Carbon Footprint

Background Information

Greenhouse gases are those that absorb infrared radiation in the atmosphere, creating a “greenhouse effect” that contributes to Global Warming. In our activities, these gases are mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and others.

    • Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a naturally occurring gas that is also a by-product of burning fossil fuels or biomass land-use changes and other industrial processes. CO2 is the reference gas against which other greenhouse gases are measured.
    • Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a powerful greenhouse gas with a global warming potential of 296 times that of carbon dioxide. Major sources of nitrous oxide include soil cultivation practices, especially the use of commercial and organic fertilizers; fossil fuel combustion; nitric acid production and biomass burning.
  • Methane (CH4) is a hydrocarbon and a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential most recently estimated at 23 times that of carbon dioxide. Methane is produced through anaerobic (without oxygen) decomposition of waste in landfills, animal digestion, decomposition of animal excretions, production and distribution of natural gas and petroleum, coal production, and incomplete fossil fuel combustion.
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) are mainly used for refrigeration, air conditioning, packaging, insulation, solvents and aerosol propellants. CFC gases are currently being replaced by other compounds, less toxic in terms of Global Warming Potential, including HCFC and, most importantly, HFC.

Source (extracts): US Environmental Protection Agency

Initiatives at Dole Packaged Foods

Dole Packaged Foods’ (DPF) sustainable agricultural practices include the use of organic compost as fertilizers and the avoidance of burning harvested plants or trees as this process damages the air quality and releases GHG. Dolefil, the Philippines’ division of Dole Packaged Foods, actively supports the Chairs-for-Trees Program, which has resulted in over 1,300,000 trees being planted.

To specifically reduce energy consumption in its manufacturing operations, DPF has implemented several programs including:

  • Re-lamping the canneries to use energy-efficient lights and less power electricity.
  • Insulating pipe lines and cookers to reduce energy loss in processing.
  • Upgrading equipment and controls for more efficient freezer operations.

Through these programs, DPF saves approximately nine million kilowatt hours of electricity and approximately 130 thousand gallons of fuel oil each year. In fact, Dole’s Thailand factory was recognized by the Ministry of Energy as the best operation in the industry, achieving 28% better than established target.

For DPF, energy conservation efforts extend beyond production, and are given special attention in the distribution chain, as well. Initiatives include:

    • Contracting ocean carriers that use low-sulfur fuel and plug into electricity at port.
    • Transporting containers via rail instead of road whenever possible (in 2009, DPF shipped 11.2 million miles over rail, which saved 750,000 gallons of fuel).
    • Opening a new warehouse and packaging facility that reduces transportation of ingredients by more than one million miles per year.
    • Using propane – a cleaner burning fuel than gasoline – for 60% of the tractors in Dole’s Atwater, CA operations.
    • Utilizing durable CHEP pallets instead of one-way wooden pallets, which lowers energy consumption by approximately 19 billion British Thermal Units (BTU) annually (56% reduction) and cuts GHG emissions by more than three million pounds annually (58% reduction).