This is a major commitment and a very tight timeframe.
Just as encouraging as how many are doing it, however, is how fast they are promising to get there. Take the latest announcement from Organic Valley, for example, which is promising to go 100% renewable through a partnership with Upper Midwest Municipal Energy Group. By purchasing renewable energy credits from proposed solar and wind farms near its headquarters, the initiative says it is enabling the development of an additional 29 MW of solar capacity in Wisconsin.
Not bad for a dairy cooperative.
It's worth noting that the co-op's own press release is careful to point out that this doesn't include the 2,000 or so farmer members who are part of Organic Valley, but rather the company’s office buildings, a processing facility and distribution center in Cashton, Wisconsin, a creamery in Chaseburg, Wisconsin, and a plant in McMinnville, Oregon, that makes butter and dried milk powder. Additionally, some 220 of the farmers that work with Organic Valley have installed solar at their facilities too.
Given the increased focus on the environmental impact of meat and dairy these days, this is not just the right thing to do on Organic Valley's part—it's also a sensible PR move. If they can also do their part to implement methods that reduce methane emissions too, then we'll really have something to celebrate.