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Sci Total Environ. 2014 Feb 15;472:1082-8. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.11.072. Epub 2013 Dec 17.

Carbon footprint of premium quality export bananas: case study in Ecuador, the world's largest exporter.

Author information

1
Department of Industrial Management and Modeling, Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de Talca, Casilla 747, Talca, Chile. Electronic address: airiarte@utalca.cl.
2
Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Universidad de Talca, Casilla 747, Talca, Chile.
3
Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Universidad de Talca, Casilla 747, Talca, Chile. Electronic address: pvillal@utalca.cl.

Abstract

Nowadays, the new international market demands challenge the food producing countries to include the measurement of the environmental impact generated along the production process for their products. In order to comply with the environmentally responsible market requests the measurement of the greenhouse gas emissions of Ecuadorian agricultural goods has been promoted employing the carbon footprint concept. Ecuador is the largest exporter of bananas in the world. Within this context, this study is a first assessment of the carbon footprint of the Ecuadorian premium export banana (Musa AAA) using a considerable amount of field data. The system boundaries considered from agricultural production to delivery in a European destination port. The data collected over three years permitted identifying the hot spot stages. For the calculation, the CCaLC V3.0 software developed by the University of Manchester is used. The carbon footprint of the Ecuadorian export banana ranged from 0.45 to 1.04 kg CO2-equivalent/kg banana depending on the international overseas transport employed. The principal contributors to the carbon footprint are the on farm production and overseas transport stages. Mitigation and reduction strategies were suggested for the main emission sources in order to achieve sustainable banana production.

KEYWORDS:

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; Life cycle assessment; Overseas transport; PAS 2050; Supply chain; Tropical fruit

PMID:
24361571
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.11.072
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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