Innovation Center for US Dairy

At a Glance


Project Types

Engagement and Behavior Change, Food and Agriculture, Supply Chain, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy




Rosemont, IL


Eric Hassel provided the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy with comprehensive GHG reporting guidance to increase transparency and enhance the value of on-farm GHG measurement on reporting.


The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy supports dairy stakeholders nationwide in demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. Dairy suppliers are receiving increased pressure from the global marketplace to measure and report GHG emissions, creating an influx of GHG inventory requests from consumer-facing companies down the dairy supply chain. This creates a logistical and financial burden on dairy farmers, cooperatives, and processors. The Innovation Center commissioned EDF Climate Corps fellow Eric Hassel to develop consistent, credible and robust reporting guidance by which dairy cooperatives and processors can transparently report on-farm GHG emissions data to the CDP, an environmental performance disclosure platform.


After conducting research, Hassel engaged a variety of industry stakeholders to gather insights and ensure success of this guidance. It became clear that aligning the FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Environmental Stewardship module with the rigors of the CDP and Greenhouse Gas Protocol was the best approach. The FARM Environmental Stewardship module, provides a credible way for dairy suppliers to measure and disclose their GHG footprint through an on-farm GHG measurement and reporting platform.

To achieve such alignment, Hassel recommended pursuing the “Built on GHG Protocol” certification offered through the World Resources Institute to endorse the industry’s reporting framework and FARM ES calculation methodology. Hassel built upon the processor-specific GHG accounting guidance that last year’s Innovation Center fellow (Abigail Snyder) by adding extensive guidance targeting on-farm reporting. This guidance is based on the globally recognized GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain Accounting and Reporting Standard, and encompasses the industry’s entire supply chain GHG reporting efforts. This positions U.S. dairy to receive GHG Protocol endorsement on a thorough and complete process of GHG emissions accounting from dairy farms and cooperatives to dairy processors and food manufacturers.

Potential Impact

Recognized alignment with the CDP and GHG Protocol provides mutual benefits for dairy processors and large dairy purchasing customers. By ensuring the integrity of the FARM Environmental Stewardship module, a proliferation of conflicting customer-specific GHG assessments and tools will cease, as there will exist one streamlined, efficient and organized way for the industry to share GHG emissions information. Furthermore, this alignment allows dairy-purchasing companies to set a variety of business goals, including identifying risks and opportunities for investment, setting GHG reduction targets and enhancing stakeholder and corporate reputation. If successfully implemented, this project could establish U.S. dairy as a flagship industry for supply chain GHG management.

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