Less is more – BE CLIMATE looks back on its first year in the market

October 22, 2020

Exactly one year ago, the Hamburg-based fruit importer Port International launched the first climate neutral brand for fresh fruit and vegetables: BE CLIMATE.

The motto is as concise as it is accurate: Less emissions - more health for the climate! In cooperation with ClimatePartner, the CO2 footprint of the products – from cultivation to packaging and transport – is calculated and unavoidable emissions are offset through certified carbon offset projects. Today already more than 9 million kg CO2 in total.

The leading Belgian retail chain Delhaize was the first food retailer to incorporate BE CLIMATE bananas in their assortment at the beginning of this year. Since then, more than 6.5 million kg of bananas could be sold, which equals approximately 5.5 million kg of offset CO2. The supermarket customers have accepted the climate neutral brand so well that Delhaize is now stocking their shelves with more BE CLIMATE products, expanding their climate neutral assortment. And Belgium is no longer the only sales market – BE CLIMATE is now available at selected stores in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, too.

Transparent and sustainable: On the website www.beclimate.com, consumers can follow the amount of CO2 already compensated for each product. When it comes to calculating the products’ carbon footprints, Port International puts great emphasis on the fact that mainly primary data are used. “This way, we cannot only show the customers and consumers an emission value for their product specifically, we can also present them with a method for reducing CO,” says Julia Röder, Sustainability Manager at Port. All in all, more than 9 million kg CO2 have been compensated in the meantime.

Even though offsetting of unavoidable CO2 is important, the main focus lies on the reduction of such emissions. To achieve this, Port International puts ideas into action and sees to it that their partners along the supply chain become more sensitive to the subject. “We make a targeted selection of our business partners according to their sustainability concept; we motivate them to shape business processes in a more climate-friendly way and to take up climate action,” Managing Director Mike Port states.

One of the measures that Port International initiated for their own company was a bike challenge in August 2020. The employees were motivated to make their way to work as climate-friendly as possible by leaving the car at home and commuting by bike or public transport instead. Together, the colleagues cycled more than 6,000 km that month and commuted more than 5,000 km by train or bus. This reduction measure and eleven more that were implemented by Port’s partners will be available on the BE CLIMATE blog from November 2020 on.

Sustainable consumption is the preeminent topic of our time. BE CLIMATE offers consumers an uncomplicated opportunity to take up climate action. For 2021, Port International plans to offer their BE CLIMATE products in more European countries, increase the volumes in existing markets, add more products to the climate neutral portfolio in cooperation with ClimatePartner and, above all, continue to reduce their carbon footprint.