Product Carbon Footprint Label

The Carbon Trust works with companies to help them effectively measure, manage and reduce the footprint of their products. 

Our Product Carbon Footprint Label is a clear identifier of products that have been certified by the Carbon Trust. This is a guarantee of accurate and robust footprints, providing customers with clear information about the climate impacts of their purchasing decisions. As a leading environmental marque,  our label has appeared on thousands of products across the globe.

The Carbon Trust is an independent organisation and an established expert on carbon footprinting, ensuring credibility and recognition of our Product Carbon Footprint Label.

What is a product carbon footprint?

A product carbon footprint measures the total greenhouse gas emissions generated by a product throughout its lifecycle, from extraction of raw-materials to end-of-life.  It is measured in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). 

Product footprint should be associated with a scope, the most common being:

  • Cradle-to-gate: mostly used for business-to-business (B2B) products. This measures the total greenhouse gas emissions from the extraction of raw materials through to product manufacture up to the factory gate. 
  • Cradle-to-grave: mostly used for business-to-consumer (B2C) products. This measures the total greenhouse gas emissions from the extraction of raw materials through to the product’s manufacture, distribution, use and eventual disposal. 

How does the Carbon Trust certify a product footprint?

We follow our Product Footprint Protocol which delivers clear requirements and guidance to measure and reduce product’s emissions. This consists of: 

  • A carbon life-cycle assessment (LCA) of the product in accordance with internationally recognised standards (PAS2050, GHG Product Standard and ISO14067). 
  • Additional specific rules to certify the footprint according to the type of label - see below.

‘CO2 Measured’ Label

This label shows that the product footprint has been measured in accordance with an internationally recognised standard such as PAS2050, GHG Product Standard and ISO14067.

Co2 measured logo

Minimum requirements for footprint certification can be found in the Product Footprint Protocol Part 1 below*.

‘Reducing CO2’ Label

This label shows that the product footprint is reducing year-on-year, plus a commitment to achieve ongoing footprint reductions*. 

Reducing CO2 logo

    In order to ensure data consistency, the following rules apply:  

    • Reduction is determined by re-baselining i.e. accurately comparing the footprints of two products with similar definition and scope, but from two different generations. 
    • Duration of certification is two years, and the data for compared products should not exceed this timeframe.
    • CO2 offsets** cannot qualify as a reduction. 

    ‘Carbon Neutral’ Label

    This label shows that the product footprint is reducing year-on-year, and any outstanding emissions are offset**, in accordance with the international PAS 2060 methodology. 

    Carbon neutral logo

    In order to ensure data consistency, the following rules apply:  

    • Measure the footprint within a clearly defined boundary
    • Development of a qualifying explanatory statement (QES) including:
      • Statement of commitment 
      • Timescale for achievement
      • A Carbon Management Plan and targets for GHG reductions 
      • Planned means of achieving and maintaining the standard
      • Offset strategy 
    • Purchase of high quality carbon credits/offsets such as Gold Standard or VCS to compensate emissions.
    • Duration of certification is one year, after which the product needs to be re-certified. 
    • Recertification additionally required evidence that reductions have been achieved in both absolute and intensity terms against the preceding period.

    ‘Lower CO2’ Label

    The carbon footprint of a product is significantly lower carbon than the market dominant product in its category.

    Lower carbon with measure logo

     The following rules apply:

    • Clear definitions need to be established to the product itself, its function, the “market standard” comparator and its function, boundaries, geographical region etc.
    • It will only be awarded to a product that meets at least the following criteria:
      • The product can only be compared to the “market standard” product that fulfils a similar function, and within the same geographical region.
      • No products with a lower footprint AND similar function exist, even if this product is not the “market standard”.
      • Additional rules apply to mitigate the risk of uncertainty ranges.

     


    * Our complete Product Footprint Protocol with full reduction rules  can be found here:

    Part 1 – Technical Requirements

    Part 2 – Communication Requirements

    ** What is a CO2 offset?

    A CO2 offset refers to the compensation of residual emissions by funding a project with an equivalent saving in carbon emissions.



    The Carbon Trust’s mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy and, as such, we will only consider certifying organisations and products that align with this mission in an effective and meaningful way.

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