Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Here is a great link from today's Wallstreet Journal that speaks to the challenges of public perception in presenting your organization as carbon neutral. The jest is that for any claim of carbon neutrality the scope of what is being measure is very important to articulate, as most emission are represented in the supply chain and often beyond what most organization report on.
As many of you are aware, I am part of group engaged in a two-year development process of the GHG Protocols Scope 3 emissions standard which is looking specifically at the supply chain emissions. My specific team in looking at the 'what' is to be included when one is looking at measuring their organization's supply chain.
One solution is a carbon label which is a more complete look at the environmental impact that an organizations goods and services generate through the life cycle of production. The scope of measurement looks at the emission from seed to shelf. The new draft of the PAS 2050 looks at end-uses of the product as well, but on the same side doesn't include the agriculture measurement of till or no-till.
Yes, it is the wild west of carbon out there - 2009 will help to further shape the methods and measurements, but until the public feels confident with what they are being told - there will still be the critics. Think of the early days of nutritional labels and what they went through to get to where they are today.
Have a great 2009!!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
10 Nov 2008 | Author: John Russell
Leading brands’ enthusiasm for measuring carbon footprint data is growing, but customers have yet to catch on
For all of these reasons, data on how much CO2 a company emits is becoming important to investors in UK-listed firms. But do customers want to know these numbers too? Yes, according to 25 brands piloting the Carbon Reduction Label from the UK’s Carbon Trust, a government-funded body.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
By Tilde Herrera, ClimateBiz
Published September 23, 2008
CHICAGO, Ill. -- Jacob Madsen likes the tell an anecdote to illustrate the challenges posed by product carbon labels.
He once showed a bag of potato chips to a bartender at the airport while traveling. The bag included a label: 72 grams of carbon, it read. What did the bartender think it meant?
"'I know carbon is not good for me,'" she told Madsen. "'I shouldn't have too much in my body.'"
Madsen, a senior consultant at environmental consulting firm ERM, took part in a panel discussion Monday exploring the ups and downs of carbon labeling at the Corporate Climate Response conference in Chicago. It's an evolving practice with pitfalls and the expense of accurately measuring product carbon footprints across supply chains that can span continents.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
SYKE and Prime Minister’s Office
On Friday, 12 September, the Prime Minister’s Office published a report on the use of climate labels on products. The report serves as a background report to the Government foresight report on climate and energy policy. The report assesses the strengths and weaknesses of various labels and proposes a climate label prototype.
Citizens have concerns about climate change and are prepared for climate action. Many consumers consider that the lack of practical guidelines and insufficiency of knowledge preclude them from action. Information may be scattered or lacking. It may also be outdated or poorly understood. According to the report compiled by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), climate labels can enhance the dissemination of information that helps consumers to choose low-pollution products.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Walk into a supermarket and, depending on which country you're in, you can read a label that tells you how fat a product will make you, and how much of that fat is transfat that will kill you even sooner.
That is pretty important from a public health perspective, but what about environmental health? With the US government finally admitting that carbon emissions are affecting the planet's climate, the debate over carbon labelling is heating up (no pun intended).
More than one organisation has latched on to this idea. The UK's Carbon Trust piloted its carbon-labelling programme across the UK this year. Walker's Snacks has signed up to the scheme, as has Innocent Drinks, while Tesco is also labelling some products with the Trust's mark.
Carbon Label California is similarly piloting a labelling scheme on the other side of the pond. The organisation is working with the California Air Resources Board to try and get a voluntary carbon label in place. Co-founder Matthew Newman believes that it could work in concert with a cap and trade initiative, such as the one proposed by Senators Joe Lieberman and John Warner.
"It's also the kind of policy that has the potential to impact international actors, which is something that cap and trade can't do," Newman says. Analysing a product's whole supply chain would stop companies offshoring the dirty part of their operation to countries like China, where domestic environmental regulations would not apply.
Posted by Ben Tuxworth (Guest Contributor) at 3:34 PM on 09 Jul 2008
British supermarket shoppers face increasingly bewildering claims about the ethical qualities of products. In one of retail giant Tesco's stores, shoppers can opt for goods branded with the Soil Association's organic standard, the Fairtrade Foundation's logo, the British Farm standard, or chain-of-custody marks from the Marine Stewardship and Forest Stewardship Councils. They can linger over footprint information from the Carbon Trust or dolphin-based evaluation of the fishing methods used to catch their tuna. On another spectrum altogether, they are offered "Finest" and "Value" brands on Tesco's own goods. And on most products they're also expected to wade through nutritional assessments, guideline daily amounts, glycemic index counts, information on allergies, and of course, brand, quantity, and price.
As one weary consumer observed, supermarket shopping has become more like visiting a museum, with plenty to read and a clear educational agenda. Check-Out Carbon, a new report from my organization Forum for the Future, explores attempts to reduce the carbon intensity of the weekly shopping trip, and makes challenging reading for anyone hoping shoppers are taking it all in. After interviewing industry experts, conducting focus groups with consumers, and commissioning a survey of 1,000 U.K. adults, we found a surprising consensus: Despite the race to get ethically branded goods into stores, we're all expecting too much of shopper choice.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Published March 18, 2008 09:41 AM
For many companies product safety is a fundamental component of their CSR efforts. But in the last year or two no market has had to re-evaluate its product safety practices more than the food industry. Increasing health concerns by consumers, new government regulations, growing (often global) supply chains and increasingly competitive markets have all been influencing factors. And, of course, recent incidents like those at Topps Meat, Cargill, Westland Meat and Menu Foods — to name just a few — have not helped the food industry.
The Food Marketing Institute’s survey, “U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2007,” reported that consumer confidence in the safety of the food supply has dropped dramatically. Confidence had consistently hovered in the 80th percentile for years, but dropped to 66 percent, the lowest point since 1989. Consumer confidence in the safety of restaurant food is even lower, at 43 percent.Read More...