Aurora Organic Dairy Launches Initiative to Reduce Its Carbon Footprint Through First...

Tue Jan 8, 2008 12:36pm EST

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Aurora Organic Dairy Launches Initiative to Reduce Its Carbon Footprint Through First Grant Funded by Aurora Organic Dairy Foundation

   Partnership with Center for Sustainable Systems at University of
 Michigan Will Identify Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency and Reduce
     Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Findings to be Shared with Organic
                         Agriculture Community
BOULDER, Colo.--(Business Wire)--Aurora Organic Dairy, a leading U.S. provider of high-quality,
private-label organic milk and butter, today announced a major
initiative with the University of Michigan to measure and reduce its
carbon footprint across the entire product lifecycle, from cattle feed
to cartons in retail dairy cases. This research is believed to be the
most comprehensive carbon emissions reduction initiative undertaken in
the organic dairy industry, and will be funded by the newly
established Aurora Organic Dairy Foundation.

   Also announced today, the Aurora Organic Dairy Foundation is a
Colorado-based not-for-profit organization that will fund research,
market-development initiatives and community-building activities
benefitting organic agriculture, including farmers, processors,
consumers, animals and the environment.

   The Foundation's first grant of more than $320,000 will fund a
long-term research partnership with the Center for Sustainable Systems
at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and
Environment. With the proceeds of the grant, the center will conduct
lifecycle and sustainability research at Aurora Organic Dairy's
facilities, including its state-of-the-art High Plains organic dairy
farm in Colorado and its Coldwater organic dairy farms in Texas.

   Led by associate professor Gregory Keoleian, Ph.D., and Martin
Heller, Ph.D., the research initially will focus on developing an
energy and carbon footprint model, creating a baseline against which
Aurora Organic can make improvements in its sustainability

   The center will examine the entire product lifecycle from "seed to
shelf," including important measures such as growing pasture and
cattle feed, manufacturing, and product distribution to retail
customers. The study will identify those processes that contribute the
greatest environmental impacts, focused primarily on total energy
consumption and carbon emissions. In Phase II, the center will make
recommendations for improving Aurora Organic's sustainability
performance, including energy supply and demand options, non
fuel-related carbon emissions, and energy and greenhouse gasses from
material resources such as packaging.

   "Aurora Organic Dairy is providing the Center for Sustainable
Systems with an excellent opportunity to apply our research expertise
and address real challenges faced by organic agriculture producers,"
said Dr. Keoleian, CSS co-director and research team leader. "We're
grateful for this opportunity and look forward to sharing our findings
and recommendations with the organic agriculture community to help
drive meaningful change in energy consumption and carbon emissions
patterns resulting from organic farming."

   "This grant from the Aurora Organic Dairy Foundation to the
University of Michigan is the first of many that will help fund
continued research into development of organic best practices, with a
strong emphasis on sustainability," said Mark Retzloff, President and
Chief Organic Officer of Aurora Organic Dairy. "Our goal is to
evaluate what we do on our farms and throughout our supply chain, and
to develop tools for guiding our company and enhancing our
sustainability performance. We intend to learn as much as we can about
how to make organic agriculture even more sustainable. Our goal is to
share what we learn with our network of more than 120 family farmers
and the organic agriculture community as a whole."

   About Aurora Organic Dairy

   Aurora Organic Dairy's mission is making high-quality organic milk
and butter more affordable and available for American families. The
company is a leading producer of private-label and store-brand organic
milk and butter. The organic production company includes headquarters
offices in Boulder, Colo., five organic dairy farms in Colorado and
Texas and an on-farm organic dairy processing plant near Platteville,
Colo. For more information, visit

   About the Center for Sustainable Systems

   The Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan's
School of Natural Resources and Environment advances concepts of
sustainability through interdisciplinary research and education. CSS
collaborates with diverse stakeholders to develop and apply life cycle
based models and sustainability metrics for systems that meet societal
needs. CSS promotes tools and knowledge that support the design,
evaluation, and improvement of complex systems. For more information,

Aurora Organic Dairy
Sonja Tuitele, 303-222-0637
Linhart Public Relations
Cory Ziskind, 303-951-2561

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