Project Clean Cow

Minimizing methane from cattle

Reducing gas in cattle

Around the world, dairy and beef cows are an important source of milk and protein, and also offer farmers and local communities essential income. However, despite clear nutritional and socio-economic benefits, rearing cattle leaves a substantial environmental footprint. In fact, an estimated 14.5% of all human-caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from livestock, with nearly 65% of this originating from dairy and beef cows.

How to solve a problem like methane?

A large proportion of livestock emissions come from enteric - or burped - methane, as a result of cows’ natural digestive processes. While GHG carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for centuries, methane warms the planet far more quickly. Over a 20-year timeframe, methane’s global warming potential is an astounding 84 times higher than that of CO2.

Part of the climate solution

DSM decided to take the lead in exploring practical solutions for reducing bovine methane emissions. After extensive research, our scientists came up with the answer: through the so-called Project Clean Cow we developed a feed supplement (3-NOP) that suppresses the enzyme that triggers the enteric methane production in bovine animals. In doing so, peer reviewed studies have shown that 3-NOP has the ability to consistently reduce enteric (burped) methane by 30% for dairy, beef and sheep, if delivered at the recommended dose.


By helping to reduce the methane impact of cattle farming, we are helping to solve a major global sustainability challenge: supplying consumers with sufficient animal protein in a way that minimizes harmful emissions. What’s more, we are helping to mitigate the wider effects of cattle farming on the environment - namely the amount of land and consumables used in dairy and beef production. From a socio-economic standpoint, Clean Cow gives farmers and families the tools to support themselves financially and/or nutritionally in a more sustainable way.


Our solution is helping food retailers and brands to lower their carbon footprint while also meeting a growing consumer demand for sustainable, eco-friendly products. In addition to preparing market introduction for the feed supplement, DSM is mobilizing key players and influencers across the livestock value chain in order to shape a more sustainable - low-emission - future for the industry. In particular, we are working with our partners to create the conditions farmers need to implement cleaner, and more profitable, business practices.

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