Monday, August 13, 2007

posted by Sarah Krasley @ 4:23 PM
Following along on my cooking theme, Dole announced today their plans to utilize a carbon neutral supply chain for bananas and pineapples produced in Costa Rica. My location in the United States certainly does not make buying these bananas supporting locally grown food, but it does definitely signal a strong current of doing business in a new, more sustainable way. When I began following sustainability trends four years ago, it was fruit stands and Ben and Jerry''s been amazing to see larger corporations take on sustainability goals, too.

From Environmental Leader:

The carbon dioxide emitted to produce, pack, transport and distribute the fruit will be offset by mitigation practices which increase the capture of CO2 in order to achieve a ‘neutral’ balance. These practices entail new, more efficient transportation methods, changes to agricultural processes to reduce CO2 emissions, and partnering with local farmers to implement preservation and reforestation programs.

I will add that I am still wary of carbon neutral claims until there is a widely accepted standard. Yes, Oxford English dictionary has selected "carbon neutral" as the 2006 of the year, but the dictionary definition does not suffice to answer the question of how deep a greenhouse gas inventory should go to warrant the banner of carbon neutrality (the dictionary is already long and heavy enough). I prefer the approach that some companies are taking to list carbon measurement metrics instead with some disclosure on what they did to green their operations and supply chain. This may sound nit picky--but it will set a great precedent for the years to come.

While Josephine Baker's skirt was made from artificial bananas, perhaps someone should resurrect the skirt as a Burning Man costume this year with real bananas---after all, the theme is: "The Green Man" and after camping for several days, some fresh sustainable fruit can be quite tasty--so your costume is guaranteed to leave no trace.

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