Environmental sustainability is the capacity to improve the social economic and environmental well-being of human life while living within the carrying capacity of the earth’s supporting ecosystem.
In the context of dairy farming, environmental sustainability involves a dairy operation of non-renewable resources, the amount of pollution they create and the implementation of renewable energy.
Water is a major concern for farmers; its availability is not always guaranteed or the amount that is available is regulated. Therefore, it is suggested that on-farm water usage should be properly managed and its use optimized.
To mitigate its impact, a programme of recycling should be implemented. Other recommendations to decrease pollution and waste are:
- Pumping manure to fields instead of hauling by tractor or truck;
- All water run-off should be collected and be accounted for from the dairy;
- Preventative maintenance on all equipment, fans, vacuum pumps and motor for better efficiency and keeping utility high for every KWh
Methane digesters, solar panel and heat recovery are available for use in the agricultural sector. If not feasible, the following is suggested:
- Use LED lighting;
- Install the right pumps sizes (milk, vacuum, manure) as large pumps may consume more energy.