Chiquita Brands Set to Celebrate Earth Day With Community Outreach
Employees to Volunteer in Local Communities
Opportunity to Showcase That Every Day is Earth Day
CHARLOTTE, N.C.- April 19, 2013 - On Monday, April 22, 2013, people all around the world will celebrate Earth Day. To mark the occasion, Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB) will be getting hands on. Employees from the company's headquarters location in Charlotte are heading out of the office and into the community. Volunteers will spend the day in several local community gardens and at three local schools working to improve their gardens and teach students about sustainability.
'Chiquita is and has been committed to improving the communities in which our employees work and live,' said Ed Lonergan, Chiquita's president and chief executive officer. 'Activities like these reflect our strong belief that we are in this world to make it better by improving lives, loving our planet and leading our industry.'
Chiquita's global colleagues are also putting the company's beliefs into action. Volunteers from across the world are taking part in Earth Day activities and learning sessions. In the tropics, company volunteers will plant more than 1,000 trees in communities surrounding our banana farms. Every site will give these activities a special touch. For example, in Guatemala, every individual will label the tree with their name as a symbolic gesture of committing to the protection and well-being of these critical assets to their communities.
Every Day is Earth Day
Celebrating the planet goes well beyond April 22 for Chiquita. Every day is Earth Day. While the company is passionate about its healthy and nutritious products, it is also passionate about loving the planet. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability efforts are woven deep into the fabric of Chiquita. Looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact, and ultimately contribute to a world capable of effectively sustaining future generations, is a top priority for the iconic brand.
'Chiquita began this journey more than 20 years ago and ever since has expanded our CSR and sustainability programs to cover not only our Latin American operations but also our operations in North America and Europe,' said Manuel Rodriguez, senior vice president of government affairs and chief corporate social responsibility officer for Chiquita. 'We are convinced that doing the right thing is not only good business, but the only way to assure a successful and sustainable business.'
Want to know more? Here are just a few examples of some of Chiquita's latest projects and work.
Chiquita LEEDing the Way
The company's corporate headquarters was recently awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating. LEED, established by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), consists of a rating system for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. In order to earn LEED certification, a commercial building must satisfy all LEED prerequisites.
The Chiquita headquarters showcases many sustainable features such as open spaces with windows which allow for more natural light use over artificial light use and wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Over 48% of materials used to upfit the office space were manufactured within a 500 mile radius of building. This approach not only reduces emissions generated from the transportation of materials but also supports the local economies in which they were manufactured.
With the office's convenient uptown location, employees have access to several public transportation options. Having these amenities within a close proximity promotes walking and the use of public transportation which in turn can reduce the amount of single occupancy vehicles being used and diminish pollution.
Sixaola Reforestation Project - Costa Rica
Chiquita's owned and independent banana farms are located in Latin America. A major focus for the company in these areas is conservation, restoration and use of forestry resources within climate friendly farming. A new initiative in Costa Rica, Sixaola Reforestation Project, was recently launched with the goal of establishing a model of mixed forestry, both commercial and conservation, linked to the banana farms that will create economic, ecological and social value. Close to 5,000 trees have already been planted in the border area between Costa Rica and Panama and it is expected that within 24 months the project will cover nearly 250 hectares.
Carbon Neutral Ripening Facility - Europe
After many years of ripening Chiquita bananas in the Dutch town of Gorinchem, the company invested in one of the first - if not the first - carbon neutral banana ripening facilities in the world. With this initiative, Chiquita has reduced nearly 50% of its electricity consumption. The facility's pioneering design meets high standards of sustainability, product quality and employee well-being. The building houses offices and ripening rooms, and features several state-of-the-art technologies.
For more information about Chiquita's corporate social responsibility efforts, please visit the Chiquita Difference.
About Chiquita Brands International, Inc.
Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB) is a leading international marketer and distributor of nutritious, high-quality fresh and value-added food products - from energy-rich bananas, blends of convenient green salads, other fruits to healthy snacking products. The company markets its healthy, fresh products under the Chiquita® and Fresh Express® premium brands and other related trademarks. With annual revenues of more than $3 billion, Chiquita employs approximately 20,000 people and has operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.chiquita.com/.
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Source: Chiquita Brands International, Inc via Thomson Reuters ONE