Unilever Will Put Carbon Footprint Labels on All Its Products

Picking tea for Unilever in Kenya. Kelly Rossiter

As noted earlier, I have committed to trying a 1.5° lifestyle, which means limiting my annual carbon footprint to the equivalent of 2.5 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, the maximum average emissions per capita based on IPCC research. That works out to 6.85 kilograms per day.

If you count calories, you have it easy; the food producers have to put a label on their products telling you how many there are per serving. The producers have it easy too; there are lots of labs that can do straightforward chemical analyses of the food product in hand.

If you are counting kilos of carbon like I and a few others are trying to do, it is not so easy; there are no labels and you cannot just examine it in a lab. Instead, you have to follow the product back to the farm and to the factory, to where every ingredient is made, and then follow the path from there to the store shelf. It’s daunting.

However, the food giant Unilever recently announced that it is going to do exactly that. According to the company press release: “We believe that transparency about carbon footprint will be an accelerator in the global race to zero emissions, and it is our ambition to communicate the carbon footprint of every product we sell. To do this, we will set up a system for our suppliers to declare, on each invoice, the carbon footprint of the goods and services provided; and we will create partnerships with other businesses and organisations to standardise data collection, sharing and communication.” Read more…

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