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Dairy Industry Completes Fluid Milk Carbon Footprint Study

September 30, 2010

[Source: Western Dairy Association]

As of last week, the U.S. dairy industry completed a carbon footprint study that measured the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with a gallon of milk in the United States and the results were presented at the International Life Cycle Assessment Conference in Rome, Italy. The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy commissioned the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas to conduct the GHG Life Cycle Assessment of fluid milk, also called the carbon footprint study.

The carbon footprint study, together with data from additional studies measuring GHG emissions, helps validate that total U.S. dairy GHG emissions are approximately 2 percent of total U.S. emissions. This is far less than earlier figures reported about the global livestock industry that were incorrectly attributed to U.S. dairy.

The carbon footprint study will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 2011. In addition, studies on nutritional value, economic impact and other environmental measures such as water quality and conservation are under way as the industry seeks more ways to work together for a healthy planet.

Click here to read the press release from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

One day after the announcement of the carbon footprint study, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack commended the dairy industry’s efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Secretary Vilsack was quoted, “American agriculture can play an important role in reducing carbon emissions and improving the environment, and the dairy industry in particular has been a leader on these issues,” Vilsack said. “This carbon footprint study will be very helpful to all stakeholders in the dairy industry and I look forward to working with dairy producers, processors and the entire value chain on efforts that benefit the environment and improve the economic viability of the industry.”

Click here to read more of Secretary Vilsack’s comments about the carbon footprint study.

If you have any questions regarding the carbon footprint study please contact, Erin Johnson or Angel Aguilar at (303) 451-7711.

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