Ben & Jerry’s claims it will cut greenhouse gas emissions at 15 dairy farms to half the industry average by 2024. The University of Vermont Medical Center says it will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
It is a coincidence that two of Vermont’s main institutions make climate change announcements within days of each other.
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Ben & Jerry’s said in a news release that dairy ingredients account for more than half of the company’s greenhouse gas emissions, therefore focusing on dairy farming to reduce its carbon footprint.
A pilot project, dubbed Project Mootopia in Ben & Jerry’s whimsical style, has three goals:
- Manage methane-producing cow burps through high quality forage feeds, including digestive aids.
- Reducing methane emissions from animal waste by using digesters and separators, thereby reducing the need for commercial fertilizers.
- Plant more grass and other forage crops to maintain soil health, absorb more carbon and increase pasture use, thereby increasing the percentage of homemade feed.
As part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Ben & Jerry’s will use a seaweed supplement from Blue Ocean Barns that reduces beef methane emissions from saltpeter by more than 80% without changing the taste of milk or meat, according to Blue Ocean Barns.
If Project Mootopia is successful, it will roll out to farms across Ben & Jerry’s global supply chain.
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“This approach to dairy farming could be a game changer,” Jenna Evans, global sustainability manager for Ben & Jerry’s, said in a news release. “This has the potential to make significant emission reductions on dairy farms and help combat the worst impacts of climate change.”
UVMMC races to zero by 2050
UVM Medical Center joins Race to Zero, the UN-backed global climate action campaign. Burlington Hospital was one of the first three healthcare organizations in the United States to commit to the campaign.
Health care emissions in the United States account for 8.5% of the nation’s carbon footprint, according to a news release from UVM Medical Center, which has incorporated measures in all of its operations to reduce its carbon footprint. These steps include:
- Large scale recycling and composting.
- Transition to a “green” building.
- Partnership with local farms to eliminate hazardous chemicals.
UVM Medical Center buys food from more than 70 local producers who account for about 42% of its food budget within 250 miles. The hospital says it is investing in sustainable food production that reduces the use of antibiotics, pesticides and fertilizers.
Currently, UVM Medical Center recycles 36% of its total waste on the hospital’s main campus, collecting approximately 401 tonnes of compost annually. That number did fall in 2020 and 2021 as the pandemic cut the number of people eating in hospitals.
“Everyone plays a role in creating a healthy environment, and we want to involve everyone in our organization, in one way or another, in our efforts to achieve a carbon-neutral future,” Gary Scott, vice president of hospital services, said in the release. news.
Contact Dan D’Ambrosio at 802-660-1841 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanDambrosioVT. This coverage is only possible with the support of our readers.