Planet Ark and The Carbon Trust recently announced the launch of the Carbon Reduction Label in Australia, inviting CPG businesses to join the scheme.

The label is coming to Australia two-and-a-half years after its launch in the UK by the Carbon Trust.

The Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label has successfully operated since March 2007 on more than 2,500 individual product lines. The list of internationally recognised companies that have used the scheme include PepsiCo, Tesco, Coca-Cola Co., Danone and Kimberly Clark.

The Carbon Reduction Label allows businesses to communicate their carbon reduction commitment to customers through an easy to understand label that appears on a product’s packaging and other marketing material.

In order to feature the label on their products, manufacturers must prove that they have measured a product’s carbon footprint from production to disposal, using an internationally recognised methodology, and that they are committed to reducing it. Continued use of the label requires proven cuts in the product’s carbon footprint year on year.

The scheme aims to help businesses reduce their costs and enhance their reputation through communicating their product carbon footprints. Measuring carbon emissions at every step of the product lifecycle shows businesses where valuable carbon savings can be made, as well as responding to consumer demand for corporate action on climate change.

“Many companies outside the UK, especially in the US, are using our methodology to calculate the carbon footprint of their products. But this partnership is different in that it promises to introduce the Carbon Reduction Label to a whole new national market. We believe this is the first step to making carbon reduction labelling the norm for consumer products worldwide,” Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, remarked.

Paul Klymenko, research director of Planet Ark, believes the expansion of the scheme represents a great opportunity for Australian businesses to showcase their environmental commitment at a time when consumer interest in sustainability is on the rise.

“The Carbon Reduction Label scheme represents a strategic opportunity for Australian businesses to measure and reduce their products’ carbon footprint and their energy cost,” he said. “This is an exciting and groundbreaking partnership with the Carbon Trust. They have showcased the significant strategic value of communicating corporate commitments and cuts in product carbon footprints to European and American consumers. Our aim is to achieve the same success here with Australian companies and consumers.”

The first products bearing the label are expected to hit Australian supermarket shelves in 2010.

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