GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS OF INFANT FORMULA PRODUCTION Melissa Tinling ; Dr. Miriam Labbok ; Dr. Jason West Univer sity of Nor th Carolina at Chapel Hill A lifecycle approach OUTLINE 1. Context 2. Lifecycle methodology & calculations 3. Preliminary results INSPIRATION BACKGROUND & CONTEXT What’s climate change got to do with infant feeding? ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF FOOD GREENHOUSE GASES & FOOD Agriculture Methane (CH 4 ) Nitrous oxide (N 2 O) Land-use & forestry FAO Profile for Climate Change. 2009. ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/012/i1323e/i1323e00.pdf. IPCC Fourth Assessment Report; Figure 2.1. 2007. http://www.ipcc.ch/ GREENHOUSE GASES (GHG) & DAIRY Dairy production 2.7% of total global GHG (FAO 2010) Sources: Enteric fermentation: CH 4 Manure: CH 4, N 2O Farm activities: CO 2 Feed production: CO 2 http://epa.gov/methane/rlep/presentation/sld023.htm INFANT FORMULA IN U.S.A. Largest subset of the “baby food” sector: 179 million kg produced in 2007 Common even among breastfed infants U.S. government is largest U.S. purchaser Growing U.S. exports http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/NIS_data/ RESEARCH OBJECTIVES Quantify GHG emissions of powdered cowsmilk infant formula production & consumption in U.S.: 1. Identify stages responsible for the greatest % Organize information to assist future studies Support evidence-based advocacy LIFECYCLE ASSESSMENT METHODS & CALCULATIONS From “cradle to grave” “LIFECYCLE” CONCEPT Raw materials Ingredients Packaging Manufacturing Home use Disposal *Transportation INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS ORGANIZATION: LIFECYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA) Quantifies holistic environmental impact Separates subjective from objective Step IV requires external review No “carbon footprint” method yet 1. MODELING A LIFECYCLE MAJOR ASSUMPTIONS One “batch” of powdered formula = 4,536 kg “Meta product” powder formulation 2. CALCULATING (GHG) OUTPUTS How much GHG is produced at each stage? 1.Collect energy and/or materials used -Eg. X km driven by truck 2.Emissions factor: amount of a specific GHG emitted per unit of energy or material -Eg. Y kg CO 2 per Y km driven 3.Multiply: YkgCO 2 Xkm kgCO 2 km EXAMPLE: TRANSPORTATION EXAMPLE: FACTORY 3. CALCULATE TOTAL GHG OUTPUT 1. Sum GHG from all stages of lifecycle 2. Combine all GHG to “carbon dioxide equivalent” (CO 2 -eq): CO2eq (mCO 2 ) (mCH 4 25) (mN 2O 298) 3. Multiply GHG for batch by national production PRELIMINARY RESULTS to be continued… LARGEST CONTRIBUTORS 1. Dairy Farm 2. Consumer use 3. Manufacturing 4. Transportation CONCLUSIONS GHG emissions of formula feeding are likely to be significant, and larger than emissions associated with breastfeeding (if any) GHG emissions from infant formula may be a substantial portion of total emissions associated with infant care Lifecycle assessment (LCA) method is essential to systematically accounting for emissions from all relevant processes AREAS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH Calculate environmental LCAs or “carbon footprints ” Other environmental effects Other regions (different dairy farming) Illuminate manufacturing process. How much liquid milk to make formula? Manufacturing process? For comparison, calculate “footprint” from extra calories & water consumed during breastfeeding. “Eco-labeling” of carbon-neutral foods? QUESTIONS? [email protected] Thank you!