Tesco expands use of carbon label on grocery products

Posted by Isobel Drake on 4th May 2009

Tesco has announced it will continue expanding their carbon labelling project, with the goal to eventually have a carbon label on all their private label products.

The UK’s largest supermarket chain now has 100 products with the label, which informs customers the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases produced during the lifetime of the product including use and disposal.

“Last year Tesco started on an exciting journey of carbon labelling everyday products to help consumers understand the environmental impact of the things they buy, and I’m delighted to say that the early feedback from customers is very encouraging,” Executive Director for Corporate and Legal Affairs, Lucy Neville-Rolfe, remarked.
The carbon labelling pilot kicked off in April last year on 20 Tesco products in four different categories: laundry detergent, orange juice, potatoes and light bulbs and is now on 100 Tesco lines across the four categories. It is also being added to toilet and kitchen roll products, the company said last Friday, with more products to be announced in coming months.

The design and simple information as well as hints and tips on the simple steps consumers can take to tackle climate change has been well received by shoppers, according to Tesco.

Customers have also relayed their views on sustainability to Tesco since the start of the trial, with:

• Over two-thirds indicating a clear understanding of the term “carbon footprint”;
• Over 60% actively seeking out a product with a low carbon footprint if it’s convenient and just as cheap to buy;
• 95% of customers taking specific actions to reduce their carbon footprint; and
• 85% of shoppers thinking about the environmental impact of the products they buy

“Tesco’s move to introduce Carbon Reduction Labels on Tesco toilet and kitchen paper marks our acceleration towards universal product carbon footprinting,” Euan Murray, General Manager Carbon Footprinting, Carbon Trust, added.

“Our research shows that consumers want business to help them make greener choices, given that low carbon products are often cheaper products this saves them cash as well as carbon.”