The dairy industry plays a vital role in sustainable, equitable and secure food systems by nourishing people, communities, and the planet.

Individually, dairy companies are balancing the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainability throughout their operations. Companies are innovating for the future – finding ways to work more efficiently, develop new technologies, review sourcing options, reduce energy consumption, conserve water and recycle production waste. 

Collectively, the U.S. dairy industry has committed significant resources to achieve ambitious environmental stewardship goals, including GHG neutrality, optimized water use, and improved water quality by 2050. The industry is investing in new technologies and regenerative practices that further reduce dairy’s environmental footprint, optimizing water, energy, and land use. We’re helping communities thrive through the more than 3 million jobs dairy supports in the U.S. and through partnerships that make dairy accessible to those who need it most…now, and tomorrow. And we are focused on product innovation that will fuel personal wellness – mind and body – with a powerful package of nutrients found in no other wholesome food source. 

See below how all participants in the dairy supply chain are working both collectively and individually to significantly lessen our impact on the environment while maintaining a thriving industry that provides essential nutrition to people around the world.

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IDFA Members' Commitments and Impact

For IDFA members, sustainability is a daily, purposeful commitment that touches all aspects of their operations and manifests in sound, responsible business practices. Here are just a handful of ways dairy businesses are taking sustainability into their own hands.

Clover Sonoma Announces First Post-Consumer Recycled Gallon Milk Jug in U.S.

Starting with 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content on its organic gallon milk line, the company commits to increasing the PCR content and extending PCR content across all gallon milk plastic jugs by 2025.

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General Mills Releases 2022 Global Responsibility Report

General Mills recently released its 2022 Global Responsibility Report, highlighting progress made against environmental and social commitments in the 2021 fiscal year. The company touts that eighty-nine percent of their packaging is recyclable or reusable by weight and other commitments related to climate change, ingredient sourcing and water stewardship.

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Tillamook Announces New Packaging, Sustainability Goals

Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) announced new packaging goals aimed at sustainability that include: 

  • Avoid additional and unnecessary packaging while prioritizing the uncompromising quality of its products and the reduction of food waste 
  • Commit 100% of its packaging solutions to being recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2030 
  • Increase recycled content to 20% (on average) in its plastic packaging by 2025 and eliminate use of all virgin plastic by 2035 
  • Source all virgin paper packaging from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified materials and use 50% or more recycled fiber by 2025 
  • Educate consumers on actionable ways to reduce food waste and properly dispose, recycle, or re-use Tillamook packages 

Read more.

Aurora Organic Dairy Achieves Carbon Neutral Goals in 2020

In 2020, Aurora Organic Dairy achieved its goal of 100% carbon-neutral energy across company-owned farms and processing plants, headquarters office, and all raw milk transportation to our plants. This milestone, and other goals around animals, people and planet are tracked on their website at, and in their sustainability reports.

Darigold: 6 Feed Additives That Can Reduce Cows’ Methane Emissions

Several ingredients currently being tested as dietary supplements for livestock show potential for reducing methane emissions.

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Sustainability Through The Dairy Supply Chain

U.S. Dairy's Commitments and Impact

The dairy community is working together to conserve natural resources and lower our industry's environmental footprint. Through the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, the dairy community has set aggressive new environmental stewardship goals to advance dairy’s role in building a sustainable future.

Our 2050 goals support a vision that dairy is an environmental solution, addressing the areas where U.S. dairy collectively can have the greatest impact. 

Specifically, the goals are: 

Net Zero Initiative

The Net Zero Initiative (NZI) is an industry-wide, on-farm effort that will play a key role in helping U.S. dairy continue to make progress toward these goals. Through foundational research, on-farm pilots and development of new product markets, NZI is breaking down barriers to make technology and best practices more accessible and affordable to farms of all sizes and geographies – recognizing there is no one-size-fits-all solution. NZI has four key areas of focus, including feed production, manure handling and nutrient management, cow care and efficiency, and on-farm energy efficiency and renewable energy use.

U.S. dairy is on a journey and remains committed to ongoing progress, to leaving a positive environmental footprint and to doing its part to nourish the planet for future generations.

Read more about NZI

IDFA's Position & Resources

Sustainability begins with caring for the dairy herds that produce our milk and extends throughout the supply chain to ensure responsible sourcing from suppliers who share these same principles, including accountable stewardship of our land, air and water resources, as well as prioritizing health and safety in production areas and the wellbeing of our workforce, and complementing our workforce with best-in-class technology that minimizes an end product’s environmental footprint while delivering safe, affordable, nutritious dairy foods to millions of consumers around the world.

IDFA helps companies identify gaps and find smart solutions that will lead the entire dairy supply chain toward higher levels of sustainability.

To view IDFA Sustainability Resources below, please make sure you are logged in to your IDFA Member Portal at the top right of your screen.

Resources for Dairy Companies

SEC Climate Disclosure Rule

IDFA is pleased to make information, resources, and experts available to IDFA members to help them unde...


Sustainability Resource Guide for U.S. Dairy Processors

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has developed the Sustainability Resource Guide for U.S. Dairy Pro...


Sustainable Packaging: State Legislative Update

In this webinar, IDFA will update members on newly enacted statutes in Maine, Oregon and Washington and...


IDFA Submits Comments to UN High-Level Expert Group

IDFA submitted comments to the UN High-Level Expert Group on the Net-Zero Commitments of Non-State Ent...


SEC Climate Disclosure Rule

The SEC has proposed sweeping new rules to enhance public company disclosures related to the risks and impact of climate change. New disclosures will be required for all public companies and include certain climate-related financial metrics in the audited financial statements. They will also be required to disclose information about carbon emissions, which would be subject to a phased-in assurance requirement.

On June 14, 2022, IDFA submitted comments to the SEC urging them to avoid making the rule overly burdensome on food and agriculture or a barrier to entry for smaller dairy processors. View the comments here.

IDFA is pleased to make information, resources, and experts available to IDFA members to help them understand this new proposed rule and environmental profit and loss accounting. Find the resources here.

IDFA Contact & Content Submissions

For more information, contact Andrew Jerome, IDFA Director, External and Member Communications, at or Danielle Quist, IDFA Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Counsel, at IDFA members can submit sustainability commitments, reports and media for the Sustainability Recognition Platform here.

Danielle Quist

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Counsel

Mike Aquino

Director, ESG