Carbon Footprint and Water Footprint
Carbon Footprint, or How to Measure our Impact on the Planet
The carbon footprint allows the quantification of greenhouse gas emissions that are released into the atmosphere as a consequence of a specific activity, in the case that concerns the production of organic strawberries.
This quantification allows us to be aware of the impact generated by this activity in global warming, converting the carbon footprint into a valuable awareness tool.
Nowadays, it is already emerging as a differentiating element of the organizations that decide to commit themselves to the environment and are committed to the development of a sustainable activity.
It is crucial to understand the carbon footprint not only as a mere calculation element, but as the first step in the path of improvement and commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this lies its great contribution to the fight against climate change.
The Objective of Measuring our Carbon Footprint
The aim is to analyze the life cycle of the strawberry sector by evaluating the environmental impacts associated with all stages of the product, from the agricultural production of raw materials, collection, packaging, transport and disposal.
Energy consumption, fossil fuel consumption, water use (Water Footprint), soil affectation, emissions of the atmosphere (Carbon Footprint) and waste generation are analyzed.
- Electric consumption
- Fuel consumption
- Consumption of raw materials
- Residuous generation
The emission of Greenhouse Effect Gases is accounted for in each process studied, directly issued, related to the consumption of electricity or fossil fuels, in the manufacture of raw materials used and those caused by the elimination of generated waste.
After a thorough analysis of each part of the procedure we go back down another consecutive year, in fact, we are impatient to measure it again in the next cycle because with all the new improvements we have carried out this year, we are sure that it will fall noticeably 🙂
Water footprint, or how not to waste a drop of water
The water footprint is the total volume of fresh water we need to grow the fruit, throughout the process.
We will quantify it using a water balance model that takes into account the local climate, fertilization application rates, phytosanitary treatments, water requirements of crops, real use of water by crops, yields and finally the green water footprint, blue and gray.
The aim of this study is to estimate the water used in strawberry production:
- Green water footprint, the rainwater consumed.
- Blue water footprint refers to the volume of water in the soil and surface water consumed, evaporated, as a result of the production of a product.
- Gray water footprint, volume of fresh water necessary to assimilate the load of pollutants with respect to water quality standards existing in the environment.
The exhaustive measurement of the whole process and throughout the campaign results in the following graph.
Some of the measures carried out during this campaign
1. During this campaign the vegetation that was planted in the previous one has been maintained.
As more mature vegetation is absorbed around twice the CO2 than the previous season about 0.00048 kg CO2 / UF
2. The cardboard tub is being gradually introduced to replace the PET tub.
3. A greenhouse for the production of its own plant has been installed for landscape restoration and increased biodiversity. This plant will be installed in the coming months to continue with the search for a balance in terms of CO2 emissions.
4. Use of biodegradable and compostable plastics to minimize waste.
5. Collection of rainwater to introduce it into the irrigation system.
6. Search for varieties with lower water needs.
Thanks for readings 🙂