Innovation Center for US Dairy
At a Glance
Food and Agriculture, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
Abigail Snyder helped the U.S. Innovation Center for Dairy and International Dairy Foods Association develop measurement and reporting guidance for science-based GHG and energy intensity metrics across the dairy processing industry.
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy was established under the leadership of America’s dairy farmers through Dairy Management Inc.™, the nonprofit organization that represents the nation’s 43,000 dairy farming families. The Innovation Center provides a forum for dairy companies to work pre-competitively to address barriers to and opportunities for innovation and sales growth, and to promote the health of people, communities, the planet and the industry. Innovation Center resources include the Stewardship and Sustainability Framework for U.S. Dairy (Framework) that provides dairy farm and processor-focused metrics to track, measure, and communicate industry progress and commitments to stakeholders. The Processor Handbook, co-developed by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and leading dairy processors, helps processors assess sustainability practices against Framework metrics. Looking to further develop the handbook, EDF Climate Corps fellow Abigail Snyder was hired to develop measurement and reporting guidance for science-based greenhouse gas and energy intensity metrics.
After collecting data and gathering insights from a wide variety of dairy processing companies and cooperatives, Snyder identified inconsistency in the methodologies used to account for GHG emissions across the dairy processing industry. Consistent and credible GHG emission accounting is essential to meet customer reporting expectations and inform impactful reduction strategies. To achieve this, Snyder recommended that industry-specific GHG accounting guidance, modeled after the internationally recognized GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, be included in the Handbook.
Developing a GHG emission accounting standard has the potential to advance consistent, accurate and transparent measurement across the dairy processing industry. This will ensure an accurate assessment of the progress made toward both company and industry-wide GHG reduction goals, advance impactful and quantifiable GHG emission reduction projects and further establish the industry’s leadership role in sustainable food system management.