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Data from: Greenhouse gas emissions from milk production and consumption in the United States: A cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment circa 2008

This carbon footprint study for fluid milk was commissioned in order to identify where the industry can innovate to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the supply chain.

To proactively meet the needs of the marketplace, the U.S. dairy industry is working together to further improve environmental performance in a way that makes good business sense for the entire supply chain. In January 2009, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy -- which represents approximately 80% of the dairy industry -- endorsed a voluntary goal to reduce GHG emissions of fluid milk by 25% by 2020. Based on a preliminary assessment of GHG emissions, a portfolio of ten mitigation projects across the supply chain were launched in 2009.

At the same time, the industry commissioned a greenhouse gas life cycle assessment, or carbon footprint study, for fluid milk in order to identify where the industry can innovate to reduce GHG emissions across the supply chain to achieve the greatest gains. The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy selected the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas to conduct the first U.S. national-level fluid milk carbon footprint study, and Michigan Technological University was chosen to assist. The study provides a benchmark to measure the industry’s progress toward achieving its voluntary reduction goal. The data will serve as the foundation for the creation of best practices and decision-support tools for producers, processors and others throughout the dairy supply chain. The data are being released through the USDA -National Agricultural Library's Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Digital Commons to provide transparency in the project and allow LCA practitioners working in the dairy industry access to the data to use and build upon.

This study was limited to GHG emissions in order to estimate a carbon footprint for U.S. dairy operations (fluid milk). The study follows International Organization for Standardization (ISO) protocols to provide credibility, transparency and objectivity of the methods, data, and results. Part of the ISO compliance is an external review by a panel of LCA and agricultural experts. Their full review is included as an appendix to the main report, which is included in the link below. Fully ISO-compliant life cycle assessments are required to include additional environmental impact areas such as water quality, air quality, and/or human health, for example; interpretation of the results presented in this document, and more importantly, actions taken in response to the reported results should be used with caution because GHG emissions represent only a single dimension of the environmental impacts of fluid milk production. The Innovation Center is commissioning further studies to expand this work to include other environmental impact categories.

Similarly, the unit processes in the database released here were developed specifically to measure the GHG emissions of fluid milk produced in the United States. Practitioners should use caution if using the upstream processes, developed here, outside the context of U.S. fluid milk production. The upstream processes developed in this project were developed for a specific purpose and were developed using industry specific information. The data may not be applicable outside of the context of this project. The National Agricultural Library and the University of Arkansas are currently collaborating to release the new product flows that stand alone developed through this project individually in the LCA Digital Commons. The complete project data are available at the links below.

Dataset Info

These fields are compatible with DCAT, an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web.
FieldValue
Authors
Thoma, Greg
Popp, Jennie
Nutter, Darin
Shonnard, David R.
Ulrich, Richard
Matlock, Marty
Kim, Daesoo
Neiderman, Zara
Kemper, Nathan
East, Cashion
Adom, Felix
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
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Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
United States and subregions
Temporal Coverage
2008
Frequency
Irregularly
Publisher
International Dairy Journal
Contact Name
Thoma, Greg
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Public
Primary Article

Thoma, G., Popp, J., Nutter, D., Shonnard, D., Ulrich, R., Matlock, M., ... & Adom, F. (2013). Greenhouse gas emissions from milk production and consumption in the United States: A cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment circa 2008. International Dairy Journal, 31, S3-S14.

License
Dataset DOI (digital object identifier)
10.15482/USDA.ADC/1212261
Modified Date
2017-08-28
Release Date
2015-04-21
Ag Data Commons Keywords: 
  • Agricultural Products
  • Animals
  • Agricultural Products
  • Animals
  • Dairy
  • Animals & Livestock
  • Animals & Livestock
  • Life Cycle Assessment
State or Territory: 
National Agricultural Library Thesaurus Term: 
User-supplied Tags: 
ISO Topic(s):