U.K. dairy industry improves energy efficiency and cuts water consumption

Dec. 30, 2015

For example, processors have recorded a 16 percent improvement in overall energy efficiency, exceeding the original target of 15 percent.

Dairy processors in the United Kingdom have made significant gains in energy efficiency since the industry published its first Dairy Roadmap in 2008.

Dairy U.K., the trade association for the British dairy supply chain, said that dairy processors, farmers and retailers across the country have made some key achievements.

For example, processors have recorded a 16 percent improvement in overall energy efficiency, exceeding the original target of 15 percent. At the same time they have achieved a 15 percent reduction in relative water consumption.

More than three quarters (77 percent) of dairy holdings in the U.K. are now implementing nutrient management plans, and 78 percent of dairy farmers are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on their farm. Farmers are also tacking water use: 78 percent have implemented water efficiency methods, going beyond the target of 70 percent.

The report highlighted growing use of responsibly sourced wood fiber in the industry, with 74 percent of liquid cartons in the dairy category now carrying the Forest Stewardship Council label.

Waste management has also improved considerably over the past seven years: dairy processors are now sending only 4 percent of factory waste to landfill, down from 32 percent in 2008. Dairy U.K. said that this was thanks to improved segregation of mixed waste and employee engagement activities, as well as greater use of energy from waste incineration and anaerobic digestion technology.

The Dairy Roadmap initiative aims to unite the supply chain in working toward monitored environmental and sustainability targets. In addition to charting the progress made so far, the 2015 report  sets new targets for 2025.

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