in meeting our climate commitment will be engaging our supply chain partners to reduce Scope 3 emissions, which make up 97 percent of our total emissions.”
Facilities and fleet
As part of the Climate Action Plan, Tillamook will invest in improvements to its facilities and fleet, while working with its supply chain partners on the following actions:
- Energy Efficiency: In 2021, Tillamook implemented energy reduction initiatives that will save an estimated 200,000 kWh and 142 metric tons of CO2-eq annually. Moving forward, TCCA will continue to identify and act on energy-saving projects.
- Renewable Energy: Currently, 85 percent of the electricity Tillamook purchases is from renewable sources. Through investments in on-site renewables, renewable energy certificates, or a combination of both, TCCA will strive to reach a goal of 100 percent by 2030.
- Sustainable Fleet Transition: Tillamook is developing strategies to convert its fleet of 16 diesel trucks to alternative, low-carbon fuels with the goal of full conversion by 2030. They are also using new technology to improve driving habits that will improve safety and increase MPG and are partnering with external carriers through the EPA SmartWay program.
The Climate Action Plan also includes Tillamook’s packaging goals that were announced in 2021. The packaging goals include specific measures such as increasing recycled content to 50 percent for paper packages and 20 percent on average for plastic packages by 2025.
Tillamook funded a life-cycle assessment that found making these changes could reduce GHG emissions from their packaging portfolio. Additionally, TCCA is committing to a goal of 100 percent of its packaging solutions to being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2030.
“Our Climate Action Plan is a roadmap – not a GPS. Implementation will require perseverance and continued collaboration across our cooperative and externally with our supply chain and customers,” Snyder said.
“While we don’t have all the answers, we do have a dedication to continuous improvement, a challenger mindset and inspiration from our farmers that will help protect and preserve our ecosystems now and for future generations.”
Additional information about the TCCA Climate Action plan is also available at tillamook.com/climate.