Cow milk (Europe)

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This is an incomplete assessment. The following life cycle stages may be missing:
 Usage  End-of-Life 

Cow milk (Europe)
Carbon Footprint
GHG Emissions Facts
Per one liter
Total:1.32 kg CO₂e
1,320 gCO₂e
Source: literature review[1]

Cow milk (Europe) refers to the milk, sold in Europe, from dairy cows. The environmental impact information on this page includes greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are caused by the materials, production, packaging, and transport life cycle stages. It omits the carbon footprint of retail sale and consumer transport, storage, cooking, and disposal. The average or mean carbon footprint or GHG emissions, attributed to the product life-cycle stages from material production to distribution, are 1.32 kg carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per liter.[1]

The principal source for this carbon footprint information is a systematic review published in the Journal of Cleaner Production. The information for cow milk was calculated from 175 global warming potential (GWP) values published in 52 life cycle assessment (LCA) studies. The GWP values for cow milk had a median of 1.3 kg CO2e. These GWP ranged from 0.54 to 2.39 and had a standard deviation of 0.29.[1]

Other products

The table below lists products in the milk category with the lowest total GHG emissions.

Carbon footprints of similar products
Product Total (kg CO2e)
Almond milk (1 L) 0.42
Coconut milk (1 L) 0.42
Soy milk (1 L) 0.88
Cow milk (AU,NZ) (1 L) 1.19

See also

  • Milk - comparison of the GHG emissions from milk and milk substitutes.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 S.J. Clune, E. Crossin, K. Verghese. Systematic review of greenhouse gas emissions for different fresh food categories. J. Clean. Prod., 140 (Part 2) (2016), pp. 766–783