Bulletin of the IDF n° 398/2005 Guide on Life Cycle Assessment towards Sustainability in the Dairy Chainback
Life cycle analysis (LCA) is a method of environmental analysis that assesses the impact a dairy product has on the environment. The impact comes not only from producing milk, the raw material, but also from the process used in making the product, the packaging, the transport, refrigeration, and any waste.
This Guide, jointly prepared by IDF and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2005, introduces and defines the concepts involved in life cycle analysis and life cycle assessment in the dairy context and their relevance to sustainable development. It describes a methodology for life cycle assessment applied to the dairy chain and illustrates it with the results of LCA on packaging Systems, on dairy farming Systems and on milk products.
It presents the environmental impacts of energy consumption and the effect of the Kyoto Agreement on the dairy industry, together with a series of case studies on the use of LCA in the dairy industry in Australia, France, North America and Scandinavia. It also reports on discussions regarding the future of LCA as a tool to promote sustainability in the dairy industry.