Copefrut expands commitment to measuring and offsetting carbon footprint
For the second consecutive year, Copefrut Chile has obtained the most internationally recognized carbon neutrality certification, CarbonNeutral® from Natural Capital Partners, for the transportation of its organic apples. The certification covers the sea and land transport of Copefruit’s organic apples to the U.S. and European markets and demonstrates the company’s leadership in environmental matters and renews its commitment to climate action. The 3,885 tons exported is equivalent to a full load of more than 120 million cell phones or more than 500,000 liters of gasoline consumed.
Eduardo Holzapfel, Manager Organics Category for Copefrut, explains, "We are part of a globalized world and many of the producers we work with have certain concerns about the environmental impact of our products. Europe and USA are key markets for our Apples, and with their growing focus on sustainable sourcing, made for a logical path to move towards new certifications and an increasingly sustainable agriculture, which is a fundamental pillar for the company."
This year, Copefrut wants to go a step even further, initiating the calculation of emissions from the entire production process from the fields to the packinghouse. "Carbon footprint management of the supply chain is the next step for advanced companies that understand that the impact of their suppliers can represent between 60% and 80% of the company's carbon footprint” according to Carboneutral, a pioneering Latin American company in the development of climate change strategies.
Holzapfel also stressed that it is not just a matter of consuming energy and then compensating for its use, but understanding where the greatest impacts could occur in terms of CO2 reduction. "We want to carry out a diagnosis to work not only on compensation, but also on reduction, which can only be achieved if we understand the emissions of the entire chain, allowing us to disseminate this to the rest of the organization," he pointed.
Copefrut has worked collaboratively with several of its producers on this exciting initiative. "We grew up believing that agriculture fed humanity and at the same time consumed carbon dioxide with our crops and plantations, but we have not realized that associated with each food there is a network of carbon emissions that we must consider and offset,” says Pilar Browne Salas, of Agricola Maquihuano Ltda, a key grower for Copefrut. “It is an encouraging step for us producers that companies like Copefrut push such initiatives and are willing to show us their results and research.”
This rectification and initial diagnosis of emissions in the entire supply chain are part of a comprehensive sustainability strategy that the company has been developing for several years, which also includes energy efficiency actions and the creation of the Materials Recyclability Index (Indice de Reciclabilidad de los Materiales), challenges that seek to contribute responsibly to the Kyoto and Paris agreements and the 2019 Climate Action Summit. Measuring and offsetting carbon footprint has become common in some industries, but less so in the agricultural sector. Upon measuring the impact, compensation was made through the purchase of carbon credits to support the following projects: the protection and conservation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, a wind farm located in Chile and a global portfolio of various renewable energy projects that are vital to reducing greenhouse gases.
Copefrut invites more fruit producing companies to join this change, because the company firmly believes that the sustainable future of agriculture depends on the efforts we make today. "We must align ourselves across the industry in how we do things and where we are going. Measuring our impact and knowing our weaknesses is the first big step to the sustainable improvement of the fruit industry in general," Holzapfel concluded.