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Pig Production Environmental Footprint Calculator

What is an Environmental Footprint?

An environmental footprint is an estimate of greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and energy used – in this case, in the production of pigs.  The National Pork Board’s Environmental Footprint Calculator is designed to perform these calculations at the farm scale.

What is the Purpose of this Project?

The goals of this project are to assess the range of footprints for regional pig production systems, identify opportunities to improve efficiencies as we look toward the future, and better understand how producers can utilize this tool on their operations.

Who is Doing This Project?

A team of Extension personnel from the University of Minnesota and University of Nebraska-Lincoln are collaborating on this project. Collectively, we bring a range of experiences in the swine industry - on environmental, facility and nutrition matters - and working with state and national producer associations in extension and applied research programs. Undergraduate and technical staff will also help with the project.

How Will This Work?

We plan to contact and work with pork producers who are interested in learning more about use of resources and opportunities for enhancing their environmental footprint and resource efficiency, and who are knowledgeable about their production facilities and production inputs under their control.
  1. During the initial communication, we will address questions, schedule a meeting with you, and clarify what will be needed from you (as input to the calculator).  
  2. We will meet with you at a location of your choice (on site, at your office, at a local restaurant, etc.) or by phone or computer to collect the necessary information required to run a simulation in the footprint calculator.  We don’t need to enter your facilities or collect any samples.  If you are uncomfortable sharing specific data, or are unsure of certain parameters, approximate data could be used.
  3. You will receive the simulation results specific to your site as soon as the simulation is completed
  4. We will aggregate the simulation results from your site with results from all sites to provide a regional range of footprints. We will also investigate alternative scenarios that provide opportunities to impact footprint estimates. We will provide the aggregated results and alternative scenarios back to participants in a paper-based or electronic report.
  5. The compiled footprint information will be shared through Extension and other producer outreach venues to raise awareness of environmental footprints and opportunities to improve farm resource efficiencies in our region.

How to Participate?

If you are interested in participating in the Pig Environmental Footprint Project, contact one of us listed below to initiate the process or sign-up online:

University of Minnesota Contacts
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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  1. Is this open only to farms only with barns or can an outdoor pasture farrow farm qualify to acquire a sustainability footprint? If so, what kind of information will you need to put into the calculator?

    1. That is a great question. Unfortunately at this point in time, the Environmental Footprint Calculator is not designed for outdoor pasture farrow farms.

  2. Thanks for your question. The Environmental Footprint Calculator is done and can be found on National Pork Board's Environmental Impact of Pig Farming page found at We used the Footprint Calculator for our study to enter farm information of participants to calculate the environmental footprint of their farm. We are still working to analyze the results of our study though.

  3. Is this sustainability calculator still in use?

    1. Thanks for your question. Currently the Environmental Footprint Calculator is being updated so during this time it is not available. I assume once updated it will be posted on National Pork Board's website again at


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