What is a product carbon footprint?
A product carbon footprint is the full inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions released throughout the lifecycle of a product or service, from the extraction of its raw materials to end-of-life. It is expressed in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e).
It is important to define the scope when calculating and communicating the footprint of a product. The most common scopes are as follows:
- Cradle-to-gate: This measures the total of greenhouse gas emissions from the extraction of raw materials through to product manufacture up to the factory gate. Most commonly used for business-to-business (B2B) interim products.
- Cradle-to-grave: measuring the total greenhouse gas emissions from the extractions of raw materials to create the product, through to the product’s manufacture, distribution, use and eventual disposal. Most commonly used for business-to-consumer (B2C) products.
Product carbon footprint certification
Why certify my product’s carbon footprint?
Certification of your product’s carbon footprint will give you complete confidence that the figures you are communicating to stakeholders are accurate and robust.
Stakeholders too will feel reassured that independent assurance of your product’s carbon footprint has been secured.
We certify product carbon footprints to internationally recognised standards – such as the GHG Protocol Product Standard, ISO 14067 and PAS 2050 – so you will know that the methods used to calculate the footprint are transparent and best practice.
An accurate measure of your product’s carbon footprint can help you:
- Identify and tackle carbon hotspots in your business
- Benchmark your product against others
- Provide vital data to your clients and fulfil contracting and procurement requirements
- Play a full part in value chain carbon-reduction initiatives
- Communicate with stakeholders including clients, employees and the general public, and demonstrate your company’s commitment to act on climate change
Why the Carbon Trust?
We are leaders in the calculation and assurance of product carbon footprints. Our experts co-authored the PAS 2050 Standard for product footprinting and were part of the committee that developed the ISO14067 and GHG Protocol Product Standard.
How we can help
Beyond certification, we can also provide third party assurance of related carbon measurement, reduction and neutrality claims, that are underpinned by an accurate measure of a product’s carbon footprint over time.
For additional marketing benefits, there is also the option to licence one of our Product carbon footprint labels. However, the option to licence a product carbon footprint label is linked to the work that we have undertaken for your company and is not automatically available.
Product carbon labelling
What is product carbon labelling?
A product carbon label demonstrates to customers that a product has a certified carbon footprint.
Having launched the world’s first carbon footprint label in 2007, we are pioneers in product carbon labelling and many thousands of SKUs have carried our product carbon footprint labels.
Since 2007, we have produced a range of product carbon footprint labels that demonstrate various attributes:
- CO2 Measured: that a product’s carbon footprint has been measured and certified
- Reducing CO2: that there is a commitment to reduce a product’s carbon footprint, or there has been a reduction in a product’s carbon footprint, plus a commitment to achieve ongoing footprint reductions.
- Lower Carbon: that the certified lifecycle carbon footprint of a product, or group of products, is/are significantly lower than the market dominant product.
- Carbon Neutral: that a product’s carbon footprint has been reduced and any outstanding emissions are offset.
Your organisation may licence one of our labels provided its use is supported by the work we have undertaken for you.
Our labels are underpinned by our technical assessments in accordance with international methodologies and standards. They are trademarked and licensees are required to follow strict brand guidelines.
Why licence a product carbon label?
With a long history in product carbon labelling our labels have appeared on thousands of products across the globe. They are well-recognised and credible given their association with the Carbon Trust brand.
We know that customers value product carbon labelling. According to our 2020 research two-thirds of consumers surveyed in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK and US are supportive of product carbon labels. The same proportion are more likely to think positively about a brand that can demonstrate it has lowered the carbon footprint of its products.
Our product carbon labels allow you to:
- Demonstrate to key stakeholders your transparent and proactive approach to measuring and reducing carbon emissions
- Differentiate your product in the marketplace