Charting the Course for Sustainability at Aurora Organic Dairy: Phase 1 Energy & Carbon Footprint Analysis (2009)

Client Organization: 
Aurora Organic Dairy
Project Location : 
Boulder, CO
Summary of Project Idea: 

The overall objective of this project, as a sequence of two Master's Projects, is to provide the Aurora leadership team with a framework and the tools necessary to measure and improve their own sustainability performance.  This project, as the first of two phases, will focus on two main goals.  The first goal is to develop an energy and carbon footprint for the milk life cycle system (from growing the feed to distributing the packaged milk products).  This footprint will be used to highlight the greatest contributors, benchmark improvements in the future, and as a comparison with other dairy systems.  The second goal is to evaluate and identify strategies for improvement.  The processes with the greatest impacts will be targeted and a list of improvement options compiled.  These options will then be screened based on environmental and financial factors, and more detailed assessments of a prioritized set of strategies will be completed.

Skills/Expertise Needed: 

Students with analytical skills who are possibly interested in financial analysis of alternative solutions to reduce energy consumption/greenhouse gas emissions.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Sustainable Systems
Professional Career Development Benefits: 

This project will give the team members in depth experiences in carbon foot printing, energy usage and consumption modeling, as well as look extensively at current solutions that can be implemented to reduce environmental inpact.

Identify expected products/deliverables: 
  1. Detailed Process Flow Diagrams
  2. Life Cycle Model
  3. Life Cycle Energy and GHG Footprint
  4. Benchmark Performance Against Other Dairy Systems
  5. Identify and Prioritize Improvement Strategies
  6. Evaluate Improvement Strategies
  7. Published Project Report
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Greg Keoleian
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • William Walter, MS Sustainable Systems
  • Sarah Cashman, MS Sustainable Systems
  • Derek Przybylo, MPP/MS Sustainable Systems
  • Keri Dick, MS Sustainable Systems
Project Status: 
Past Project