Dole's carbon neutral banana
Long able to attract eco-tourists, Costa Rica is now positioning itself as a destination for environmentally conscious businesses.
On June 7, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias pledged that Costa Rica will be a carbon neutral country by 2021. To help achieve that goal, the country is developing a voluntary “C-Neutral” certification. To be certified, businesses will be able to pay a voluntary “tax” of about US$10 per metric tonne of carbon dioxide emissions. Funds generated from the scheme will help fund conservation, reforestation, and research. The government is also working directly with businesses to help them reduce their net emissions, as evidenced by a major corporate announcement just 2 months after President Arias’ pledge.
Dole Food Company Inc., the world’s largest producer of fresh fruits and vegetables, announced August 9 that it will go carbon neutral in Costa Rica. Dole’s local subsidiary, Standard Fruit de Costa Rica, currently produces and ships about 44 million boxes of bananas and pineapples annually from Costa Rica to markets in North America and Europe. Working with the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and the Fondo Nacional de Financiamento Forestal, Dole has committed to make its entire Costa Rican supply chain carbon neutral.
The magnitude and timing of the initiative is not yet clear. The company has yet to calculate the total emissions from the supply chain and has not finalized the details of the program. However, the undertaking will likely require Standard Fruit both to reduce emissions in transportation and agricultural practices as well as to offset emissions by partnering with local preservation and reforestation programs.
-Post by Andrew Lord, Student-at-Law