Environmental Sustainability Report


The DMSC Company Members are pleased to present the 2016/17 Dairy Manufacturing Environmental Sustainability Scorecard to demonstrate their commitment to reducing the environmental impacts of dairy processing. 

This report highlights that over the last six years, through concerted industry effort, DMSC member companies have achieved significant reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity and waste sent to landfill, while reducing water intensity continues to present challenges. The 2016/17 DMSC scorecard also includes performance data on wastewater, waste diversion and energy intensity for the second time.

2016-17 was a particularly volatile year for the industry. More than 10% of farmers changed the processor they supply milk to and annual milk production dropped to 9.015 ML – a decrease of 5.5% across the year nationally, marking the lowest production in 21 years. Some regions such as northern Victoria were more heavily impacted. As a consequence of the reduced milk supply, a number of factories would have been operating significantly below capacity and, in doing so, using resources far less efficiently.

In 2010/11, our members reported a GHG intensity of 178.7 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per megalitre of milk processed (t CO2 -e/ML). DMSC’s 2016/17 reporting shows we have reduced this number to 159.6 tonnes — a 10.7% reduction over five years but a 14.0% increase compared to 2015/16. 

DMSC members have also collectively reduced waste per megalitre of milk processed from 2.69 tonnes in 2010/11 to 1.32 tonnes in 2016/17. This represents a reduction of 50.8% in waste intensity over six years. As some components of dairy processing waste are organic and breakdown further in landfill to methane and carbon dioxide, reducing landfill rates also reduces GHG emissions. 

In 2016–2017 DMSC members consumed an estimated 1.85 megalitres (ML) of water for every megalitre of milk processed. This figure represents an increase of 13.6% in the intensity of water consumption from the previous year and an overall increase of 5.7% on the baseline year of 2010–2011. Reducing consumptive water intensity in the context of also prioritizing food safety and product quality continues to be a challenge for the industry and one which DMSC members are continuing to focus on.

These outcomes by DMSC member companies in working to minimise the environmental impact of the dairy industry demonstrate our status as sustainability leaders and reflect the collective environmental performance of the DMSC-member companies towards achieving manufacturing-based targets set out within the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework