Certification complexities & confusion
Early on, as we embarked on our mission to develop and provide the most sustainable food possible, we began to understand the complexities and common confusions around emissions, pollution and even what zero carbon certification means.
We soon discovered that we weren't alone in this confusion, both from an industry and consumer perspective. We all want to choose products that are better for the environment, and for us, so we look for the right certifications to ensure we are choosing the most suitable options possible. But what do all those certifications and definitions mean?
Naturally, this confusion created a communication problem for NZ0 and our goal of fossil fuel free foods and how the industry, consumer and wider public perceives that. We could quite easily become zero carbon certified, with a reduction plan and a few dollars to offset our emissions, but this doesn’t feel, or sit quite right with us.
If a business offsets their pollution to become ‘net zero carbon’, the question remains how much have they actually changed their behaviour, if at all?
If a business offsets their pollution to become ‘net zero carbon’, the question remains how much have they actually changed their behaviour, if at all? In our opinion, this point of difference between offsetting and actual zero fossil fuel use in critical.
It quickly became clear to us that growers or producers that actively seek and remove all fossil fuel emissions from their growing process, deserve a certification that helps to identify to the consumer this point of difference. This in turn helps to push the issue of offsetting vs zero fossil fuel use and encourages consumers to support this new gold standard of zero fossil fuel use producers through clear, guaranteed identification.
The zero fossil fuel initiative
As a result, we reached out to AsureQuality and have begun working with the Environmental Assurance team to help create a new type of certification programme. This programme aims to reflect the technological advancements now available to allow growers to completely remove fossil fuel combustion from their growing operations.
Having said this, we still encourage that zero carbon certification be widely adopted, but the specific removal of fossil fuels in the growing process will help drive true change to our industry, economy and environment. Having a zero fossil fuel approach is the best we can be, given current technological limitations!
Through the introduction of this new, zero fossil fuel standard, we are confident that consumers can trust that these growers are being held to account through regular, stringent audits and random site visits to ensure no fossil fuels are being used in the growing process.