Carbon label hits £2bn

Posted on 20 Oct 2010 by The Manufacturer

The annual value of consumer goods sold bearing the Carbon Reduction Label has hit £2bn, as new research shows that 9 out of 10 households in the UK bought a carbon labelled product in the last year.

The milestone figure comes as Tesco confirmed it has added the Carbon Reduction Label to its own brand dried egg and dried Finest pasta, available in stores nationwide from as early as next month. It means the average UK household spends £77 on carbon labelled products per year.

With both Quaker Oats and Morphy Richards signing up over the past year, 85 products currently display the Label, and the latest, Tesco’s own brand dried egg and dried Finest pasta, join other key essentials from Tesco including its own brand milk, orange juice, washing detergent and toilet roll, along with other everyday brands such as Walkers Crisps and Quaker Oats.

If sales of business (B2B) products were added, the total retail value of goods bearing the Label would rise to approximately £3 billion. CEMEX UK, Marshalls plc and Continental Clothing all feature the Label on their B2B products.

The Carbon Trust is urging businesses to take part in its Carbon Reduction Labelling scheme in order to reduce the carbon footprints of their products and take advantage of a market which the Centre for Retail Research predicts could be worth more than double by the end of 2012 and to reach £15.2 billion by 2015.

The Label is achieved by following the PAS 2050 carbon footprinting methodology, which measures the carbon emissions of a product at every step of the supply chain.

Once they have achieved the standard, businesses can use the Carbon Reduction Label to publicise the carbon footprints of their products, and make a public commitment to reducing them.

Richard Evans, CEO, PepsiCo UK & Ireland said: “The carbon reduction logo is a public commitment to reducing our carbon footprint year on year and ensures that we work hard to find innovative ways of making efficiencies at every step of our supply chain. We are proud to be leading the way on sustainability, which began by working with the Carbon Trust to understand the carbon footprint of our products, and led to Walkers crisps being the first product worldwide to feature the carbon label on pack.”

David North, Community and Government director, Tesco said: “Carbon is an unfamiliar subject for many people. So we’re providing clear information to help our customers understand the impact of what they buy and do. We have pioneered an innovative, universal carbon footprint label with the Carbon Trust, and have already put the label on over 100 own-brand products. And we’ll expand this to include more products this year.”

Euan Murray, head of Footprinting at the Carbon Trust, said: “The £2 billion sales figure is a major milestone, and we are proud to see that the Carbon Reduction Label has achieved such momentum in only three years. Forward-thinking businesses are recognising the multiple benefits of carbon footprinting and labelling – from cutting inefficiency and waste from their supply chains, to being transparent about the carbon emissions of their products, and committing to reduce them.

“Major brands such as Walkers, Kingsmill, Tate and Lyle and Tesco are already selling large volumes of Carbon Reduction Labelled products, increasing the visibility of the Label on the high street. If businesses that produce products want to cut carbon and take advantage of a growing desire for green goods, then carbon footprinting and labelling is one of the best ways to get ahead of the game and be recognised for their actions.”

The Carbon Reduction Label is one of the largest assurance ecolabels in UK retailing. It is second only to the Red Tractor scheme, which boasts £10bn in UK sales.