Danone is set to invest NZD40m ($26m) in its Nutricia spray drying plant in Balclutha, New Zealand.

The investment is aimed at achieving carbon neutrality by 2021.

As part of the initiative, the company will install NZD30m ($19.6m) biomass boiler that will be capable of reducing the plant’s carbon emissions by 20,000t annually.

The Nutricia spray drying plant is engaged in processing raw milk sourced from 18 local farms into powder, which is used as the base for the production of Infant Milk Formula (IMF) brands Aptamil and Karicare.

Danone New Zealand operations director Cyril Marniquet said: “This significant investment, in what we expect to be New Zealand’s first carbon-neutral plant of its kind, underscores Danone’s global ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision and the belief that the health of people and planet are interconnected.

“At Danone, we have set ourselves an objective of becoming a carbon-neutral company across our entire scope, from farm to the family, by 2050. It is through key investments like this one that we take a step forward towards reaching this ambition.”

Global resource management company Veolia will design and manage the construction of the biomass boiler, ensuring the future operation and performance of steam production.

Veolia New Zealand general manager Alexandre Lagny said: “Veolia has supported Danone with the development of the biomass project, aligning available biomass resources with optimal conversion technologies, while leveraging the company’s operational expertise to achieve the best possible environmental footprint for the site.”

In addition to the biomass boiler, Danone will invest in a new water treatment plant to more effectively treat water waste.