Q&A: How to reduce your carbon footprint through your everyday shopping

Everything we buy, produce and use has an environmental impact. If you’re looking to lessen that impact and shop more sustainably, look for the Carbon Trust’s footprint label on products.


What is a product’s carbon footprint?

The carbon footprint of a product is the total carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted during its lifecycle. That includes production, distribution, use and disposal.

What is a carbon footprint label and what does it mean?

The Carbon Trust’s footprint label appears on a product or its packaging. It shows a brand is working to measure and reduce the carbon emissions of that product – and demonstrates its commitment for the future. It also assures a third party has verified that the product's carbon footprint is measured to internationally recognised standards.

What other information can I learn? 

Often, you’ll see a panel sharing more information about the footprint. On smaller products with limited space, there might just be a website address or QR code you can scan with your smartphone camera to read more. 

You’ll find out if the product’s carbon footprint is:

  • Reducing year-on-year
  • Carbon neutral
  • Lower than other market-dominant products

How does my purchase make an impact?

We can’t solve the climate crisis alone. But if we all start taking steps in our everyday shopping habits to reduce our carbon footprint, it all adds up. 

The more we understand about a product’s environmental footprint, the better choices we can make.  By choosing more sustainable products, you’re sending a message to brands that you care about the planet and the impact of what you buy. They might label more of their products. Meanwhile, other brands take note of what their competitors are doing, and may follow suit. 

It's just one way we can reduce our environmental impact – one foot at a time.

What products can I buy?

We’ve verified over 27,000 individual product footprints, and many display our label in more than 40 countries.

Look for it on Tetra Pak packaging, Wyke Farms’ cheese, Amazon devices and Quorn products, for example.

View list of organisations with labelled products  

A label you can trust

Product carbon footprint labels are a key part of our mission to accelerate the move to a decarbonised future.

We launched the world’s first carbon footprint label in 2007.

We’ve been pioneers for more than 20 years. We’re independent, and we’re experts at what we do. That means you can trust our label when you see it.

Take action now on the climate crisis and choose products with the Carbon Trust’s footprint label. Look for the label.


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