Every company has to face up to its responsibility. The DMK Group therefore developed a clear strategy years ago aimed at enabling us to fulfil our responsibility towards people and the environment.
We continued rigorously with this policy in 2021. And that was essential, because it made it possible for us to achieve significant progress on the farms, in the factories and along the entire supply chain. These continuous improvements are important milestones on our way to the future and the foundation of our later work. We will continue to build on it in the years to come in order to make our vision come true and to keep our promise to consumers of always being their “first choice”.
In the company
We make sustainability the central focus
Our 2030 Sustainability Strategy
The DMK Group has systematically addressed the issue of sustainability since 2012 in order to set new standards in every area of the company. Accordingly, we embedded this strategic approach as a key pillar of our vision for the DMK Group in 2030 at an early stage. Together with the cooperative’s executive bodies, we pulled a large number of key levers pro-actively – for example in Purchasing and Supply Chain Management as well as in Occupational Health & Safety, Energy and Quality Management and in the development of new packaging. Sustainability is now integrated as a fixed component of the daily routine of all six Business Units. Climate and environmental protection, animal welfare and the reduction of packaging waste are taken automatically into account at every new step.
Our sustainability strategy naturally also covers the area of agriculture. To make significant progress here, we support our farmers with targeted measures which are intended to enable greater sustainability and which are further developed every year on the basis of feedback from the farmers.
The goals of our 2030 Sustainability Strategy
- Climate protection
We will reduce our CO2 emissions along the value chain by at least 20% by 2030.
- Animal welfare
We will continuously improve animal welfare on the farms.
We will contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, on the farms and at DMK sites.
We will supply millions of people with high-quality foods.
“We examine the emissions that occur and in which part of our value chain they occur very closely. We are already implementing the first reduction measures, but a lot of work still lies ahead of us.”
Maximilian Blum, Senior Manager Strategy Business
Step by step towards more sustainability
With around 5,200 dairy farms delivering to our factories, DMK is the largest German dairy cooperative and at the same time one of the largest food manufacturers in Germany. Optimisation potentials have to be identified and leveraged at a large number of points to make greater sustainability possible in such a large company.
To build greater momentum here and accelerate our internal development, we initiated the “TIGER – Continuous Improvement“ programme in 2020. Employees in the company and the factories who are involved in the programme scrutinise operating processes minutely to identify and initiate potential process optimisation measures. The programme highlights the fact that economic optimisation can also contribute to increasing the company’s sustainability. For example, significant improvements in energy management, water management and occupational health and safety proved possible in 2021. Awareness of sustainability and safety is therefore gradually growing at all DMK sites.
Find out more about our concrete optimisation measures and TIGER’s results in Chapter 2, “Our DMK“.
We strengthen humankind and nature
Sustainability begins on the farms
It is a fact that no responsibility-conscious company can ignore: agriculture – and above all else maintaining healthy cattle – has a considerable impact on our carbon footprint. Around 80% of the DMK Group’s Scope 1 2 3 emissions are generated in this area alone. This insight led us to develop a clear goal which we have incorporated into our sustainability strategy: we aim to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases per kilo of milk by 20%. The feed is of primary importance in this regard. Many farmers already procure their feed regionally so as to reduce their farms’ individual carbon footprint. In addition, DMK is gathering its own information in collaboration with the farms so as to make even greater progress here in the future.
What’s more, animal welfare friendly farming plays an important role in our actions. Loose housing in which the cows can move around freely at all times is by far the most common housing system among DMK farmers. They also focus on balanced feeding. The feed ration for a cow consists of approx. 70 % roughage (grass or maize silage, grass, hay) and approx. 30 % dairy feed (grain, grain maize, rapeseed or soy meal). The farmers in our cooperative are independent entrepreneurs and therefore completely responsible for the procurement of feed for their animals.
The issue of GMO-free feeding also plays an important role here. Since the beginning of 2016, DMK has been processing part of its milk volume as a GMO-free raw material stream and is thus now the market leader in GMO-free feeding for German dairies. Currently, more than 3,000 milk producers with 3.1 billion kilograms of milk have switched to GMO-free milk production.