The overall goal of this research is to provide the Aurora leadership team a framework and tools to measure and improve its sustainability performance. To provide the leadership team with a roadmap and decision support tool this project has been organized with the following specific objectives. Phase 1 covers objectives 1.1 and 1.2 and Phase 2 which is expected to be launched at the end of 2008 will address objective 2.1.
1.1 Develop an energy and carbon footprint for the milk life cycle system (from growing the feed to distributing the packaged milk products)
a. The footprint will highlight processes that contribute the greatest impacts
b. The total energy consumption and carbon emissions will provide a benchmark for improvement.
c. This benchmark can also be used to compare performance with other dairy systems (conventional, organic, small versus large scale, etc.).
1.2 Identify and Evaluate Strategies for Improvement
a. Target processes with the greatest impacts and compile improvement options
b. Conduct preliminary screening of options based on energy/carbon benefits and financial indicators
c. Conduct a more detailed assessment of a prioritized set of strategies
2.1 Develop a set of economic, environmental and social life cycle based sustainability indicators to assess the overall sustainability performance of Aurora Organic Dairy
a. Review existing indicators tracked by Aurora
b. Fill in potential gaps with new indicators
c. Demonstrate how indicators can be used to assess sustainability performance and for strategic planning activities
- Charting the Course for Sustainability at Aurora Organic Dairy - Phase 1: Energy & Greenhouse Gas Life Cycle Assessment
- Charting the Course for Sustainability at Aurora Organic Dairy – Phase 2: Energy, Greenhouse Gas, Nutrient Use, Water Use and Solid Waste Generation Life Cycle Assessment.
- Exploring a Water/Energy Trade-off in Regional Sourcing of Livestock Feed Crops
- Life Cycle Energy and Greenhouse Gas Analysis of a Large-Scale Vertically Integrated Organic Dairy in the United States
- Life-Cycle Energy and Greenhouse Gas Analysis of a Large-Scale Vertically Integrated Organic Dairy in the U.S. [proceedings]
- Life-cycle Water Use, Nutrient Cycling and Solid Waste Generation of a Large-Scale Organic Dairy
- Resource Management Implications of a Large-scale Organic Dairy in the U.S.: A Life-Cycle Perspective