Carbon label indicates GHG emission or carbon footprint throughout its life cycle in form of CO2 equivalent. The label is defined to be type III Environmental Declaration: ISO 14025.
Carbon label can be identified into four types:
- Type 1: Low-carbon seal indicates the low GHG emission among the same products category.
- Type 2: Carbon rating indicates the levels of GHG emission from products into gold, silver and bronze awards which points out the carbon reduction rating.
- Type 3: Carbon score demonstrates the number amount of GHG emission in form of carbon footprint.
- Type 4: Carbon offset/neutral presents the achievement of zero carbon emission
Picture 2-1: Example of low-carbon seal label
Picture 2-2: Example of carbon rating label
Picture 2-3: Example of amount of carbon label
Picture 2-4: Example of carbon offset label
History of Carbon Label
In 2000-2009, Carbon Trust initiated carbon labels which provided information of GHG emission to consumers and business units with the goal to better changes in carbon-free supply chain from consumer behaviors
International Carbon Labels
United Kingdom is the leader of carbon labels through driving forces of public organizations, established by the government, such as Carbon Trust. The organization has calculated carbon footprint of more than 5,000 products which cover 90 brands since 2000 until 2006. They also developed PAS 2050, a specific assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emission of goods and services, which officially announced to be effective on October 29, 2002 by British Standard Institute (BSI). PAS 2050 received supports from Carbon Trust and the UK Government Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
In addition, Tesco has set a target to place the carbon label onto more than 70,000 of their products, especially food products. In 2010, 500 products have received the carbon labels and 1,000 more products have passed the assessment.
carbon labels in France
Migros was the leader and developed of “Climatop Carbon Label” using Hybrid EIO-LCA with the help from a consulting company called MyClimate. It found that these products with the label have efficiency in GHG emission reduction among the same products by 20 percent.
Germany government supports Product Carbon Footprint Pilot Project Deutshland which managed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Science Institutes Öko-Institute (Institute for Applied Ecology), Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and THEMA1. There are 10 pioneer companies such as Tetra Pak, BASF, and REWE Group who participate in the project to select products for Product Carbon Footprint (PCF), a GHG emission calculation. Moreover, the project developed methodology for the assessment of Product Carbon Footprint and it also communicated out to the public on reduction of GHG emission. This project also encourages manufacturers to reduce GHG emission.
Carbon label in Spain has developed and certified by EPEA which indicates the amount of GHG emission from products through external assurance.
Any products that wish to receive the Climate Neutral Product of Nature & More must assess life cycle assessment through evolution and verification from TUV Nord. The first company to receive was Eosta.
United States of America
California developed three types of labels
- Low-Carbon Seal doesn’t indicate the GHG emission of products
- Carbon Score indicates the GHG emission of products
- Carbon Rating is similar to energy label of Europe which uses stars as a symbols and rink it from one to five. The more stars a products has, the more GHG emission that product reduces.
CarbonCounted is a non-profit organization that certifies and assesses GHG emission reduction. It provides carbon labels to companies which develop carbon emission calculation according to Green House Gas Pro Protocol, ISO 14064, ISO 14025, PAS 2050 and CarbonCounted. The label presents the amount of GHG emission where CarbonCounted is the organization certifies the calculation of GHG emission. There were a total of 40 companies as pilot companies.
In 2010, Carbon Neutral was developed by Carbon Reduction Institute (CRI) which can be categorized into 2 types:
1. Low CO2 label indicates the GHG reduction of process production. The amount of GHG remission is in percentage which regards to the target goals.
2. NO CO2 label indicates that the amount of GHG which process production and services emit the same amount.
The Japanese government authorizes the carbon label for food and beverage products with the leading companies voluntary participated. It aimed to encourage companies and consumers to reduce GHG emission. Today, there is variety of products with carbon labels where there are pilot products with carbon pilots, exhibiting at Eco Products 2008 such as eggs, rice, carrot, orange, instant noodle, books, coolers, lightbulb, tissue box and shirts. In 20XX, there were 252 Japanese products that received carbon label which already include environmental taxes.
South Korea has two types of carbon labels:
1. Carbon Footprint Label Certificate indicates the amount of GHG emission or services.
2. Low Carbon Certification indicates the amount of GHG emission comparison to the original GHG emission. This label is different from Carbon Footprint as there is a white arrow on the label, indicating the reduction of GHG emission.
The 10 pilot companies of South Korea in carbon labelling are Asiana Airlines, Kyungdong, LG, Amore Pacific Corporation, TFT-LCD Glass substrates, Woogjin Coway, and Cheil Jedang.
Carbon label in Thailand
From August 2008, Thailand’s Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO) is working in cooperation with the Thai Environment Institute (TEI) to establish the “Carbon Reduction Label” scheme by using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. There are three types of carbon label in Thialand which are:
1) Carbon Reduction Label
Carbon Reduction Label is a label indicating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions per unit of product/service as a simple reference for consumers to decide on what items of products or services they should purchase.
2) Carbon Footprint of Product (CFP) Label
Carbon Footprint Label is and the label that inform quantity of GHG emissions from each production unit throughout the whole life cycle (cradle-to-grave) of a product. CFP aims to provide an alternative to consumers to contribute towards reducing GHG emissions by purchasing low emission products and services. The project also seeks to promote and enhance the competitiveness of the Thai industrial sector in the global market.
3) Carbon Footprint Reduction Label
The product’s Carbon Footprint Reduction (CFR) or global warming reduction Label is the label that demonstrated an achievement in reduction of the product’s carbon footprint as required by the TGO’s Carbon Labeling Program. An assessment of CFR shall be based on the concept of product’s life cycle includes; raw material acquisition, transportation and distribution, production, usage and end of life disposal to account and compare between the product’s Carbon Footprint for the base year and the present year in order to determine and evaluate the reduced carbon footprint of the product against the TGO’s requirement. Those companies that achieve the TGO’s CFR requirement could eligibly be registered and use CFR labeling on their products and publicized through Medias for an advertisement.