Product CO2e / kg Studies


CO2e / kg
= 100 g of Butter
You can consume
kg of Butter to exhaust your daily CO2e food budget

Categories: Dairy | Food

To make butter, about 20-25 liters of milk are needed1 2 with 80-85% of the CO2e emissions coming from the raw milk production. The large variation in CO2e estimations for butter are a result of different ways in which the CO2e of milk is allocated according to fat and protein content.

For example, in Flysjö 20113, a ratio of 1:1.7 is used between fat and protein content to allocate emissions based on market value4. This means that only ~40% of the CO2e of the milk are allocated to the butter in this study, as butter is typically 80% fat and 4% protein. The rest of the emissions are then allocated to other milk products high in protein such as buttermilk. For Flysjö 2011, this leads to about 9 kg CO2e / kg of butter, while other studies report values well over 20 kg CO2e / kg.



  3. Flysjö, A. (2011). Potential for improving the carbon footprint of butter and blend products. Journal of dairy science, 94(12), 5833-5841. 

  4. Fat and protein each make up about 4% of the milk weight. The remainder of the milk is 87% water and 5% lactose, neither of which has much market value. 

Subcategories: Butter (eco)


Source Notes CO2e Country origin Country consumption Weight
RISE Open access list 1.7 Per kg butter
Sweden Sweden 7
Systematic review of greenhouse gas emissions for different fresh food categories Table 4 Median; #LCA studies: 4; #GWP values: 8; Mean: 11.52; Stdev: 7.37; Min: 3.7; Max: 25
Unknown Unknown 10
FiBL CO2-Fußabdruck von Bioprodukten Joghurt-butter, Konventionell; Production: 19.7; Transport: 7.8;
Austria Austria 5
Pendos CO2-Zähler Butter
Unknown Unknown 5
Klimatarier CO2 Rechner Butter
Unknown Unknown 5
Mat-klimat-listan Variaiton 6-10 kgCO2/kg
Unknown Unknown 5
Den store klimadatabase Butter, salt added, Agriculture: 0.12, iLUC: 0.34, Food processing: 3.16, Packaging: 0.24, Transport: 0.07
Unknown Unknown 7
Potential for improving the carbon footprint of butter and blend products
Denmark Denmark 10
Large-scale regionalised LCA shows that plant-based fat spreads have a lower climate, land occupation and water scarcity impact than dairy butter Table 1, average over 21 markets, ranging from 9.45 kg CO2e (Finland) to 14.47 (Portugal).
Unknown Unknown 5
Ökologische Fußabdrücke von Lebensmitteln und Gerichten in Deutschland (IFEU) Butter
Unknown Germany 7
RIVM Database Milieubelasting Voedingsmiddelen Boter, gezouten/ongezouten
Unknown Netherlands 7