IDF launches common carbon footprint methodology for global dairy sector

18 November 2010

Every sector is being challenged to quantify and reduce their carbon footprints, or emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Businesses in agriculture and food production are no exception. As part of the dairy sector’s action agenda on climate change, the IDF has now published ‘A Common Carbon Footprint Approach for Dairy – The IDF Guide to Standard Lifecycle Assessment Methodology for the Dairy Sector’.

http://This new methodology, based on the best available science and current international standards, will allow stakeholders in the dairy sector worldwide to produce consistent and comparable data on their carbon footprint. Enabling effective management and reduction of GHG emissions within the sector.

Collaboration with the FAO and SAI
The Guide has been developed under the leadership of the IDF Standing Committee on Environment (SCENV) in close collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform).

Sophie Bertrand led the IDF Action Team that developed the Guidelines. “The development process was very reassuring involving both scientists and practitioners from many key organizations,” says Sophie. “There is an impressive quantity of work behind the Guide. We had over a year of exchange, of writing articles, of phone calls. This makes the Guide really robust. Everybody involved was really collaborative and very motivated.”

Impact on dairy industry
Commenting on the new Guide, Richard Doyle, IDF President says: “The publication by IDF of a new Life Cycle Analysis methodology for dairy products will, I hope, impact on everyone in the dairy industry and every dairy company around the world.”

“IDF has been active in putting environmental issues at the top of its prioities.
In 2008, we developed a strategic plan focusing on the environment and identified the need to undertake further work in this specific area. These achievements are concrete outcomes of that decision,” Doyle continues. “This is a major effort that will continue for many years to come, and I encourage everyone in the industry to adopt and use the new Guide.”

Supporting website
To support and promote the new Guide, the IDF has launched a new website: The Guide can be downloaded from this site, which also details its purpose and genesis. The website presents interviews with dairy-sector stakeholders on the importance of the Guide to their operations.

Support for users of the Guide will be available via the site, including a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). As experience of using the Guide increases around the world, the website will grow to act as a resource for best practice on its application, including case studies and other practical advice.