Coca-Cola, Kimberly-Clark Among 9 Companies Testing Carbon Labels In UK

by | Sep 20, 2007

In a move illustrating that big brands in the UK are eager to please environmentally-conscious consumers, nine companies have signed on to use the draft product carbon footprinting standard, currently being developed by Carbon Trust in partnership with Defra and BSI British Standards, which lets brands sport carbon labels.

A recent study from the UK found that more than half of UK consumers want information about the carbon footprint of the products they purchase and nearly half would switch to brands with smaller carbon footprints.

New partners and products include:

• Aggregate Industries – Hard landscaping products (paving stones etc)
• Cadbury Schweppes – Cadbury Dairy Milk bars
• Coca-Cola – A sparkling beverage and a still beverage from its product range
• The Co-operative Group – 200g and 400g punnet Strawberries
• Halifax – Halifax Web Saver Account
• Kimberly-Clark – Andrex Toilet Tissue and Huggies nappies
• Marshalls – Hard landscaping products (paving stones etc)
• Scottish & Newcastle – Fosters Lager and Bulmers Original Cider

The Carbon Trust launched the carbon reduction label in March 2007. The label now appears on all flavors of Walkers Crisps and on point of sale materials for the Botanics range of shampoos in Boots stores. Innocent drinks currently displays the label for their mango and passion fruit smoothie on their website and is working with the Carbon Trust to provide information across their entire smoothie range.

The BBC has an interesting article that breaks down how Walkers determined the footprint of its potato chips.

“We’re already learning lots about our carbon footprint,” said Alex Cole, Cadbury Schweppes’ corporate responsibility Director. “Whether it’s British cows producing fresh milk or Ghanaian farmers growing cocoa, there’s a whole bunch of activities that go into making a bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk. This process is helping us understand where our greatest energy impacts are – so we can bring them down as part of our “Purple Goes Green” project to do our bit for climate change.”

In the U.S., SunChips, Frito-Lay’s brand of multigrain snacks, recently added the Green-e logo, a designation from the Center for Resource Solutions used to indicate that a product offsets its carbon emissions, across the full line of SunChips snacks. Timberland is putting tags on its products. But it’s not just brands that have long been associated with environmental causes that are getting involved. Major corporations like PepsiCo and Wal-Mart Stores are conducting inventories of how much carbon is emitted in making their products and are considering labeling merchandise, The Boston Globe reports (via the International Herald Tribune). The Globe article outlines the difficulties involved in figuring out a product’s footprint.

“This will be a complex task requiring a detailed analysis of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions across the product lifecycle,” said Paul Smith, environment, heath and safety group manager for Coca-Cola Enterprises Europe. “We are delighted to work in partnership with the Carbon Trust to undertake this task and hope to be able to support the proposed methodology and identify cost effective opportunities to reduce emissions generated across our supply chain.”

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