Submitted by: Dole Food Inc.
Posted: Apr 22, 2008 – 10:30 AM EST
Apr. 22 /CSRwire/ - WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA - April 22, 2008 - Dole Food Company, Inc. announced yesterday that its operating division in Costa Rica, Standard Fruit Company 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.
This ground-breaking announcement marks the first time that a private company has committed to offset its emissions from the transport of its finished products within Costa Rica. The announcement is part of a broader agreement Dole signed last August with the Government of 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 Company, Inc. "We are committed to helping the Government of Costa Rica achieve their sustainability ambitions."
Dr. Roberto Dobles, Minister of the Environment and Energy of Costa Rica stated: "This agreement that Dole signed yesterday is an important first step within a global vision. It is a first step toward a great contribution by Dole for the consolidation of the country strategy to be climate neutral for our bicentennial."
Under the accord, the National Forestry Financing Fund ("Fonafifo") 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 green-house gas. We expect that this program will decrease emissions by over 12% or nearly 9,000 tons of CO2 equivalents per year."
Renieri Nuñez, Pineapple Operations Manager, added: "The Company has always been a pioneer in environmental good practices. We are now looking at everything from ways to improve the efficiency of tractors, to employee training to operate machinery in a more fuel efficient manner, to lower the carbon footprint of our agricultural operations. We hope to work together with our supply chain partners in furthering climate change mitigation practices."
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2007 revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
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