Overview of Product Carbon Footprinting Schemes

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Overview of Product Carbon Footprinting Schemes 2017-10-20T23:49:34+00:00


The communication of PCF results is an important element in a number of PCF standards. Businesses can communicate the PCF to consumers or can use the results for internal GHG management. PCFs aimed at consumers or other interested stakeholders can be communicated through the use of a carbon label placed directly on the product, an indication on the supermarket shelf or the purchase receipt or on the company’s website.

The world’s first carbon label was first launched as a pilot Carbon Reduction Label scheme by a UK based organization, the Carbon Trust in 2006. Since then, a number of UK-based firms started to sign up for the Label scheme – Carbon Reduction label. Examples of products featuring their carbon footprint include Walkers Crisps, Kingsmill bread, British Sugar, Cemex cement, Marshalls paving and Quaker Oats.

Following the Carbon Reduction Label, other label schemes started being launched by different organizations in Europe and North America. Examples include the CarbonCounted and Climatop, which was adopted in 2007 in Canada and in 2008 in Switzerland, respectively. The Carbon Counted Label uses a live carbon supply chain to determine the amount of carbon dioxide emitted to bring a product to market. The independent association climatop labels the most climate friendly products with their label – approved by climatop.

In Asia

Since 2009, some of the Asian countries actively started launching their own schemes. As for Japan, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (MEITI) initiated a three-year national CFP pilot project in 2009 and officially launched “CFP Communication Program”, taken over by the Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry (JEMAI) in 2012. The CFP labelling scheme in the Republic of Korea was adopted in 2009, operated by the Korea Environment Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) commissioned by the government. KEITI has conducted several promotion programs such as 50% of commission reductions and free-consulting for SMEs and LCA trainings online / offline. Chinese Taipei and Thailand also have implemented the schemes from 2009, operated by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) of Chinese Taipei and the Thailand GHG Management Organization (TGO), while as for China, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA) issued the document “Interim Measure for Certification Management of Low-carbon Products” in 2013 and pilot projects in selected provinces including Guangdong Province, Chongqing Municipality, and Hubei Province have been implemented.

< Existing Labelling Schemes Worldwide >

Country Program Launching Year Implementing Agency
U.K Carbon Reduction Label 2006 Carbon Trust
Canada Carbon Reduction Label 2007 Carbon Counted
Carbonlabels.org 2008 Conscious Brands
U.S.A Certified CarbonFree 2007 Carbonfund.org
Footprint Chronicles 2007 Patagonia
Green Index rating 2007 Timberland
Climate Conscious Carbon Label 2008 The Climate Conservancy
Germany Stop Climate Change 2007 AGRA-TEG
Sweden Climate Declaration 2007 Swedish Environmental Management Council,
Swedish Environmental
Research Institute
Verified Sustainable Ethanol Initiative 2008 SEKAB
Switzerland Climatop 2008 Climatop
Korea Carbon Footprint Certification Label /
Low Carbon Product Certificate
2009 The Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI)
Taiwan Product Carbon Footprint 2009 – The Taiwanese Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)
– The Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association (TEEMA)
Thailand Product Carbon Footprint 2009 – The Thailand GHG Management Organization (TGO)
– National Metal and Materials Technology Centre (MTEC)
Japan Eco-Leaf / Carbon Footprint of Products 2009 – Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
– Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry (JEMAI)
Australia Carbon Reduction Label 2010 Planet Ark
France Indice Carbon 2011 Environment and Energy Management Agency,
French Standards Agency
China Product Carbon Footprint 2013 China Quality Mark Certification Group