Environmental Assessment of Dairy Industries

As environment and climate change are the core focus area of Greenhood Nepal, its team have been involved in research on Resource Efficient Cleaner Production (RECP) mainly in dairy industries of Kathmandu Valley. Considering environment while processing a product can help in preventing inefficient use of resources and avoiding unnecessary generation of waste, by which an organization can benefit from reduced operating costs, reduced waste treatment and disposal costs. In Nepal, there are cottage scales to large scales mechanized dairy industries handling the various quantity of milk for producing different milk products. The key environmental issues associated with dairy processing as highlighted by the research are high consumption of water, chemical, energy, fuel and generation of effluent streams and solid waste. Companies that consider environment into the design stage of a product will be well-placed to benefit from productivity, profitability and marketing advantages of any future eco-labelling schemes.

The processing of raw milk to produce dairy products was found to be a significant contributor to the overall pollution load produced over the life cycle of milk product followed by their consumption. Therefore in processing phase of the milk products life cycle, it is very important to consider the environmental aspect. This study has presented a comparative analysis of energy, chemical, water, wastewater and solid waste from Dairy Development Corporation (DDC), Nepal Dairy Industry and Bhaktapur Dairy Industry which are operating within the Kathmandu valley. Its findings detail the reason for more resources consumption and more waste generation in comparison to each of the industries and at the same time, it has suggested resource efficient cleaner production practices to the dairy industries.