Life Cycle Assessment as an evaluation tool- A critical review on carbon footprint in dairy sector

Carbon footprint of milk


  • Gokul Tamilselvan ICAR - National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, India
  • Nitin Tyagi ICAR - National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, India



Carbon footprint, Life cycle assessment, Fat and protein corrected milk, Global warming potential, Greenhouse gases, Carbon dioxide equivalents


Global warming, a pressing issue affecting countries worldwide, is primarily driven by greenhouse gases emission from various sources including natural disasters and human activities, including industrial processes, agriculture, livestock farming, and the use of fossil fuels. This review specifically addresses the carbon emissions related with dairy farming for milk. While there are several methods available for assessing the dairy carbon footprint, this review concentrates on the widely accepted Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method recommended mainly by Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change. LCA is favoured globally for its comprehensive coverage of the entire product life cycle. The review delves into the application of the LCA method at the farm level, detailing the stages involved in the life cycle assessment. It also provides an in- depth discussion on carbon footprint up to the farm gate level and extends its analysis to encompass the carbon footprint beyond the farm gate for milk production. A significant portion of the review is dedicated in order to elucidate the carbon footprint of dairy cattle and buffalo farming in various countries, drawing insights from diverse research studies worldwide. The focus is primarily on large ruminants, considering that a substantial portion of enteric methane emissions arises from cattle and buffaloes. The review meticulously presents total carbon footprint values for milk production, derived from the cumulative emissions associated with diverse activities involved in the production of milk. This comprehensive examination leads to understanding of the environmental impact of dairy farming and underscores the need for sustainable practices to mitigate the carbon footprint related with milk production globally.


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How to Cite

Tamilselvan, G., & Tyagi, N. (2024). Life Cycle Assessment as an evaluation tool- A critical review on carbon footprint in dairy sector: Carbon footprint of milk. Letters In Animal Biology, 4(1), 10–16.



Review Articles
Recieved 2023-12-13
Accepted 2024-01-04
Published 2024-01-08