Chinese dairy giant Yili Group has received the PAS 2060 certification from Bureau Veritas, a French company specializing in the testing, inspection and certification of carbon neutrality. The dairy producer’s Yunnan facility is now dubbed the first “zero-carbon factory” in China’s food industry.
Yili Yunnan Dairy was first established in 2012 and then entered into production in 2015. Last year, Yili Yunnan Dairy received the first “green electricity certificate” in China’s food industry.
Through continuous efforts focused on energy management, the factory’s total energy consumption has steadily declined, falling 15.7% year-on-year to 28.77 kilograms per ton in 2021.
Greening up China’s food sector
On February 22, 2022, Yili Yunnan Dairy successfully completed a carbon inventory assessment and passed the China Certified Emission Reductions (CCER).
In 2020, Yili became the first Chinese dairy producer to be publicly committed to becoming carbon neutral after China announced its 2030/2060 climate goals (achieving peak carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060) at the United Nations General Assembly.
Last year, Pan Gang, chairman of Yili Group, then put forward the New Vision for creating social value, outlining how Yili will take the lead in realizing peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality and achieve lead ratings on sustainability.
Sustained traction for sustainable efforts
Yili continues to accelerate the pace of its green development, energy-saving and carbon reduction efforts.
The company has carried out corporate carbon inventory assessments for 12 consecutive years and established a comprehensive data accounting system for energy and environmental protection.
It is also recognized for establishing the Yili Future Intelligence and Health Valley in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, which will become China’s first five-star project for carbon neutrality.
By the end of 2021, 23 Yili factories had been rated “green factories” by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Yili was also recently selected as the world’s only corporate representative from the agriculture and food sector to be featured in the Corporate Net Zero Pathway report. This is the world’s first report issued by UN agencies to guide and celebrate corporate efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.
China craves cleaner
Over the last year, China has made significant strides toward sustainable food sourcing as a whole. Cultivated meat, in particular, is one of pivotal food segment has garnered significant attention in China in recent years.
Public Chinese government records indicate that significant funds are being allocated to help the nascent alternative protein sector optimize and scale up – as was previously done for the nation’s development of solar panels, lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles.
Chinese analysis underlines high acceptance rates for environmentally sustainable meat cultivated from animal cells. A new study of over 2,000 consumers across China has identified that 90% of consumers say they would eat cultivated meat alongside their traditional proteins. Meanwhile, 30% of consumers here say they would make it their main protein purchase if price parity is reached.