Global livestock production is going to be more and more sophisticated in order to improve efficiency needed to supply the rising demand for animal protein of a growing, more urban and affluent population. To cope with the rising public importance of sustainability is a big challenge for all animal farmers and more industrialized operations especially. Confined animal farming operations (CAFO) are seen very critical by many consumers with regard to their sustainability performance, however, the need to improve the sustainability performance especially in the ecological and social dimension exists at both ends of the intensity, i.e., also for the small holder and family owned animal farming models. As in livestock operations, feed and manure contribute the majority to the three most critical environmental impact categories global warming potential (GWP), acidification (AP) and eutrophication potential (EP) any effort for improvement should start there. Intelligent combination of nutrient-, emission- and waste management in an integrated low emission farm (LEF) concept not only significantly reduces the environmental footprint in the ecological dimension of sustainability, but by producing renewable energy (heat, electricity, biomethane) with animal manure as major feedstock in an anaerobic digester also the economic dimension can be improved. Model calculations using new software show the ecological improvement potential of low protein diets using more supplemented amino acids for the Chinese pig production. The ecological impact of producing biogas or upgraded biomethane, of further treatment of the digestate and producing defined fertilizers is discussed. Finally, the LEF concept allows the integration of an insect protein plant module which offers additional ecological and economical sustainability improvement potential in the future. Active stakeholder communication about implementation steps of LEF examples improves also the social aspect of sustainability.
- Amino acids;