The three day gathering of the world dairy industry on 8-11 November will include a conference on the final day dedicated to environmental issues.
The International Dairy Federation (IDF) said the conference will present updates on the latest research covering climate change, carbon footprinting, water footprinting and reuse/recycling.
Kicking off the conference will be a talk from Prof. Martin Manning, director of the Climate Change Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington.
He will give an update on the current state of climate science from a UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) perspective. The climate scientist will also discuss the direction that the dairy sector needs to take on the environment.
“To be sustainable, this sector needs to become adapted in ways that are consistent with the increasing pressures on our environment and threats to its stability,” said Manning. “Two key factors for this are the need for better approaches to water management and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Later presentations will go into more detail about action that can be taken to better manage water usage and carbon emissions. For example, Dr Sven Lundie of PE International will explain how to approach water accounting and calculate water footprints.
“The dairy sector needs to improve with respect to water usage,” said Lundie. He explained that before improvement strategies are pursued, sound measuring and monitoring is required.
The scientist added: “Like carbon footprint methodology, there is a need for a consistent global approach that is in line with international standards. In many ways, water usage is potentially more important than carbon emissions, as water – or lack of it – can have a direct and immediate impact on peoples’ lives.”
Other talks outside the dedicated environmental conference will tackle the subject of sustainability. The IDF said it will by a key element of all sessions at the summit.