Carbon Reduction Label hits £2bn consumer goods landmark 

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Centre for Retail Research predicts sales of carbon labelled products to double in two years.

UK, Carbon Trust

The total annual retail value of consumer goods sold in the UK bearing the Carbon Reduction Label has reached £2 billion1 the Carbon Trust announced today, as new research shows that 9 out of 10 households in the UK bought a carbon labeled product in the last year2.

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.”

About the £2 billion figure

  • The Centre for Retail Research examined the scale and significance in the UK retail sector of The Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label. This audit project was led by Professor Joshua Bamfield, Director of the Centre for Retail Research. It corroborated that sales of consumer products that are part of the Carbon Reduction Label process are £2 billion, and B2B products approximately £3 billion. A full report is available on request.

About the Centre for Retail Research

  • The Centre for Retail Research carries out authoritative research focusing upon the impact of economic change, technology and new retail systems in Britain and Europe. Its largest research report covers 42 countries including Russia, China, the US and Japan. Established in 1997, it carries out assessments of market growth for a large number of clients including Dixons, Sainsbury’s, Visa Europe, Kelkoo, Checkpoint Systems, Carrefour, Oasis, Wilkinsons, El Corte Ingles, Metro, The Co-operative and the fiscal authorities of three countries.

Tesco own-brand pasta products to feature the Carbon Reduction Label

  • Quick Cook Spaghetti (500g)
  • Value Spaghetti (500g)
  • Tesco Short Spaghetti 500g
  • Tesco Short Spaghetti 1kg
  • Tesco Trattoria Spaghetti 1kg
  • Spaghetti (2kg)
  • Tesco Organic Spaghetti 500g
  • Tesco Macaroni 1kg
  • Tesco Organic Wholewheat spaghetti 500g
  • Lumache (500g)
  • Tesco Value Pasta Quills 500g
  • Wholefoods Pulse Spaghetti (500g)
  • Tesco Trattoria Penne 1kg
  • Riccioli (500g)
  • Tripoline (500g)
  • Tesco Penne Pasta Quills 1kg
  • Tesco Penne Pasta Quills 3kg
  • Tesco Dischi Volanti 500g
  • Quick Cook Fusilli (500g)
  • Tesco Macaroni 500g
  • Tesco Quick Cook Penne 500g
  • Tesco Trattoria Fusilli 1kg
  • Tesco Penne Pasta Quills 500g
  • WholeFoods Multicereal Penne (500g)
  • Tesco Casarecce Pasta 500g
  • Tesco Tagliatelle 500g
  • Tesco Wholefoods Spelt Fusilli 500g
  • Tesco Organic Fusilli 500g
  • Tesco Organic Wholewheat Fusilli 500g
  • Tesco Lasagne 500g
  • Tesco Value Lasagne Sheets 250g
  • Lasagne 250g
  • Tesco Wholewheat Fusilli Pasta Twists 500g
  • Tesco Organic Lasagne 250g
  • Tesco Organic Wholewheat Lasagne 250g
  • Tesco Fusilli Pasta Twists 3kg
  • Tesco Linguine Pasta 500g
  • Tesco Conchiglie Pasta Shells 3kg
  • Tesco Wholewheat Spaghetti 500g
  • Tesco Farfalline Mini Pasta Bows 500g
  • Tesco Fusilli Pasta Twists 1kg
  • Tesco Conchiglie Pasta Shells 1kg
  • Tesco Conchiglie Pasta Shells 500g
  • Tesco Wholewheat Fusilli 500g
  • Tesco Farfalle Pasta Bows 500g
  • Tesco Wholewheat Penne 500g
  • Tesco Tricolore Fusilli Pasta Twists 500g
  • Tesco Fresh Egg Tagliatelle 250g
  • Tesco Fresh Egg Tagliatelle 500g
  • Tesco Fresh Egg Spaghetti 500g
  • Tesco Fresh Egg Fusilli 250g
  • Tesco Fresh Egg Fusilli 500g
  • Tesco Fresh Pasta Shells 500g
  • Tesco Fresh Egg Penne 500g
  • Trattoria Verdi Fettuccine 500g
  • Tesco Organic Tagliatelle 250g
  • Tesco Healthy Living Wholewheat Penne 500g
  • Tesco Fresh Egg Lasagne 250g
  • Tesco Gnocchi 500g
  • Finest Free Range Egg & Spinach Linguine 400g

About the Carbon Reduction Label

  • Since 2007, the Carbon Trust has worked with more than 90 brands and 5,000 individual product lines to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of many everyday household items. Many of these brands now carry the Carbon Reduction Label on their packaging to show consumers they are committed to reducing their impact on the environment.
  • The Carbon Trust designed the Carbon Reduction Label to help companies communicate the impact of their product carbon footprinting work to consumers. Companies that display the Carbon Trusts Carbon Reduction Label (on pack, online or elsewhere) are making a commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of their product or service.
  • Three years ago the Carbon Trust laid the foundations for a product footprinting methodology. Published in October 2008, the PAS 2050 is the first international standard for companies to measure the carbon footprint of their products and services. The carbon footprint of a product or service is the total carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted during its life, from production to final disposal.
  • The development of PAS 2050 was been overseen by an independent Steering Group, made up of NGOs, academics, business and government representatives, supported by a number of Working Groups to discuss technical issues. The Carbon Trust is now working with the World Resources Institute and ISO to support the global harmonisation of product carbon footprinting standards.

For more information visit:

About The Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company with the mission to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy, providing specialist support to business and the public sector to help cut carbon emissions, save energy and commercialise low carbon technologies. By stimulating low carbon action we contribute to key UK goals of lower carbon emissions, the development of low carbon businesses, increased energy security and associated jobs.

We help to cut carbon emissions now by

  • Providing specialist advice and finance to help organisations cut carbon
  • Setting standards for carbon reduction

We reduce potential future carbon emissions by

  • Opening markets for low carbon technologies
  • Leading industry collaborations to commercialise technologies
  • Investing in early stage low carbon companies

1 Centre for Retail Research October 2010

2 The Carbon Trust calculation based in part on data reported by Nielsen through its Homescan Service for defined products carrying The Carbon Reduction Label, (The Carbon Trust -defined) for the 52-week period ending 4th September 2010 for the Great Britain total grocery market. (Copyright © 2010, The Nielsen Company.)

Calculated by dividing £2bn annual sales by total number of UK households

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