A scientist involved in a study showing Fonterra's total greenhouse gas emissions says it is important more studies are done in the future so that any improvements can be tracked.
The study is one of several that are being done to establish the carbon impact of some of New Zealand's key primary industries.
It measured the total emissions over 18 months from the cow to the customer and showed that for every litre of milk produced, almost 1kg of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.
It also showed that 85% of the industry's emissions are on the farm.
AgResearch scientist Stewart Ledgard worked on the report and says the results are not surprising based on what has come out of similar overseas studies.
However he says although there are some benefits to having the initial study, it is hard for consumers to understand what the figures mean unless they have something to compare them with.