Dairy Industry Discusses Carbon-Cutting Options

Dairy Industry Discusses Carbon-Cutting Options

The dairy industry has committed to cutting its greenhouse gases and has decided on a number of ideas to test.

This month, more than 250 leaders attended the first-ever Sustainability Summit for U.S. Dairy, a gathering of producers, processors, non-governmental organizations, university researchers and government agencies.

Attendees decided on a number of recommended actions to both reduce the impact of milk and to increase value for the dairy industry.

The industry plans to explore: milk processing technologies that use less energy, a carbon credit trading system that optimizes returns for reductions, using best practices and energy-calculating tools to reduce emissions and energy use, expanding the use of methane digesters to create energy, reducing the cost and emissions from cooling and refrigeration, and creating low-cost and low-carbon packaging.

"It makes economic sense to find ways to conserve energy and reduce production costs, while recognizing that a growing number of consumers care deeply about the health and environmental impact of the products they buy." said National Milk Producers Federation CEO Jerry Kozak.

The ideas will be refined and prototype projects will be developed to determine their viability. The initiative is being led by the nonprofit Dairy Management, Inc., the International Dairy Foods Association, which represents processors and manufacturers, and the National Milk Producers Federation, which represents dairy cooperatives.