Global fruit giant Dole Sunshine Company (DSC) has found a key to measuring future climate performance. The company has partnered with Swedish startup CarbonCloud in a groundbreaking machine learning project.
Life Cycle Assessments or LCAs are a decades-old process for determining a product’s total emissions. By diving into each stage of sourcing and production, a detailed emissions map can be created. However, an LCA can take months for a single product, a time frame that is not feasible for companies that need the data quickly to meet their sustainability goals.
“We are very happy to launch this project. As part of our Sunshine for All™ fund, we looked for a reliable & scalable software solution to calculate the carbon footprint of our products. Our ambition is to understand our priorities for action in our supply chain and in the future to raise awareness among our consumers,” said Barbara Guerpillon, Head of Venture Transformation & Sustainability at Dole Packaged Foods, a subsidiary of Dole Asia Holdings.
DSC has partnered with CarbonCloud, a leading climate intelligence platform for the food industry. The Swedish startup has created software that can automatically calculate product-level climate footprints using machine learning and the world’s most sophisticated food emissions database. The Swedish company managed to deliver 50 climate footprints for DSC in a single month, a process that would otherwise have taken years.
“Our climate footprint is a central performance indicator for our operations, and with CarbonCloud, we can assume this responsibility with confidence. Automating our supply chain mapping and achieving full transparency marks the day when we can stop thinking about how we measure our impact and start working on emissions reductions – product per product,” Guerpillon said.
“This is true innovation in action, and we are very pleased to launch this automation feature with DSC as our customer. DSC reminds the rest of the industry of what emissions measurements are for: to work systematically and efficiently to reducing emissions,” said David Bryngelsson, CEO and co-founder of CarbonCloud.
So why are LCAs so complicated?
Data collection, on the other hand, is tedious and difficult. A business needs to know what data to request, which vendors to get it from, and vendors need to track the task through the chain. A single transformed product can easily include several hundred emission parameters and then comes the evaluation of several scientific studies for each parameter and the need to know how to compare the quality of these. In addition, different foodstuffs must include different parameters. Calculating the footprint of a peach is not the same as calculating the footprint of a pineapple. Finally, with the data in hand, the calculations must follow the same system standards and limits.
“If you ask two of the best LCA consultants in the world to analyze the same product, they will get different numbers. None of them are wrong, but they are still not comparable because the methodology may be different, and it is extremely time consuming to figure out which way. Our platform solves this problem,” added Bryngelsson.
As a climate intelligence platform, CarbonCloud continuously monitors scientific developments to ensure that every calculation is performed with the same system limits.
“It’s our key to making sure you’re comparing apples and apples, figuratively or for that matter, literally.” said Bryngelsson.
The main driver of the project is DSC’s commitment to the Dole Promise and its goal to bring Sunshine for All. This includes the company’s commitment to a zero carbon action plan, including goals such as achieving net zero emissions in its operations by 2030 and converting to 100% renewable energy for their operations. by 2025.
So far, DSC has calculated the footprint of 73 products through the CarbonCloud platform. The tool not only provides the total carbon footprint of each product, but also offers a detailed breakdown of emissions from transportation, packaging, agriculture, and more. The company’s R&D teams also use the platform for the development of new products.
“This granular information and the ability to include it in early product development is absolutely essential for us to achieve our climate goals,” added Guerpillon.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a process introduced in the 1960s to measure the climate impact of packaging. Since then, LCAs have been the reference tool for calculating the greenhouse gas emissions of food products. LCA results are static, manually calculated, and the product of painstaking scientific work that takes months. A lifecycle assessment can be performed with different system boundaries depending on what the calculator part decides to include and exclude.
About Carbon Cloud
CarbonCloud translates decades of climate research into actionable insights for the food industry through a scalable SaaS platform and the world’s largest carbon footprint dataset. SMEs and large enterprises increase transparency throughout the supply chain, in real time and at all operational levels. CarbonCloud’s client portfolio includes some of the most engaged food companies worldwide and was founded in Gothenburg, Sweden. www.carboncloud.com
About Dole Sunshine Company
The Dole Sunshine Company name is used to represent the global interests and combined efforts of Dole Asia Holdings, Dole Worldwide Packaged Foods and Dole Asia Fresh. Dole Sunshine Company is not an actual business entity and does not operate as such in any country or region.
For more information about Dole Sunshine Company, please visit www.dolesunshine.com.
The Sunshine for All™ Fund is dedicated to supporting innovative startups and agri-food tech players to make nutrition accessible, available and affordable for everyone. You can summarize your contact details here
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