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Dairy Facts 2016

Life Cycle Assessment

Tanker truck on rural road

Dairy Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

The dairy industry has committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent by 2020. That's equivalent to taking more than 1.25 million passenger cars off the road every year. How will we achieve that goal?

Current estimates by the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas show that the U.S. dairy industry accounts for less than 2 percent of total carbon emissions in the country. To help determine the validity of this estimate, the center is set to conduct the first-ever life cycle assessment of fluid milk to measure the carbon footprint, or level of GHG emissions, from farm to table. The results will be submitted for publication and peer review later this year.

Another upcoming project is the Dairy Delivery Systems Life Cycle Assessment. This project will assess the environmental impact of existing and emerging packaging formats and associated processing technologies for fluid milk products, helping to identify areas for improvement and innovation.

These LCA results from other countries demonstrate the global interest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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