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Add Sustainability Tools to Reach Financial, Environmental Goals

May 02, 2012

IDFA's Dairy Sustainability Symposium, May 30-31 at the Hilton Chicago, will feature several new resources that show dairy professionals how to identify new opportunities to save energy and money, calculate their companies' carbon footprints and incorporate sustainability into business strategy and marketing.

"Sustainability is the business model for every successful business today," said Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs. "The symposium will provide the latest and greatest sustainability information in the dairy industry, including life cycle assessments, water scarcity, sustainability reporting and metrics, and innovations."

Visit IDFA's YouTube channel for a brief video by Detlefsen on the symposium's highlights.

Business Strategy and Marketing

Steve French, managing partner at the Natural Marketing Institute, will kick off the symposium by demonstrating how dairy companies can leverage the concept of Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability trends in business strategy and marketing. LOHAS covers the market for goods and services that appeal to consumers who incorporate environmental and social responsibility values into their purchase decisions.

Attendees also will learn more about new tools recently launched by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy:

  • The 2011 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Report provides an update on progress toward the industry's sustainability goals;
  • Dairy Plant Smart™ and Dairy Fleet Smart™ are online resources that provide benchmarks along with energy-saving and money-saving opportunities for processors and transportation companies; and  
  • The Fluid Milk Simulation Tool will allow dairy foods processors to evaluate the impact of alternative energy-management systems and processing technologies on their individual plants. It will be introduced by Peggy Tomasula, research leader of the Agriculture Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cheese and Whey Life Cycle Assessment

The findings of the Cheese and Whey Life Cycle Assessment, which surveyed mozzarella and cheddar cheese, will be reviewed by Gail Barnes, vice president of technology and packaging for Dairy Management Inc., and Darin Nutter, associate professor at the University of Arkansas. The top-line findings show processors seeking to reduce the environmental impact of cheese production should focus on reducing the environmental impact of milk as a key ingredient and improving energy management and wastewater treatment practices.

The data set for the assessment was compiled through surveys representing approximately 20 percent of U.S. cheese-processing capacity and more than 500 farms to ensure an accurate reflection of the domestic dairy industry.

More details, including registration and hotel information, are available here.

For more information, contact Detlefsen at

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