Check that label

April 19, 2011

Coming soon: carbon labels 

Most people read product labels to learn about the nutrient content of products.  But some leading retailers are working hard to make carbon labelling a reality.

A carbon label is simply a label that reflects a product’s environmental impact.  It’s an estimate of how much energy, water and other resources were used in producing the product, and how much pollution was produced.

Today, carbon labelling is still under development.  But Wal-Mart and UK food retailer Tesco, two corporations with enormous market clout, are investing heavily in developing systems of carbon labelling that will allow consumers to instantly identify ‘greener’ products, and then make their purchasing decisions accordingly.  You can be sure that once Wal-Mart has carbon labels on most of what it sells (slated to be within the next five years), its competitors will have no choice but to follow.  Voila – a transformed market!

So keep an eye out for carbon labels – they’re coming soon!  Read more about WalMart’s plans here and Tesco’s here.

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