As consumer demand for more sustainable products continues to grow, it’s likely that carbon labeling (the inclusion of a brand’s greenhouse gas, or GHG, emissions) will be a product differentiator providing information to interested consumers alongside calories, alcohol by volume (ABV), and nutritional information.
While the title is a bit sensational, as GHG and trans fats are not the same issues, there are parallels. Listing trans fats on labels is important because it allows consumers to make informed choices about the foods they eat and can help them limit their intake of trans fats, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Just as trans fat labeling helped raise awareness and improved consumers’ health, carbon labeling and transparency around carbon emissions can play a role in raising awareness about products’ environmental impacts.
Two companies that have implemented carbon labeling on some of their products are Oatly and Danone. Danone includes the carbon footprint on Evian water bottles and Activia yogurt labels in select global markets, as well as information about the company’s steps to reduce its environmental impact. Danone’s use of carbon labeling demonstrates its commitment to sustainability and provides consumers with transparent information about its environmental impact at the time of purchase. In addition to carbon labeling, Danone has set ambitious sustainability goals, including becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and achieving net zero carbon emissions from its total value chain by 2030.
Double Green is proud to have worked with DHL Supply Chain to lower Danone North America’s Salt Lake City distribution center’s GHG emissions and costs. This included improving the efficiency of their existing refrigeration and HVAC by 15%, reducing kWh consumption by 8,000 per month, and reducing GHG emissions by 3,139 metric tons annually.
Oatly added the carbon footprint to the front of some of its Oatgurts this past January, capturing the GHG emissions from grower to grocer, including the impact of agricultural, transport, manufacturing, processing, packaging and distribution. They communicated this via one number in a kilogram of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilogram of packaged goods (kg CO2e/kg.)
Several of the world’s largest and most respected brewers and beverage suppliers, including AB InBev, Coca-Cola, Heineken, and Pepsi, among others, have unveiled carbon labels for their leading brands over the past few years, yet none have hit the market to date. As consumers become more interested in the environmental impact of the products they purchase, we’ll likely see more companies adopting this practice, dependent on their ability to track their emissions throughout their supply chain.
Double Green helps companies of all sizes develop and implement plans to reduce emissions and costs and improve efficiency. Contact us [email protected] 307-855-1342 for environmental actions with positive economic returns for your operations.