Release of the cows to pasture at the Viikki research farm

The cows of the Viikki reseach farm were released on the pasture on May 4th. The farm conducts research related to the feeding and well-being of dairy cows, crop cultivation, farmland, and technology. A large audience, estimated 7000 people, watched the cows enter the pasture. COVERE² project participated in the event.
COVERE² project calculates the carbon footprint of the dairy at the research farm

In this project, we aim to measure the carbon footprint of milk at a research farm. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is commonly used to assess the environmental impact of specific agricultural products, including milk. LCA is also integral to environmental policymaking regarding food products. 

Although companies have developed carbon footprint measurement methods, these solutions may not be transparent to consumers. Thus, a comparison of the carbon footprints of products can be challenging owing to methodological variations. To address this, the European Commission has suggested the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method as a preferred measure of environmental performance, which aims to provide standardized guidelines for companies to assess and report the environmental impacts of their products. Furthermore, the European Commission has proposed a directive on green claims, which aims to protect consumers from greenwashing.

The LCA includes several different steps, which are goal and scope definition, inventory analysis, impact assessment, and interpretation of the results. Post doc Yajie Gao from the University of Helsinki starts this work in May in cooperation with the Future Sustainable Food Systems research group.  Carbon footprint results at the Viikki research farm are expected at the end of the year.