Carbon Offsetting

In New Zealand our major source of emissions is our agricultural sector. In fact it is responsible for 48% of our gross emissions.

“Between 1990 and 2019, emissions from the Agriculture sector increased by 17.1 per cent. This is primarily due to an 82.0 per cent increase in the national dairy herd since 1990 and an increase in the application of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser of 662.7 per cent since 1990.”(1)

We visualise a New Zealand agricultural sector that is diverse and regenerative leading to rural communities and our collective environment thriving. A low emissions sector that is truly world leading in the 21st century.

A key part of that vision is plant-based food products. And as you probably guessed...oats. 

We all know without any need to explain that plants do not fart, burp, wee, or poo emissions. In fact they suck in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (sequester) to grow and produce the things we eat. So it goes without saying if we can replace a significant number of the millions of dairy cows we have in New Zealand with plant-based alternatives we will start to see the reductions in emissions we need to achieve. 

But on farm emissions are not the end of the equation. As with any product, we need to make it, package it and transport it. All of these processes currently release GHG’s (bring on the all electric 100% renewable energy future!!). To help us better understand our footprint we engaged with Ekos to map our emission and provide us the detail of where our emissions are coming from. 

Our total emissions for the 2021 financial year (01.04.2020 – 31.03.2021) were 519.55 tCO2e. We have offset these emissions by 120% through purchasing verified carbon credits from Ekos’s carbon offset projects including the Rarakau Rainforest Conservation Project in Southland, New Zealand. To read full report Click Here

What Ekos say about it. 

Otis Oat Milk is proud to be certified Climate Positive Business Operations with Ekos. We have measured and offset 120% of the carbon footprint of our business operations for the 2021 financial year with certified carbon credits.

This footprint includes  company vehicles, fuel related emissions, upstream freight (freight paid for), business travel, staff commuting, downstream transport (freight not paid for), end of life disposal of products.

Excluded from this footprint were the proportional scope 1 &2 emissions emitted via contracted services, capital expenditure and storage of goods in distribution centres and retail stores not owned by Otis. You can view a summary of our carbon inventory report here.

The certified carbon credits we have used to offset our emissions are sourced from projects like the Rarakau Forest Project and other projects in the Ekos supply chain that grow and protect forests in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. All projects in Ekos’ supply chain help to deliver climate resilience, waterways protection, erosion control, biodiversity conservation and community economic development.”

Otis Oat Milk has elected to offset 120% of these emissions with (Verified Emission

Reduction Units (VERs) provided by Ekos. Through this measurement and offsetting, Otis

Oat Milk has qualified for Climate Positive Business Operations certification for the 2021

Financial year and has been issued certificate number 40000497.

Our Emissions Inventory (01.04.2020 – 31.03.2021)

Below is the breakdown of what parts of our business operations the emissions came from. It is important to note that due to our suppliers not being able to provide us with the data we excluded the following key emissions factors:

  • The manufacturing and bottling plant, Sweden
  • Oat processor, New Zealand
  • Bottling Plant, New Zealand
  • Packaging, Sweden

The vast majority (61%) comes from us sending our New Zealand grown oats to Sweden and then the packaged milk being returned to us. This is an area of our business we have been transparent with from the beginning. We can’t help evolve New Zealand’s Agricultural sector if we aren’t using NZ grown oats. And we don’t have an oat milking factory in New Zealand that isn’t owned by dairy companies or doesn’t use petrochemical packaging. You can read more about our petrochemical-free packaging here {link to packaging page}. 

We’d had to count how many hours we have spent working on getting a plant-based manufacturing plant built here in NZ but we can assure it has been many! As soon as it’s locked in you will hear about it!

Carbon Reduction Plan

As part of our Climate Positive Business Operations certification requirements (and being a business for the 21st century!) we produced a carbon reduction plan. You can read it in detail in Full Report Here

The headline is that we have set ourselves the goal of reducing our emissions intensity (how many emissions we release per litre of milk we produce) by 50% in 3 years. So from 0.849 kgsCO2e / L in the 2021 financial year to 0.425 kgsCO2e / L in the 2024 financial year. 

To put that in context the emission intensity of a 1L Anchor Silver Top milk is 1.0995 kgsCO2e / L (measurement period: 01.07.2018 - 30.06.2019).

(1).  https://environment.govt.nz/publications/new-zealands-greenhouse-gas-inventory-1990-2019-snapshot/emissions-trends-by-sector/

(2). https://www.toitu.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/220922/Disclosure_1819_Fonterra_Enriched_Milk_CZ_Prod.pdf