Carbon emissions and olive farming Written by Sunday, 18 September 2016
Carbon emissions and olive farming
IOC creates applications that calculates olive farming CO2 balance
International Olive Oil Council (IOC) wants to show that scientific evidence illustrate that when the appropriate agricultural practices are applied, the carbon sink of olive trees through the biomass and soil is much greater than the greenhouse gas emissions for one production unit.

Based on Environmental Product Declarations for olive oil, on average 1.5 kg of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere for the production of one litre of extra virgin olive oil.

IOC incorporated mathematical calculations in an online application that estimates the emissions and sink effects of olive farming. Through these calculations it has been found that for every litre of olive oil produced in a mature semi-intensive orchard with average crop yields, the orchard has the potential to absorb 10 kg of CO2 in the soil.

It can therefore be stated that for 1lt of olive oil, the olive orchard absorbs 10 kg of CO2 in the soil, and therefore olive oil farming contributes to fight global warming by absorbing more atmospheric CO2 than it produces. This application, is available to anyone to calculate their carbon balance, and can be accessed on the IOC website: http://carbonbalance.internationaloliveoil.org

The working group set up by the IOC to develop this application studied and developed generic examples of how the incorporation of the agricultural carbon balance affects the carbon balance of producing 1L of oil.