Carbon Footprint Tool for Milk

We developed a tool, which can be used for calculation of carbon footprint of milk both at farm level and at national level. The tool is used by Danish dairy farmers and to review selected historical national productions.

The client

Arlafoods – Multinational


Our role

The tool was developed for ARLA foods, the largest producer of dairy products in Scandinavia, by 2.-0 LCA consultants. The tool is being used at Danish dairy farms and aims at reducing the climate footprint of the involved farms. Project completed May 2016.

Greenhouse gas tool for dairy farmers

Arla Foods wanted to estimate and track the development in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission per kg raw milk – both at farm level, national level as well as corporate level, which include emissions in several countries.  We developed a tool, which can be used for calculation of carbon footprint of milk both at a farm level and at a national and corporate level. The tool is used by Danish dairy farmers and we also calculated the national carbon footprint of Danish and Swedish milk produced in 2005, and Danish, Swedish, German and British milk produced in 1990.

All results and interpretations for the carbon footprints of Danish and Swedish milk are presented in Schmidt and Dalgaard (2012a). Further, the used terms, definitions and methodological framework is also described in Schmidt and Dalgaard (2012b). The national carbon footprint of milk ‐ Life cycle assessment of British and German milk (1990) at farm gate is presented in de Rosa M, Dalgaard R and Schmidt J H (2913). The Life cycle assessment of milk ‐ National baselines for Germany, Denmark, Sweden and United Kingdom 1990 and 2012 are presented in Dalgaard R, Schmidt J H and Cenian K (2016).

The model includes switches that enables for, within the same scope, transforming the results to comply with 1) consequential LCA, 2) allocation/average modelling (or ‘attributional LCA’), 3) PAS 2050 and 4) The International Dairy Federations (IDF) guide to standard life cycle assessment methodology for the dairy sector. In Dalgaard, Schmidt and Flysjö (2014) the model is explained in detail.Dairy_cow