A carbon emission label or carbon label describes the carbon dioxide emissions as a product of manufacturing, transporting, or disposing of a product. This information is important to consumers and their contribution to global warming made by their purchases.
The world’s first carbon label, the Carbon Reduction Label, shows the carbon footprint embodied in a product and was first introduced in the UK in 2006 by the Carbon Trust. Examples of products featuring carbon footprints include Walkers Crisps, Kingsmill Bread, British Sugar, Cemex cement, Marshalls paving and Quaker Oats, which have all used the label. One of the biggest supporters of carbon labeling is Tesco, who has a label of detergent, light bulbs, oranges, milk and toilet paper. HBOS feature on their online bank account. The Carbon Trust also labels the companies to commit to reduce their carbon footprint. An independent panel is currently verifying the process of Defiling the British Standards Institute BSI and a new standard PAS 2050 is due to be introduced in mid-2008. As of August 2009, Defra is undertaking a radical rethink of the food industry on issues of security and sustainability, among many things proposing a green labeling scheme for food products. The CarbonCounted label started in January 2007. It uses a live carbon supply chain to determine the amount of carbon dioxide emitted to bring a product to market. This third party certified system, based on an open standard, eliminates the need for heavy auditing and guess work. This also applies to heating, cooling, lighting, etc. in the shops the products are sold in.Another label initiative started in spring 2008 in Switzerland. The independent association climatop the most climate friendly products with their label “approved by climatop”. In contrast to the label of Carbon Trust, this label does not indicate the carbon footprint of a specific product, it labels those products of a comparable group of products with a remarkably lower carbon charge. As a rule of thumb, products have at least 20% of the same category. Therefore life cycle assessments are calculated by independent offices, and the calculations are reviewed by a third party. Beside the fact that these products have a lower climate, the environmental and social standards. Examples of these products may be found at the Swiss retailer Migros, such as an organic fair trade sugar from Paraguay, recycling kitchen towels or laundry detergents. This approach has been shown to influence customer purchasing decisions. Japan announced carbon footprint labeling scheme in 2008. The labels appeared on dozens of items including food and drink starting in April 2009, providing detailed breakdowns of each product’s carbon footprint under a government-approved calculation and labeling system.
California state representative of the Carbon Labeling Act of 2009-in the California State Legislature, which has been voted out of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources. The act would require the State Air Resources Board to develop and implement a program for the voluntary assessment, verification, and standardized labeling of the carbon footprint of consumer goods. In July 2009, Walmart announced an environmental labeling program for its products. The aim is to create a universal rating system, which scores are based on their environment. Wal-Mart’s goal is to have other retailers eventually adopt the indexing system. In the United States, The Clean Energy Standard (CES) mandates that electric utilities generate a certain percentage of their power from clean energy sources. This is a step in the direction of giving carbon footprint knowledge.