CO₂correct wants to make CO₂ compensation accessible to the fruit and vegetable sector

CO₂correct wants to make CO₂ compensation accessible to the fruit and vegetable sector

News item
09 Sep 2020

Stephen Schneider:
“With this initiative
we make a big impact on one
surprisingly affordable way”

After working as a marketer in the Dutch fruit and vegetable trade for several years, Stephan Schneider started a company this year to make CO₂ compensation accessible to the fruit and vegetable sector: CO₂ Correct. “I consciously do not speak of CO₂ neutral, because every trade flow produces CO₂ emissions, no matter how sustainable the chain is. With this new approach it is easy to compensate for those CO₂ emissions and it also turns out to be surprisingly affordable. to be!”

CO₂ compensation is actually a complicated process that requires complex and expensive calculations such as a Life Cycle Analysis. With CO₂ Correct we have taken a different approach. With my partner CE Delft, which takes care of the calculations, we use a lot of well-known data. Where things are sometimes uncertain, we take a safe approach with regard to the CO2 impact. With this overcompensation we avoid unnecessarily expensive additional calculations and it also makes more impact,” says Stephan enthusiastically. “All types of fruit and vegetables are included in these calculations. Our database contains information on almost 500 types of fruit and vegetables.


Short Excel

The process is quite simple. Organizations that want to do something about their carbon footprint can become a member of CO₂ Correct. Each member completes a short Excel with information about the products they want to offset. CO₂ Correct calculates the footprint to be compensated within a few days and also provides a compensation price per kilogram of fruit or vegetables. This can then be sold as CO₂ compensated under the CO₂ Correct label or your own (private) label.

“Every quarter, the sales figures are shared with CO₂ Correct and the company receives an invoice for correcting your CO₂ impact. The costs for compensation are only a few cents per kilo depending on the country of origin and final destination,” Stephan explains. For example, the CO₂ compensation for 1 kg of Argentinian pears came to around 2 cents per kilo, the compensation for 500 grams of Dutch tomatoes was somewhere around 1.5 cents per 500 grams and the CO₂ compensation for 2 kg of Spanish oranges was a price of slightly more than 2 cents per kg.

The calculations include the origin, cultivation method, packaging, transport and distribution. “Too often, sustainability is now associated with the switch to more environmentally friendly packaging, but when you look at the entire chain, the packaging is only part of the problem. Moreover, acclaimed new packaging alternatives are often not even as sustainable as they seem at first glance “, Stephan emphasizes.

The compensation for CO₂ should also not be a matter of buying off sins. “I expect CO₂ Correct members to include concrete sustainability objectives in their strategic agenda. Too often, sustainability is still an empty concept, while the fruit and vegetable sector owes it a duty to actively work on this. Global warming of the earth has hit the fruit and vegetable sector harder and harder over the years. Drought and excessive rainfall are becoming more common and we as a sector must try to limit this.”

Sustainable strategy

In addition, more and more retailers are asking their suppliers to implement a sustainability policy. Reducing our ecological footprint is an important step in achieving this. Everything that affects the environment, such as the use of raw materials, can be associated with a certain CO₂ impact. This makes CO₂ compensation a very effective step towards a more sustainable future. Within the network, members are supported to develop a sustainable strategy and knowledge will be shared that other members can use to reduce their ecological impact.

Fairtrade climate projects

“CO₂ correction takes place by supporting climate projects of our partner FairClimateFund. We are starting with a project that provides biogas installations for households in India. This means that families can cook more safely, cutting wood is no longer necessary and the residual product can be used as fertilizer for the agriculture. As soon as we have enough volume, we want to realize various projects in the suppliers’ countries of origin,” Stephan continues. These climate projects reduce CO₂ emissions and deforestation. In addition, these projects help improve the living conditions of people in these developing areas. The projects are Fairtrade certified and generate Gold Standard / Fairtrade Carbon Credits.

I want to create an accessible and open organization that offers complete transparency about income, expenditure and investments made in additional climate projects. To this end, we work closely with partners in the field of these climate projects, Life Cycle Analysis and of course a reliable accounting firm that will audit and approve our annual report. Everything will be published on our website, because an initiative like this requires full transparency!