Sustainability In The Dairy Industry: A Sustainable Approach to Dairy Manufacturing
Improving sustainability in the Dairy industry has been a hot topic recently. In Ireland, dairy production plays an important role in the wider economy, with over 18,000 dairy farmers milking 1.55 million dairy cows. Although every dairy manufacturer operates in unique and different ways, there are common steps that can be taken towards a more sustainable approach to dairy manufacturing.
Why should manufacturers be concerned about sustainability in the Dairy industry?
To answer this question, it is essential to understand and have a clear picture of sustainability in the Dairy industry context. Dairy manufacturers and supply chains are constantly practising continuous improvement to provide nutritious, high-quality and affordable dairy products. In this context, sustainability is to pursue ways of making farms, manufacturing plants, people, and the earth more economically, socially, and environmentally better for a growing population.
While the Dairy sector contributes to a nutritious diet, it also has an impact on energy, climate change, soil fertility, biodiversity, and animal welfare. In Ireland, the sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, comprising around 34% of the national emissions, which underpins the call for sustainability in the Dairy industry. This number is also a result of the fact that Ireland is a major exporter of agricultural products derived from ruminant animals.
The environmental impacts of dairy
Milk production has a diverse range of environmental implications, the extent of which is determined by the practices of dairy producers, feed growers, and dairy manufacturers. More than a commercial advantage, sustainable manufacturing processes are critical to dairy production facilities, a market in which green credentials go a long way. To help you understand the role of the dairy manufacturing sector in sustainability, we have made a list of the main areas where manufacturers can improve their approach to more sustainable processes.
3 areas manufacturers can improve sustainability in the Dairy industry
1. Energy Efficiency
Issue: Dairy factories can be energy intensive.
How to promote sustainability in the Dairy Industry: Reducing energy usage by scheduling production and improving manufacturing processes. This ensures that the equipment work as efficiently as possible while reducing waste. Effective ways of reducing energy consumption are to monitor usage and to schedule production so that the equipment function as effectively as possible while constantly making improvements to manufacturing processes.
2. Use of paper
Issue: Use of great amounts of paper for process and product traceability records.
How to promote sustainability in the Dairy Industry: Implementing paperless process traceability reduces manual inputs and eliminates paper records. Digitising and automating processes and product traceability is an effective way of advocating sustainability.
3. Product waste
Issue: Process drift can result in an increase in product waste or product downgrade.
How to promote sustainability in the Dairy Industry: With access to critical plant data in real-time, which allows you to eliminate or reduce process drift to acceptable levels. Having access to critical data is a way to ensure that the equipment will be rapidly adjusted to correct the error and stop the deviation and bring the product back to specification, meeting compliance.
Ensuring sustainability in the Dairy industry
Being sustainable in the Dairy industry involves responsible and efficient manufacturing processes, complete transparency, and the correct management of production. At SoftTrace, we have worked globally with dairy multinationals for over twenty years, assisting them in improving their sustainability through waste reduction and process optimisation in real-time. Managing data across multiple manufacturing and processing sites is crucial to provide transparency and accurate reports that allow our users to adopt and measure the results of new sustainable practices.
Our team of experts in the dairy industry can help you identify which solution is best for your plant, meeting specific requirements. Get in touch with us today.
If you want to learn more about our solution and how it has improved our clients’ processes, check out our Case Studies.