'Low carbon' labels embraced

13th October 2010 - Fine Cut

Just as shoppers get used to seeing fair trade, organic and rain forest product labels, they will have to get used to another logo revealing the item's carbon footprint.

More and more leading food brands are using the Government's black footprint logo, making it the second most common ethical label in the UK by the end of this year, research shows.

The black footprint logo shows shoppers that those producing the items are working alongside the Carbon Trust behind the scenes, to identify and reduce the carbon emissions that cause global warming. In some cases, the labels display the amount of CO2 generated by the product allowing consumers to see how much their purchases contribute to unseen pollution.

Generally, the amount of CO2 emitted weighs more than the product, but there can be substantial variations between different brands or types of the same product.

Euan Murray head of footprinting at the Carbon Trust told The Independent that he did not know if all products would eventually carry the carbon label.

"We are increasingly seeing people recognise that things have a carbon footprint and they want to do something about it," he said.

Tesco has proved to be the biggest supporter of the scheme and carried out their commitment made three years ago to carbon label all of its 70,000 food lines. So far it has put footprints on 100 of its own brand products including milk, toilet roll and orange juice. Walkers crisps and baker Kingsmill have also adopted the idea.

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