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Life at Deloitte
Andrea Bell, Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Got energy? Where getting milk means getting sustainable
Got milk? Then most likely you have methane gas too; a natural by-product of dairy farming. “Methane gas is a problem because it has more than 20 times the greenhouse gas impact of carbon dioxide,” says Andrea Bell, Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP. And methane gas poses a huge threat for a complete range of agricultural businesses. Methane traps heat in the atmosphere, that purportedly causes global warming, which, among other things, may inhibit crop yields and dairy productivity.
Consulting for Dairy Management Incorporated, an industry group in the United States, Andrea Bell worked with Larry Hitchcock, Principal, Strategy & Operations, Consumer & Industrial Products, Deloitte Consulting LLP, to find a way to reduce methane levels. They put numbers to the problem, studying a dairy farm’s full value chain from what the cow eats to processing and selling the milk. Together, they also explored a unique application for capturing and converting methane gas. As it is essentially natural gas, it can be burned on-site to generate power for farms, or it can even be fed back into the regional energy grid to power lights in peoples’ homes. The resulting energy savings and credits would reduce operating costs, while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact a thousand fold. And that is working to make a difference.
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