Belgian retailer Delhaize has said that it has acheived a European first in offering 100 per cent CO2-neutral bananas, as part of its wider mission to become a CO2-neutral company by the end of 2021.
"Thanks to reduction and comensation measures, from planting to transport until the product arrives in the store, this ensures that the CO2 impact of the bananas is 100 per cent compensated," the retailer outlined.
Delhaize will use this an exmaple of how it can make other fresh fruit and vegetable categories CO2 neutral through various climate protection projects, it said.
In collaboration with Port International, Delhaize calculated how much CO2 a banana emits – results showing an average of 0.9kg of CO2 emitted per kg of bananas, or 7.11m kg of CO2 emitted annually.
Based on this, the retailer has looked at how emissions can be cut from the supply chain. Delhaize has identified four keys areas, namely cultivation, transportation, ripening and delivery.
"The focus of this process is primarily on reducing CO2 emissions," the group continued. "This ensures that transport is organised in a greener and more sustainable way, that packaging is sustainable, and that green energy is used.
"We still want to compensate for emissions that we cannot reduce in order to become CO2 neutral in this way. "We do this by supporting climate protection projects – for example, a drinking water project in Cambodia and a reforestation project in Peru are supported to compensate for the remaining CO2 volume."
Based on this pilot project, Delhaize said that it was considering adding other types of fruit to this CO2 neutral programme, with strawberries one of the first products that would be eligible.