We all know that cows emit methane. That the milk production has other environmental impacts from CO₂ to nitrate run-off. However; this is improving, and UK production is far better and less impactful than other parts of the world (Americas)
Things can get better too. Swapping the protein imported (soya) for home grown alternatives could help especially if crops such as oats are used where potentially methane can be reduced as a result. Legumes such as clover to reduce nitrogen usage and minimal cultivation also help mitigate the impacts.
Then there is the opportunity to combine dairy products with some plant-based ingredients that might mean the best of both worlds? The nutritional benefits of dairy but spread further and augmented by plant-based ingredients that could enhance the product whilst simultaneously reducing further the environmental impact?
Consumers are concerned. One of the reasons cited for switching away from animal protein is animal welfare and given some of the news reports that would be quite understandable.
One issue that is worth remembering. Plant-based cannot match dairy for good long-term nutrition and in fact; dairy is probably the best medium for delivering nutrition to un-born babies through every life stage to elderly or recuperating adults. Most plant milks will have an age indicator. Even the Vegan Society recommend supplements if following a vegan diet.