SEMARNAT, the Mexican government’s federal secretariat of the environment and natural resources, has launched the second phase of an eco-labelling scheme for Mexico developed with the Carbon Trust. This phase will involve piloting the methodology to measure the carbon and water impacts of products and services, working with between seven and fifteen companies across three key industries: glass packaging, cement and tequila.
The purpose of the eco-labelling scheme is to drive the international competitiveness and economic efficiency of Mexican industry through more sustainable production. It will do this by providing a commonly recognised set of criteria to ensure that environmental claims about products and services are properly substantiated, featuring information on both carbon emissions and water use. Information on carbon emissions will be included for all products, whereas information on water will only be calculated where the impact is significant.
The scheme aims to help to promote sustainable purchasing and procurement, helping Mexico to meet obligations under its own Law for Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection to ensure the sustainability of economic activities.
"We have fed in our experience of working with hundreds of companies, over many projects around the world, as well as the experiences of our international partners. This scheme provides an innovative solution to the challenges of eco-labelling, incorporating elements from other schemes around the world, and based upon recognised international standards. Importantly the scheme does not pander to academics, but meets the needs of government, consumers, and most of all companies. This means that it is low cost, but still provides a sufficiently robust approach that offers genuine comparability between products and services. The scheme also provides a solution which removes, or automates out, elements of footprinting which bring little value. This means making it as easy as possible to complete, at the same time as providing meaningful results. This allows businesses to find cost savings, remove material, energy and water wastage, and to effectively work and communicate with suppliers and customers with confidence."
Martin Barrow, Head of Footprinting at the Carbon Trust
The project is jointly funded by SEMARNAT and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Prosperity Fund, as administered through the British Embassy in Mexico City. The Carbon Trust was selected to develop the scheme thanks to its world-leading position in developing international standards for environmental product footprinting and labelling in countries including the UK, Malaysia, Brazil, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.