Dole to Offset Transportation Emissions
Dole Food Co., Inc. announced that its operating division in Costa Rica, Standard Fruit Co. de Costa Rica S.A., will purchase carbon offsets from the Costa Rican government's program in amounts equal to the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the inland transport of Dole-produced bananas and pineapples.
The announcement is part of a broader agreement Dole signed last August with the Costa Rica's Ministry of the Environment and Energy and the National Strategy for Climate Change to produce a carbon neutral supply chain for bananas and pineapples. Costa Rica is seeking to become carbon neutral by 2021.
"Dole is determined to take the lead in environmentally friendly production and distribution methods," said David A. DeLorenzo, president and chief executive officer of Dole Food Co., Inc. "We are committed to helping the government of Costa Rica achieve their sustainability ambitions."
Under the accord, the National Forestry Financing Fund will offer Dole carbon credits from government-certified forestry projects that will annually sequester an equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere as that emitted by fossil fuel use in road and rail transportation. In essence, the Dole products will be "carbon neutral" with regards to transportation from company-owned packing plants to the ports of export in Costa Rica.
The carbon credit approach is one of many strategies that Dole is employing to neutralize the carbon footprint resulting from the growing, harvesting, packaging and distribution of the company's bananas and pineapples in Costa Rica. Reforestation programs are occurring and thousands of trees are being planted on Dole plantations in Costa Rica, including local farms and neighboring communities.
Danilo Roman, general manager of Dole Standard Fruit de Costa Rica S.A., commented: "Among the many steps we have taken to reduce emissions at source is optimization of fertilizers to deliver nutrients more effectively. In this way, we can directly reduce the emission of nitrous-oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. We expect that this program will decrease emissions by over 12 percent or nearly 9,000 tons of CO2 equivalents per year."