PAS 2050 is an international standard for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions. In 2010 the British consultants ADAS used PAS2050 to complete a carbon footprint of Gold Coast Fruits pineapple, from farm production through to the consumer in Europe. The objective was to measure the carbon footprint in order to understand how the business can reduce its overall impact on global climate change.
A carbon footprint is measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). The carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) allows the different greenhouse gases to be compared on a like-for-like basis relative to one unit of CO2. CO2e is calculated by multiplying the emissions of each of the six greenhouse gases by its 100 year global warming potential (GWP).
The study at Gold Coast Fruit found out that emissions are roughly 1 kg of emissions per 1 kg of pineapple shipped and consumed. The biggest share of greenhouse gas emissions were from logistics (logistics = refrigerated transport + packing material). Production emissions on the GCF farm in Ghana are only about 25% of the total footprint; but of these nitrogen fertilizer is the biggest source of emissions.
GCF has started three initiatives to reduce emissions:
1) Working with importers and other partners to market crownless pineapple that can be packed into containers at a higher density.
2) Tests on alternative packaging material and crates so that more pineapple can be shipped in each 40ft refrigerated container
3) Improvements of farm agronomy, switching to an improved fertilizer schedule so that the amount of fruit produced per unit of nitrogen fertilizer is reduced.
Work is still at the testing and development stage, but it is expected that with these measures emissions can be reduced by as much as 20%.
"PAS 2050 has been developed using BSI's rigorous consultation process, involving almost a thousand industry experts from within the UK and internationally,"
"The result is a robust framework within which businesses and public sector bodies will be able to assess the greenhouse gas emissions of their goods and services in a consistent manner."
Mike Low, director of BSI British Standards.
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