Since 2008, we have measured our Company’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy use, and have set goals to reduce these environmental impact areas. In 2012, we set a companywide goal to reduce our energy use and GHG emissions by 15% by 2017. We have made progress toward this goal. In 2016, our normalized CO2e emissions declined 5% and our energy use declined 11% per half gallon equivalent of milk compared with our 2012 baseline. Both of these results were an increase from 2015, partially as a result of more natural gas used at our Coldwater farm to power irrigation well pumps. We continue to explore options to replace aging natural gas pumps with more efficient pumps, preferably powered by renewable energy sources.
Since we first began tracking our emissions and energy use, our goals boundary has expanded, as we have added additional lifecycle stages into our company footprint. The energy use and emissions stages we now include in our goals boundary are: the farms and pasture we manage, our dairy cows, raw milk transport and our plant and cold storage facility. To view our full Life Cycle Assessment of AOD milk, please refer to our 2017 Corporate Citizenship Report.
We have many initiatives in place to reduce our utility-based emissions and energy use at our farms and processing plant. Our processing and cold storage operations incorporate energy-efficient systems and technologies. Our farms have programs in place to reduce idling time of farm vehicles and to replace farm building lights with LEDs, and we have reduced the average shipping distance of our raw milk. However, cow-related emissions make up approximately 70% of our companywide GHG emissions. We use best management practices, such as managing our manure with composting principles, to reduce the manure-related emissions, and we continue to research options to reduce enteric emissions in an organic system.
For more detailed information about our GHG emissions and energy use, and initiatives to reduce these environmental impact areas, please refer to our 2017 Corporate Citizenship Report.