PETALUMA, Calif.- Straus Family Creamery, a leader in climate-positive organic dairy farming innovation, announces the evolution in a first-of-its-kind collaboration with BMW Group. Through California Air Resources Board’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Program, BMW can “power” their customers’ electric vehicles with ultra-low carbon intensity electric fuel produced from biodigester technology on the Straus Organic Dairy Farm. The BMW collaboration strengthens Albert Straus’ vision to create a replicable carbon-neutral farming model on his farm, and it provides an opportunity for California dairy farmers to generate new income sources.
First-of-its-Kind Collaboration: Straus Organic Dairy Farm and BMW Group
The Straus Organic Dairy Farm and BMW Group’s collaboration created a new farm-to-electric pathway in 2019 that ensured the Straus farm could recently invest in and test an advanced biodigester technology. With costs between $1 and $2 million, small-scale methane digesters have not been affordable for smaller dairies. This advanced technology is an upgraded version of the methane biodigester that has been operating on the Straus farm since 2004.
“Dairy farms have an essential role in being a solution to climate change. I really appreciate BMW Group’s willingness and collaboration in helping us create a viable farming system,” said Albert Straus, founder and CEO, Straus Family Creamery.
Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program Successes
Straus Organic Dairy Farm’s methane biodigester converts the methane from cows’ manure into electricity and is on track to generate approximately 250 megawatts of renewable electricity in 2021. The newly designed biodigester technology will help make methane biodigesters more affordable for small-scale organic dairy farms, enabling the reduction of methane (a greenhouse gas which is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide) emissions and creating additional revenue sources for farmers through the sale of carbon credits through the LCFS program.
A biogas generator currently powers the Straus Organic Dairy Farm and exports energy to the California power grid. In January 2021, the electricity started being used to “power” BMW electric vehicles. This collaboration creates two to four times more revenue than the standard utility agreement for the Straus farm. The biodigester also helps the Straus farm decrease yearly methane emissions by 720 metric tons as it generates renewable energy.
Organic Dairy Farming Creates Cow-Powered Climate Change Solutions
“The exciting thing about dairy biodigesters is that they create a double-carbon emission reduction. On the one hand, they capture methane emissions from manure on farms that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. And they also produce electricity which replaces fossil-fuel generation on the grid,” said Adam Langton, Energy Services Manager of Connected mobility, BMW of North America.
Farmers are addressing methane emissions under the state’s greenhouse gas reduction laws passed several years ago. These laws mandate a methane emission reduction of 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030. The digester trial on the Straus Organic Dairy Farm demonstrates a model for small-scale organic dairy farmers who want to adopt methane biodigester technology.
The climate crisis is an urgent concern for businesses and agricultural communities. The Biden administration is paying close attention to agriculture, both for its role in creating emissions and its role in mitigating them. Science is focusing on regenerative farming (also known as carbon farming) practices that focus on reducing carbon in the atmosphere through sequestering carbon back into the soil and reducing methane emissions through manure management.
“Achieving a dramatic reduction in climate emissions from dairy farms requires multiple solutions, but the central piece of the dairy farm carbon-neutral equation is methane biodigester technology,” said Joseph Button, Sustainability Director, Straus Family Creamery.
BMW Group’s new ChargeForward is the first smart charging program to offer customer incentives for maximizing the integration of renewable energy with EV charging. “Renewable energy is a key component of BMW Group’s sustainability strategy. We are aiming to power all of our electric vehicles here in California with 100 percent clean energy, and the partnership with Straus Organic Dairy Farm is helping us make this a reality in California,” said Langton.
Launching next week, this advanced smart charging initiative is available to all BMW battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicle drivers in Northern and Central California who are also PG&E residential, electric customers. Interested BMW EV consumers can complete an application at www.bmwchargeforward.com to check eligibility.
Click here to watch a video and download an infographic to learn more about the Straus Family Creamery and BMW Group collaboration. A longstanding proponent of climate-smart agriculture, Albert Straus and Straus Family Creamery demonstrate that organic dairy farming is a climate change solution. Click here for their latest Sustainability Report.
About Straus Family Creamery
Based in Petaluma, CA, Straus Family Creamery is a Northern California, certified organic creamery offering minimally processed organic dairy products made from organic milk supplied by family farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties, including the Straus Organic Dairy Farm, which is the first certified organic dairy farm west of the Mississippi River. Straus Family Creamery, the first 100 percent certified organic creamery in the United States, continues to make business decisions based on its mission to help sustain family farms, revitalize rural communities, and protect the environment. The family-owned business sustains collaborative relationships with the family farms that supply it milk, offering stable prices and predictability in what can otherwise be a volatile marketplace. Learn about the Straus difference at StrausFamilyCreamery.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Linkedin.
About BMW Group in America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California; technology offices in Silicon Valley and Chicago, and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is the BMW Group global center of competence for BMW X models and manufactures the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 348 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 144 BMW motorcycle retailers, 116 MINI passenger car dealers, and 38 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.