Dole Food Company announced today the release of its 2020 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report. The report unveils the organization’s new sustainability framework, “The Dole Way,” along with the company’s first-ever enterprise-wide sustainability goals.
“Since our founding, Dole has strived to deliver the best of which we are capable—in both our products and how we produce them,” states Johan Linden, CEO of Dole. “The need for healthy food choices has never been more evident than during these past weeks as we adapt under this global pandemic. The journey and dedication to be a responsible citizen of our communities as well as a good steward of our land will continue into our future and Dole will remain steadfast in being honest and transparent about our efforts and our impacts in supplying wholesome food across the globe.”
“Of course,” Linden continues, “our stakeholders expect this of us, but even more we expect this of ourselves; to engage in open dialogue, including critical voices, to make a measurable and meaningful difference for people and the planet, and to constantly evaluate and improve. It’s what we believe is the right way to do business.”
Dole’s sustainability report outlines an ambitious slate of initiatives under the Dole Way framework focused on tangible action directed towards five key goals:
- More than ever, Dole understands our responsibility to positively impact underserved communities and promises to donate no less that 2,500 tons of fresh fruit and produce by 2025.
- Dole will effect valuable long-term change by declaring a social premium for Dole branded bananas and pineapple. This social investment will be directed by company organizations and independent foundations that have operated in Dole’s Latin American production areas for decades and will be invested in the communities according to local needs.
- Dole produce is grown in areas where water is becoming increasingly scarce, and Dole is committed to reduce water usage while improving water quality in its operations.
- Dole will continue to take action to promote healthy eating and nutrition education, with a special focus on youth. At its core, this is a promise to support people living longer and healthier lives.
- Dole recognizes that climate change is real and that the food and agriculture industries have a role to play in mitigating its effects. Dole will focus on decreasing its carbon footprint by ensuring new vessels include efficiency upgrades and working towards achieving net zero carbon emissions at farm level by 2030.
Other important sustainability targets include ensuring all packaging materials used in Dole’s banana and pineapple businesses are either recyclable or compostable by 2025, and introducing blockchain or similar technology in all operations to bring about a step-change in food safety and transparency.
Reporting on the impacts of Dole’s responsibility and sustainability goals is also of critical importance.
“This report and our goals are a new milestone in our sustainability pursuit, and farming is at the heart of that transformation. As farmers, we are facing the reality of climate change and are joining all other concerned people and businesses willing to tackle this challenge in our supply chain,” says Xavier Roussel, Vice President of Sustainability. “We will build on our learning—both in precision farming and organic agriculture—to deliver on our commitments in alliance with our business partners and other stakeholders. As an employer we will continue to make a difference in the lives of our employees and local communities and make a positive impact both within our farm borders and beyond.”
“Dole is absolutely committed to being part of the community of concerned citizens taking on the sustainability challenge,” Roussel says.