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.
Organic Agriculture, 2015, Vol 5, Issue 2, p. 91-100