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Carbon footprints of organic dairying in six European countries—real farm data analysis

Hietala, Sanna Maria; Smith, Laurence; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Kurpa, Sirpa; Padel, Susanne and Hermansen, John E. (2015) Carbon footprints of organic dairying in six European countries—real farm data analysis. Organic Agriculture, 5 (2), pp. 91-100.

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Document available online at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13165-014-0084-0#


Dairy farming is the largest agricultural contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. In this study, the carbon footprint of organic dairying was evaluated by means of a life cycle assessment, based on real farm data from six European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy and United Kingdom.
A total of 34 farms were analysed. The assessment was carried out using an attributional approach with system boundaries from cradle to farm gate. In relation to dairy production, a functional unit of 1 kg of energy corrected milk was used. The results gave an average of 1.32 kg CO2 equivalents per kilogramme of energy-corrected milk with standard deviation of 0.22, which is consistent with recent studies. The main contributor to this is enteric fermentation from producing animals, resulting in 45%of total GHG emissions,which is also consistent with previous studies.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Organicmilk; Dairy,Carbon footprint, GHG, LCA
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Research affiliation: European Union > SOLID
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > Faculty of Science and Technology > Department of Agroecology
Finland > Luke Natural Resources Institute
UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC)
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:266367
DOI:DOI 10.1007/s13165-014-0084-0
Deposited By: Padel, Dr Susanne
ID Code:28882
Deposited On:31 May 2015 14:02
Last Modified:31 May 2015 14:02
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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