Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tesco to 'Carbon Label' All Its Products

Tesco will become the first supermarket chain in the world to assign a "carbon label" to every product on its shelves, in an effort to attract ever more environmentally conscious consumers.

The UK's biggest chain said the labels would record the amount of carbon dioxide emitted during the production, transport and consumption of the 70,000 products it sells.

Tesco will invest £5m in academic research on these methods, working with the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University.
I think this is great, and something I have been hoping for for a long time (most recently with the Carbon Footprint of a Cheeseburger). Of course the devil is in the details, so hopefully the Environmental Change Institute will do a good job. I suspect the first labels to come out will have questionable accuracy and critics will be able to find many problems with them. But, hopefully this is the beginning of a process that will lead to accurate numbers in the long run.

Who will be the first to add carbon labeling to their products in the US? I think Wal-Mart would be a good bet, given there advanced back-end computer technology, ability to make suppliers do what they want, and new found religion on being green. But, whenever I share this idea, everyone is skeptical. Whole Foods is another possibility.

via via TerraPass

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