Tesco – true to form?

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As usual the novelty has worn off for Tesco and they have dumped the good work that they were doing with regards to green labeling. Apparently the other big supermarkets weren’t playing nicely – so that’s OK then?

20120202-201720.jpgBack in January 2007, Tesco’s chief executive, Sir Terry Leahy, promised “a revolution in green consumption” as the company pledged to put carbon labels on all 70,000 products. But it has now dropped its plan to label all its products with their carbon footprint, blaming the amount of work involved and other supermarkets for ‘failing to follow its lead’.

And this decision has been taken on the eve of a major report on high street retailers’ green programmes, Tesco also blamed “a minimum of several months’ work” to calculate the footprint of each product, the supermarket was only adding labels at the rate of 125 products a year!

The supermarket is phasing out the labels, but is still wanting to provide carbon information on products, although it has not specified how.

The ditching of the labels will come as a blow for the Carbon Trust, the previously government-funded body that created the label and advises businesses on cutting emissions. From April, the Trust will no longer receive government funding as part of the coalition government’s cuts, and will rely solely on private funding from its work with businesses.

It is not a total loss to the Carbon trust though, some companies are sticking with it. PepsiCo, which has foot printed packets of its Walkers crisps and Tropicana orange juice through the scheme, has said it will continue with the carbon footprint labels. Dyson, Kingsmill and Murphy Richards are the other three brands that work with the label.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) are about to release a report to show how much impact this scheme and others have has on the ‘green credentials’ of British retailers. It may well make interesting reading!

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