UK carbon label goods sales 'pass £2bn-a-year mark'

Published on Thursday, 14 October 2010 09:49
Posted by Scott Buckler

The total annual retail value of consumer goods sold in the UK bearing the Carbon Reduction Label has reached £2 billion the Carbon Trust announced...

 

...as new research shows that 9 out of 10 households in the UK bought a carbon labeled 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 labeled products per year3.

The Carbon Reduction Label has reached the landmark figure of £2 billion in just three years. 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 billion1. 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 20151.

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, leading to valuable energy and cost saving opportunities for businesses. 

The Carbon Trust developed PAS 2050, the world's first standard for product carbon footprinting, with Defra and BSI British Standards in 2007.  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.

The Carbon Trust is working with organisations in Korea, Australia, the US, Canada, South Africa and China, as well as across Europe, to support the global uptake of the PAS 2050 carbon footprinting methodology.

Industry Support for the Label:


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."

Dax Lovegrove, head of business and industry at WWF-UK, said: "Action from businesses and consumers will take us closer to a climate-safe future. Consumers can add pressure on businesses to change, but businesses also need to engage them in smart ways that connect them to the key issues. There are myriad benefits to be gained by pushing solutions rather than awaiting consumer pull - benefits that are already being reaped by the more innovative businesses. One of these is to tell the story of sustainable products. The Carbon Reduction Label, along with a range of other accredited eco labels, has a role to play in this agenda, both through improving choice and driving change."

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."

Professor Joshua Bamfield of the Centre for Retail Research, which worked with the Carbon Trust to corroborate the £2 billion figure added: "The growth of the Carbon Reduction Label in four years to £2 billion at retail prices is very impressive, particularly as it primarily involves well-established brands like Tesco, Kingsmill, Walkers Crisps and Silver Spoon. We expect retail sales of consumer Label products to more than double by the end of 2012 and to reach £15.2 billion by 2015."

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.”

Source: ©Carbon Trust

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