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Article

Evaluating Three-Pillar Sustainability Modelling Approaches for Dairy Cattle Production Systems

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Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB), 14469 Potsdam, Germany
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Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), 48940 Leioa, Spain
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Institute of Animal Science and Technology, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
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Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Environmental Engineering, University of Zielona Góra, 65-417 Zielona Góra, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Todde
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6332; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116332
Received: 26 April 2021 / Revised: 31 May 2021 / Accepted: 1 June 2021 / Published: 3 June 2021
Milk production in Europe is facing major challenges to ensure its economic, environmental, and social sustainability. It is essential that holistic concepts are developed to ensure the future sustainability of the sector and to assist farmers and stakeholders in making knowledge-based decisions. In this study, integrated sustainability assessment by means of whole-farm modelling is presented as a valuable approach for identifying factors and mechanisms that could be used to improve the three pillars (3Ps) of sustainability in the context of an increasing awareness of economic profitability, social well-being, and environmental impacts of dairy production systems (DPS). This work aims (i) to create an evaluation framework that enables quantitative analysis of the level of integration of 3P sustainability indicators in whole-farm models and (ii) to test this method. Therefore, an evaluation framework consisting of 35 indicators distributed across the 3Ps of sustainability was used to evaluate three whole-farm models. Overall, the models integrated at least 40% of the proposed indicators. Different results were obtained for each sustainability pillar by each evaluated model. Higher scores were obtained for the environmental pillar, followed by the economic and the social pillars. In conclusion, this evaluation framework was found to be an effective tool that allows potential users to choose among whole-farm models depending on their needs. Pathways for further model development that may be used to integrate the 3P sustainability assessment of DPS in a more complete and detailed way were identified. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; dairy farm; integrated; whole-farm models; evaluation sustainability; dairy farm; integrated; whole-farm models; evaluation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Díaz de Otálora, X.; del Prado, A.; Dragoni, F.; Estellés, F.; Amon, B. Evaluating Three-Pillar Sustainability Modelling Approaches for Dairy Cattle Production Systems. Sustainability 2021, 13, 6332. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116332

AMA Style

Díaz de Otálora X, del Prado A, Dragoni F, Estellés F, Amon B. Evaluating Three-Pillar Sustainability Modelling Approaches for Dairy Cattle Production Systems. Sustainability. 2021; 13(11):6332. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116332

Chicago/Turabian Style

Díaz de Otálora, Xabier, Agustín del Prado, Federico Dragoni, Fernando Estellés, and Barbara Amon. 2021. "Evaluating Three-Pillar Sustainability Modelling Approaches for Dairy Cattle Production Systems" Sustainability 13, no. 11: 6332. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116332

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