Dairy Australia worked closely with the Australian dairy industry to measure the carbon footprint of producing a number of dairy foods. This initiative was one of the first carbon footprinting projects to report the emissions of dairy farming on a country level and following the International Dairy Federation sector specific guidelines “A common carbon footprint approach for dairy” (IDF, 2010).
This major LCA study, carried out by PE INTERNATIONAL, measured the GHG emissions emitted from the production of a number of dairy products to identify the industry’s overall carbon footprint. An industry cross section of primary data has been analysed from 140 farms across Australia, the life cycle inventory data collection for this project was extensive. A key project objective was to develop a customised software platform which ensures transparency and high data quality during data collection and modelling, which is auditable and can be used by the industry and expanded in future.
This was achieved by developing a linked software platform, combining the benefits of PE’s SoFi software system including web-based data collection functionality, and the GaBi LCA software and database package.
Dairy farmers and processors in Australia have a strong track record of working to improve financial, environmental and social outcomes. They understand that sustainability and industry profitability are interdependent. The large number of sustainability initiatives the industry currently undertakes demonstrates this. Dairy Australia invests in a number of key programs and initiatives aimed at helping farmers and processors with GHG emission reduction strategies. One of these initiatives is the Life Cycle Assessment study.