Consumers continue to demand tasty and nutritious products that are produced in an environmentally responsible way. As a result, retailers and foodservice companies have heightened interest in the sustainability of their suppliers, and environmental organizations have ratcheted up their sustainability assessments of industries and businesses.
Of course, as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux reportedly said: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. People have been touting sustainability metrics for longer than they have been able to grasp what sustainability is all about. Although those early attempts at metrics were ill-conceived, things are improving. But we have a ways to go. Before we look forward, it may help to understand a couple of examples of where past efforts went awry. With that information in hand, we can then look at the dairy industry’s own thoughtful approach to metrics.