Tesco launches carbon label scheme

Orange juice, light bulbs and the humble potato will now display labels telling shoppers the size of each product's carbon footprint, Tesco has announced.

A range of 20 products will bear the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label allowing customers to compare the carbon impact of the items in their shopping trolley.

The scheme follows the trial of the labels on other products including Walkers crisps and Innocent drinks.

Tesco said it would allow consumers to understand more about the carbon impact of products and use the information to make purchasing decisions and reduce their own footprint.

Chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said: “We want to give our customers the power to make informed green choices for their weekly shop, and enlist their help in working towards a revolution in green consumption.”

Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: “There has been a significant groundswell of interest from consumers in the carbon impact of the products they buy.

“And the collective challenge for businesses is to get meaningful information to them at the right time and place so they can begin to make informed low carbon choices.”

He added that he hoped Tesco’s announcement would push other firms to join the scheme.

Since Walkers launched the label in March 2007, it has found that 70% of customers say the label makes them more aware of the environmental impact of their products.

Commenting on the scheme, Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, said: “This is a great step forwards in making embedded carbon visible to consumers and suppliers alike.

“Consumers have been able to count calories for a long time. This label will now allow consumers to count carbon and to choose products that result in a low carbon diet.”

The 20 products include five detergents, four orange juice drinks, five types of potato, and six light bulbs.

Kate Martin

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