The “green dairy” model of the SUSMILK project: a technology and innovation-driven approach for a sustainable industry

The main idea of the collaborative project „Re-design of the dairy industry for sustainable milk processing“ (SUSMILK) is to analyze and optimize the whole process chain for milk and milk products with regard to energy and water consumption. The project aims at developing new concepts and technologies for the supply of heat, cold and power and integrating them into the respective process steps. The integration of innovative and efficient technologies into a “green dairy” concept that will aim at maximizing water and energy savings is a central part of the project.


  1. application of new technologies for heat generation (solar heat, heat pumps) and distribution (hot water instead of steam) in dairies
  2. adaption of new chilling technologies
  3. application of membrane filtration techniques for an innovative pre-concentration of milk on-farm
  4. development of new concepts for low temperature drying of milk
  5. optimizing/classifying of waste-stream treatments for water savings and/or energy production
  6. testing of all technologies and concepts in pilot applications under real life conditions
  7. LCA of the entire dairy food chain and development of a decision making tool for more competitive and "green dairy” plants
  8. exergy-based analysis to show the full potential of energy and water savings within the dairy industry


  1. The evaluation of the feasibility, efficiency, and economy of the technology developments to reduce the water and energy demand in the dairy to establish a resource efficient food processing.
  2. Concepts based on research results to highlight the potential for recycling of energy and mass flows by transforming waste flows into valuable products.
  3. A “green dairy” simulation tool based on all the data generated within the different pilot and demonstration plants, which will help engineers and the dairy industry to design new and to adapt existing facilities.