We are participating in global climate protection under the motto “Making soil good”. Since early 2013 we have been compensating for CO2e emissions generated during production of our baby milk formula by supporting Soil & More’s biodynamic compost projects in Egypt and South Africa. As of November 2014 Holle baby porridges and all Holle milk cereals have also been CO2e neutral.
CO2e neutral means that the entire manufacturing process for products across the board from the farmer to production and delivery to wholesalers is CO2e neutral. Our commitment began in early 2013 and since then each year 35 hectares (350 000 square metres) of desert in Egypt have been transformed into arable land used for organic farming. This is equivalent to approx. 45 soccer pitches (FIFA standard). In South Africa large scale activity has been taking place to recycle urban green waste to produce high quality potting soil since early 2008, thus reducing CO2e emissions by approx. 60 000 tonnes each year. Holle has been supporting the project since mid-2013.
As the first step on the way to CO2 neutral formula, the company Soil & More International initially calculates the greenhouse gas emissions created in the manufacture (dairy farmers, grain farmers), production (milk processing, grain processing), transport & logistics as well as administration (Holle baby food GmbH) in order to neutralise it in a second step with the help of so-called emission certificates. We started with Holle infant formula in January 2013. As of November 2014 Holle porridges and all Holle milk cereals have also been C02 neutral.
Soil & More is also involved in, among other things, organic, sustainable agriculture and operates facilities with partners in developing and emerging countries that convert the organic waste such as crop residues, green cuttings and manure into high-quality compost through an aerobic, oxygen-enriched composting process. In these conversion processes, only a fraction of the conventional greenhouse gas emissions arise compared to conventional disposal through incineration or uncontrolled rotting. This contribution to reducing the greenhouse effect is compensated for by negotiable emission certificates.
Both the CO2 reduction project as well as the certificates are certified by TÜV Nord Cert GmbH and comply with the requirements of the United Nations. Since early 2013 we have been using emission certificates issued within the scope of the SEKEM, Egypt CO2 reduction project as well as also emission certificates from the Reliance project in South Africa since mid-2013 in order to compensate for the greenhouse gases generated during the production of Holle products. Both projects take biomass and process it to make high quality humus by means of controlled aerobic composting. In Egypt Soil & More runs two composting facilities jointly with its Egyptian partner, the Sekem Group. In South Africa Soil & More developed a composting facility in partnership with the company Reliance which Reliance now operates independently. The plant composts the municipal green waste generated in the Cape Town region.
Soil is one of the world’s largest natural carbon stores. In conjunction with many millions of micro-organisms it is thus able to develop a physical structure which utilizes water and nutrients efficiently. In addition to this, soil’s properties also make it a central issue in the climate debate, since long-term soil protection and development are essential factors in halting climate change. Holle supports Soil & More’s composting projects because they are not solely devoted to reducing emissions but instead focus primarily on developing sustainable, fertile soil, thus increasing and safeguarding productivity and saving water.
Sustainable farming which is assisted by composting has a wide range of positive effects on arable soils. Carried out correctly it does more than just make a long-term contribution towards providing more food and managing scarce resources such as water more responsibly. It also provides a secure livelihood for scores of farmers in disadvantaged rural regions. What was formerly disposed of as waste becomes a valuable raw material making a contribution towards raising incomes; improving the reliability of food supplies and managing the farmed environment. We believe that emissions trading can thus make a contribution towards supporting sustainable farming.