Next Article in Journal
Implementing Sustainably Managed Fisheries Using Ecological Risk Assessment and Bowtie Analysis
Previous Article in Journal
Export Diversification and Ecological Footprint: A Comparative Study on EKC Theory among Korea, Japan, and China
Previous Article in Special Issue
Applying Data Mining to China’s Swine Farming Industry: A Compromise Perspective of Economic, Environmental and Overall Performances
Article Menu
Issue 10 (October) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3658; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103658

Carbon Footprint of Milk from Pasture-Based Dairy Farms in Azores, Portugal

1
MARETEC—Marine, Environment and Technology Centre, LARSyS, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
2
Terraprima—Serviços Ambientais, Sociedade Unipessoal, Lda., 2135-199 Samora Correia, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 12 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livestock Production and Industrial Ecology)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1071 KB, uploaded 12 October 2018]   |  

Abstract

The dairy sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Pasture-based dairy production is sometimes credited as environmentally friendlier but is less studied than more intensive production systems. Here we characterize and calculate the carbon footprint (CF), using life cycle assessment, of the “Vacas Felizes” pasture-based milk production system, in the Azores archipelago. Impacts were determined for multiple functional units: mass, energy and nutritional content, farm, area and animal. We performed multivariate analysis to assess the contribution of production parameters to the CF. Finally, we performed a literature review to compare these results with other production systems. Results show that emissions from enteric fermentation, concentrated feed production and (organic and mineral) fertilizer application are the three main sources of impact. Milk yield is a key production feature for the determination of emissions. The average CF is 0.83 kg CO2/kg raw milk. At each milk yield level, the farms are approximately homogeneous. Compared with other studies, “Vacas Felizes” milk has a lower CF than 80 (out of 84) published CFs and on average it is approximately 32% lower. View Full-Text
Keywords: milk production; global warming potential; greenhouse gases; life cycle assessment; dairy; grazing; sustainable food production; industrial ecology milk production; global warming potential; greenhouse gases; life cycle assessment; dairy; grazing; sustainable food production; industrial ecology
Figures

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Morais, T.G.; Teixeira, R.F.M.; Rodrigues, N.R.; Domingos, T. Carbon Footprint of Milk from Pasture-Based Dairy Farms in Azores, Portugal. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3658.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top