Family walking side by side

Climate

International scientific consensus links climate change with greenhouse gas emissions and the dairy industry has a responsibility to reduce its emissions in both the farm and manufacturing sectors.


Climate change is a key sustainability risk for dairy. Australia is already the world's driest inhabited continent with the most variable climate. Modelling suggests that climate change will increase the frequency of extreme weather events and also change climate zones across dairy regions. Impacts including water scarcity will affect milk supply and the viability of the industry in some regions.

Learn more about climate change and dairy in this video.

 


Our climate commitment


The Australian dairy industry has committed to reducing greenhouse emissions intensity by 30% by 2030.

Dairy businesses are already taking action against climate change, including on farm. The infographic below demonstrates some of the transformations that dairy farmers can implement on their farm now to address climate change.


Sustainable development goals


Through it's Sustainability Framework, the Australian dairy industry has set goals and targets aligned to four commitment areas including reducing its environmental impact, providing best care for all its animals, improving the health and nutrition of people and enhancing the welfare of all its workers. The commitments in the Framework align with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for ending hunger, promoting good health and wellbeing, taking action on climate change and providing decent work and economic growth.

The contribution of the dairy industry globally to the SDGs is recognised in the 2016 Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam, a joint declaration of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Dairy Federation (IDF). It is estimated that one billion people rely on the dairy sector to support their livelihoods and sustain their communities in all corners of the world.

Sustainable Development Goal 13 about climate action focuses on the need for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Learn more about Goal 13 of the SDGs here.


Case studies


Dairy SmartFarm strives for world first
Professor Joe Jacobs from Australia’s leading dairy innovation facility Ellinbank, speaks about their goal to become the world’s first carbon-neutral dairy farm by 2026. Dairy farmers across the country also share how they’re reducing emissions on-farm in this latest video.

 

Solar energy at scale
Beston Global Foods have embraced solar in what's been described as a trailblazing renewable energy move. Read their story here.

Striving to be carbon neutral
Dairy farmers Sandra Jefford and Wilco Droppert are making changes for a better future. Learn about the steps they're taking to become carbon neutral in this video.

 


Articles


Ahead of the curd: how the dairy industry is tackling climate change - The Guardian

Should I eat more or less dairy if I want a low emission diet?  - CSIRO 


Dairy Australia initiatives


Dairy Australia is committed to playing its part in ensuring a healthy climate through a new Climate Change Strategy, to be released in late 2020.

Dairy Australia and the wider industry will work on-farm, in manufacturing and in distribution to find and enable smart, sustainable and cost-effective solutions to meet dairy farmer's adaptation challenges as well as industry targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Stay tuned.


Sustainability across the Australian dairy industry


Read the latest Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Report to see how we're making progress against all our goals and targets.