Costa Rica’s banana industry expects to have calculated its carbon footprint in 18-24 months’ time as part of its efforts to become carbon neutral by 2012, according to a local news report.

The sector is currently working with the national meteorological institute and the University of Costa Rica to research its carbon usage and output, Jorge Sauma, chief executive of the national banana corporation Corbana, told Inside Costa

“In 18 months to two years we hope to have completed that part of our work and to have measured the overall level of our carbon footprint and other greenhouse gases produced by the industry and identified ways to reduce them,” Mr Sauma commented.

“The next two years will then be about reducing our impact on the environment and getting the whole industry to implement the plan to be carbon neutral in 2012.”

Mr Sauma said that research carried out to date has found that banana plants in Costa Rica intake more than 25 tonnes of carbon per hectare a year, adding that the industry must now calculate what happens in the rest of the chain with transport and so on.