Environmental Impact

Hi Guys
I am in Scotland,And use Oatly for our Grandaughter,  so would you say, me drinking a litre of your product imported from Sweden has a lower environmental impact than a litre of local Scottish cows milk?
How many litres of water does it take to produce 1 litre of Oatly, and what do you do with the by products of your processes, oat husks, grey water etc?

Brian Report inappropriate content


  • Hi Brian, thanks for getting in touch! Yes, it has a lower impact even though it’s imported. We ship oat drink to china and it still has a lower impact than milk from Chinese cows.

    The life cycle assessment conducted for our products in 2018 shows that from “cradle to grave,” we use approximately 6.4 liters of water per liter of oat drink. Approximately 80% of the water is used during production in our factory (15% is ingredient water and 65% is consumed in connection with dishwashing and cleaning) and the remaining 20% is expended in other lifecycle steps (milling, transport and the manufacture of packaging).

    To reduce water consumption, in 2018 we optimized the dishwashing process (partly by reusing rinsing water) and closed the systems for hot and cold water, all of which is successfully conserving both water and energy. That put us at 5.3 litres per litre, our target is 3.0 and we are building our own waste-water treatment plant in Landskrona, Sweden, where our factory’s at.

    Our oat residues are sent to a farm nearby our factory and fed to pigs because this is the most sustainable option right now. We are working on turning the residues into tasty products for human consumption and have begun to explore the possibilities of turning our by-product into biogas by building our own biogas energy renewal plant at our production facility in Landskrona. But that’s still to come though.

    Hope this answer clarified things for you. Please have a look in our Sustainability report if you want to know more about our impact in the world and don’t hesitate to contact us again if there is anything else.

    All the best,
  • Great question and very helpful answer! I am a University lecturer and am completing some carbon literacy training at the moment, which has led me to looking more closely at my food habits. As I absolutely love Oatly, I have now looked at your sustainability report with great interest as a personal and work project.

    I am super impressed with the detail, honesty and transparency of your report. I am certainly going to be pulling a lot of material out of it to use in my lectures to my business sustainability students. When do you hope to produce your next report I would like to know, as I very much look forward to hearing more about your journey.

    On another note, I have to sadly report that I have not been able to buy any Oatly for the last few days as I forgot to pick it up in my main supermarket trip last week, i have been to 2 smaller supermarkets, and then a main Waitrose this morning - and each of these 3 trips have led me to disappointment. I can't wait to get my Oatly fix! It is wonderful that you detail your supply challenges so honestly in your report, and I wonder if this has played a part?

    I realise you have a lot happening with so much company growth, not to mention Covid, but when your next report comes out I'm hoping it keeps your personal and detailed honest approach, with a little more digitisation as it is not very easy to read and I want to pour over every word as it is so interesting.

    Well done for everything you do - I love you Oatly!

    karen Cripps
  • Hi Karen,

    Thank you for reaching out.

    It’s great to hear that you’re looking into your carbon footprint and dietary habits. We really appreciate your kind words and your interest in our sustainability.

    That’s wonderful that you’ll be using the content from our sustainability report in your lectures too. We were due to release a new sustainability report in April this year, however unfortunately it has been delayed due to the current circumstances. We are hopeful it will be published soon and we’ll be sure to make this widely known once it has been published.

    We’re sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling to find our oat drinks. We’re not facing the same supply issues that we were experiencing when our last report was written, however we have seen some stores in the UK sell out of our products more frequently in the UK as a result of the increase in demand that we’ve seen during the lockdown period as a result of more consumers turning to our products in lockdown and an increase in the amount of oat drinks that consumers purchase per shopping trip. We are currently working at full capacity to meet these demands, however availabilities will tend to vary locally. As independent retailers tend to be better stocked at the moment, could you please let us know where you are based and we’ll look for other options for you?

    When we do release our next sustainability report, we’ll make sure we maintain the same personal and transparent approach, and we don’t ever want to lose that. We hope it will be easy to read and accessible to as many people as possible.

    Thanks for all the support, and for loving our brand!

    All the best,

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