Climate change is the greatest and most urgent challenge our world faces today. For this reason, we have decided to advance our climate action efforts and join the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). This is a huge milestone for us and the fight against climate change in agriculture. We are proud to announce that we are the first global marketer of fruits and vegetables to partner with the initiative, but we hope that we are not the last. We aim to set an example for our industry as whole, and to inspire other corporations to step up as well.
As a next step in our climate program, we will work with the SBTi to develop our target for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. While this is a new partnership, we are not new to setting ambitious climate goals. In 2015, our largest banana growing operation was certified as Carbon Neutral by SCS Global Services. Since then, we have continued to build on this program. Today, all of the bananas we grow in Costa Rica and 74% of all pineapples grown by Fresh Del Monte and sold in North America and Europe source from Carbon Neutral farms.
“We believe that achieving the bold challenges outlined in the Paris Agreement five years ago requires not only the cooperation of governments, and NGOs, but also of corporations. We will not limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius unless the private and public sector start working together and making serious commitments like these. We aspire to lead by example and hope others in our industry will do the same,” explained Hans Sauter, our Chief Sustainability Officer.
Climate action is a key component of Fresh Del Monte’s sustainability strategy and critical to creating A Better World Tomorrow. In our 2020 CSR update, we announced the development and launch of our Environmental Action Tool and database to track company-wide greenhouse gas emissions (one facility at a time) for the first time in our company’s history. We also recently made significant investments in six fuel-efficient vessels, two of which launched this year. We anticipate that these new vessels will result in a 10% reduction in our Scope 1 CO2e emissions from vessel shipping by 2025.
“In recent years, we’ve really seen an increase in the impact of climate change on our lives, communities and families through heightened natural disasters such as the wildfires in the Western US and record-breaking hurricane seasons. As a large agricultural company, we have the responsibility, and opportunity, to address the challenge of climate change in agriculture with urgency, ambition and innovation. Joining the Science Based Targets initiative is a tremendous step towards a more sustainable and equitable future, for our company and our industry as a whole. Climate action is extremely important to my generation and I am proud to work for a company that is challenging the status quo and is unafraid to make such bold commitments,” said Maeve Anderson, the Program Lead for Fresh Del Monte’s Global Sustainability Program.
We believe A Better World Tomorrow is one where our business, products, people, communities, and planet are sustainable through generations. As one of the world’s leading produce companies, we recognize that it is our responsibility to provide safe and wholesome food to our consumers, while also protecting and ensuring the well-being of our planet. To us, this means tackling the challenge of climate change in agriculture head on, and leading our industry towards transparency, accountability and transformative action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.