Delhaize offers shoppers carbon-neutral bananas

Belgian grocery retailer Delhaize has recently introduced 100% CO2-neutral bananas. Various carbon-reducing measures entirely compensate for the impact of the ‘Be-climate’ bananas on the supermarket chain’s carbon footprint. This is part of Delhaize’s mission to become entirely CO2-neutral by the end of 2021. Other types of fruit and vegetables are expected to be launched in the near future.

The retailer collaborated with Port International to first calculate the actual carbon footprint of a banana. The answer: an average of 0.9kg of carbon dioxide per kilo of bananas. That equates to 7,110 tonnes of CO2 per year based on the total annual sales volume – which is the equivalent of the emissions caused by driving a car for two million kilometres.

Armed with this information, Delhaize took an integral approach to exploring ways of reducing the CO2 emissions by considering all stages of the supply chain: the production, transport, ripening and delivery of the bananas.

Delhaize: focus on CO2 reduction

First and foremost, the focus is on reducing the CO2 emissions, such as by organizing the transport activities in a greener and more sustainable manner, using sustainable packaging for the bananas and making use of renewable energy. The retailer is also compensating for the portion of the carbon emissions that cannot be reduced by supporting climate initiatives. These include a drinking water project in Cambodia and a reforestation project in Peru.

Delhaize is already investigating whether other types of fruit can be added to the CO2-neutral programme. According to the retailer, strawberries are at the top of the list.