Carbon reduction labelling – the new trend in shopping?

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Our beloved retailers are constantly looking for ‘fads’ to make us spend more with them – they then champion the cause to enable them to increase their profits. Cynical? possibly, but following on from the ‘organic thing’ (which has now possibly become more mainstream?) They need another source of funds – so welcome to ‘carbon reduction labelling’!

What is Carbon reduction labelling? Their website describes it as follows;

“The Carbon Reduction Label helps you see at a glance which products are working to reduce their carbon footprints. It’s still early days, but already lots of leading brands have signed up – in fact you’ll find carbon labelled-products along most aisles of your local supermarket and right across the high street.”

So is it having an effect?

Well recent Carbon Trust research has shown that consumer demand for lower-carbon products and services is growing – despite the tough economic climate. Their research also suggests that consumers are becoming more aware that the products they buy come at a high price in terms of carbon emissions through the supply chain. As a result, increasing numbers of people are prepared to change their shopping habits to help minimise this carbon footprint associated with their purchases.

The figures also suggest that 45% of shoppers would be prepared to stop buying their favourite brands if they refused to commit to measuring their product’s carbon footprint, a rate that has doubled over the past year from 22%. Brand loyalty is also at stake: 56% of people would be more loyal to a brand if they could see at a glance that it was taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint.

In addition, the research shows that a large percentage of people are prepared to make lifestyle changes to reduce their impact on the environment if they don’t have to pay more: 70% said they would follow simple energy-saving advice on product packaging to reduce their carbon footprint. A quarter would consider taking fewer overseas holidays.

If I am honest I can’t see people really making these changes – when did you actually see this logo on a product you purchased? Research like this is very dependant upon the group researched, and I can’t help thinking that people will say one thing to help their conscience but actually behave differently!

Time will tell – Tesco are supporting this and I can’t help thinking they have a different reason from other people?


One thought on “Carbon reduction labelling – the new trend in shopping?

    torysspoon said:
    July 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I can really see this making a huge effect on how people shop. In Norway, we recently added a healthier choice label to all the products in Norway. I am constantly comparing my usual choice to the other brands now that I only need to glance at the cover of the package than reading each and every label.

    As well as this, I have met several people who I have encouraged to be more “eco-friendly”. They have agreed that there is an issue, but they simply do not understand what they can do about it as individuals.

    I hope this label will spread to other areas of the world as well, as I can see it being widely effective!

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