Greenhouse gas sources at dairy production process
Roughly, in a typical dairy industry GHG emissions result from – (1) Animal farming/Livestock management at farms, (2) Consumption of fossil fuels in transportation and other purposes, (3) Consumption of electricity, (4) Use of chemicals at various processes that released GHGs, (5) Refrigerant loss from the cooling systems, (5) Wastes disposal and management that produce GHG emissions. The following schematic shows the process of dairy production;
During milk production at animal farms, GHG emission occurs through various agricultural processes such as growing of feed-stock for cattle involved uses of various fertilizers (Nitrogen based fertilizers, etc) that releases GHGs, various farming processes use fuel and electricity, transportation. All these activities contribute in GHG emissions. In addition, enteric fermentation by the livestock also contributes to the net GHG emissions.
At the processing end, emission mostly occurs during steam production in boilers (fossil fuels consumption by boilers such as use of furnace oil, diesel, natural gas, etc), electricity consumption by production equipments, cooling system and lightings. In addition, dairy industry also has a huge chillers/cooling system. Such system uses HFC (R-134a, R-22, etc gases) based refrigerants that have a higher global warming potential.
What should dairy company do to measure their carbon emissions?
Carbon footprint is a more recent term linked with global warming and climate change. Carbon footprint refers to the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with an organization, product or service. Several standards serve as guidelines on how to perform a carbon footprint of organization, product or services.
ISO 14064 and GHG protocol are key standards which describe how the carbon footprint can be quantified at organization level. Companies can also go for product carbon footprint by using PAS 2050. It specifies certain technical requirements with regards to the carbon footprint measurement of the product. However, under ISO 14064 based GHG quantification and management; the company will be able to measure, monitor, track, reduce, and communicate the carbon footprint as a result of its operations.
What benefits Dairy Company can draw from GHG management system?
ISO 14064 provides industry with a set of tools to develop programs aimed at reducing GHG emissions. A number of companies in India and abroad are measuring and managing their carbon profile and disclosing the same to stakeholders including government agencies, regulatory bodies, investors, etc. through annual reports, sustainability reports and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). They have benefited in number of ways from carbon profiling and management. Following are the key drivers and relevant benefits of GHG management at Dairy industry;
Investors are also seeking information on an organizations’ effort towards carbon emission accounting, reduction and reporting through Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reporting. Quantification of organizational level GHG inventory of the company according to ISO 14064-I will help to meet current and future regulatory requirements and stakeholder’s (e.g. investor) expectations.
Image credit: Holstein Friesian Cow
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