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Carbon footprint of Grana Padano PDO cheese in a full life cycle perspective


Poster at a conference

The aim of the present study was to assess the carbon footprint of Grana Padano PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) Cheese with a from cradle to grave approach. The study was submitted for an external critical review in order to verify the compliance with the ISO/TS 14067 (ISO, 2013). The study involved two dairies (A and B) with 8 and 16 farms respectively. The functional unit (FU) was 1 kg of cheese aged for 12 months. Farm data were collected through farmer interviews, while the other data (from milk collection to end of life) were provided mainly by the dairies. On-farm GHG emissions were estimated following the IPCC Guidelines, the off-farm and the total GHG emissions were assessed using the SimaPro 8.0 software by the 100-year GWP (IPCC, 2013). The allocation between cheese and by-products (i.e. cream and whey) was done as proposed by the PCR: Yoghurt, Butter and Cheese (International EPD® System, 2013). The results obtained were 16.02 and 15.84 kg CO2-eq. kg-1 FU for A and B respectively. The main contributor to the impact was the production of raw milk (75.3% and 73.9% respectively). The other process (from the raw milk collection through the product processing to the end of life) had a smaller impact. The use phase (cooled storage and product waste) played the main role in the GHG emissions of the post-farm steps. Through the review of an accredited and independent body the two dairies obtained the ISO certification.


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Product Country origin Country consumption
Grana padano Italy Italy