The International Olive Council has developed a tool for estimating the carbon balance of olive oil. This tool is one of the outcomes of the work carried out with the much appreciated assistance of an expert group created by the IOC in 2012.
In recent years, consumers have started to demand more and more environmental information about what they consume, especially food. Various regulatory frameworks have been developed with the shared goal of quantifying environmental impacts, particularly greenhouse gas emissions using the carbon footprint as an indicator.
Published scientific studies document the positive environmental effects of olive growing – in terms of biodiversity, soil improvement, as a barrier against desertification, etc – and show how certain agricultural practices increase the capacity to fix atmospheric CO2 in the soil and plants.
The regulatory frameworks developed so far for quantifying and reporting greenhouse gas emissions are based on a life cycle assessment approach. In these frameworks, the potential effect of CO2 capture and storage by olive orchards is reported separately from global emissions. Hence, there is no single specific indicator to report the real positive effect of olive growing as an ecosystem that captures CO2 from the atmosphere and stores it on a long-term basis in plants and the soil.
For this reason, the IOC wishes to share the first version of this carbon balance application with any interested stakeholders in the olive oil industry. It can be viewed at