Product carbon footprint label

Take action now on the climate crisis and choose products with the Carbon Trust’s footprint label. The Carbon Trust works with companies to help them effectively measure, manage and reduce the footprint of their products. 

Reduce your carbon footprint through your everyday shopping

If you’re looking to make more sustainable choices when you’re shopping, look for the Carbon Trust’s footprint label. It verifies that a brand is working to measure and reduce a product’s carbon emissions.

Certfiied green label

The impact you can make

The Carbon Trust footprint label appears on a product or its packaging. You can find out if the product’s carbon footprint is:

Some product labels will also show that an energy product is 100% renewable.

What products can I buy?

We’ve certified 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, evian water and Quorn products, for example.

View full list of certified organisations

A label you can trust

When you see our label, you know that the product’s carbon footprint has been measured to internationally recognised standards and certified by the Carbon Trust.  

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

 

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Hugh Jones profile

Hugh Jones

Managing Director, Advisory, The Carbon Trust

A footprint label is more tangible for the general public than long-term targets and trajectories. A label has the power to bring these issues into people’s every day lives via their shopping basket.

 

Product carbon footprint labelling for businesses

Our product carbon footprint label is a clear identifier of products that have had their carbon footprints certified by the Carbon Trust. This is a validation of accurate footprints, providing customers with verified information about the carbon impacts of their purchasing decisions. Our label has appeared on thousands of products across the globe, positioning it as the leading label for product carbon footprinting.

The Carbon Trust is an independent organisation and an established expert on carbon footprinting. We ensure that our product carbon footprint label is underpinned by robust and credible analysis undertaken by our footprinting experts.

What is a product carbon footprint?

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

Product footprints should be associated with a scope or boundary, 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. 
PCF process

Carbon Trust certified label

This label shows that the carbon footprint for this product has been certified by the Carbon Trust. The details of the certification are shown in the right hand panel.

Certfiied green label
The following certification scopes can also be seen on products and packaging.

Reducing CO2

This label shows that the product’s carbon footprint is reducing year on year, and that the company has committed to achieving ongoing footprint reductions. 

Reducing CO2 green label

Reducing CO2 Packaging

This label shows that the packaging’s carbon footprint is reducing year-on-year, plus a commitment to achieving ongoing reductions.

 

Reducing CO2 label

Carbon Neutral

This label shows that the product footprint is achieving ongoing reductions, and any outstanding emissions are offset*, in accordance with the international PAS 2060 standard. 

Learn more about carbon neutral certification

Carbon neutral green label

Carbon Neutral Packaging

This label shows that the packaging’s footprint is reducing year-on-year, and any outstanding emissions are offset, in accordance with the internationally recognised PAS 2060 standard.

Carbon neutral packaging (green) label

Lower CO2

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

Lower CO2 green label

100% Renewable Electricity

This label shows that an energy product is 100% renewable and has a zero emission factor for Scope 2 reporting purposes.

Renewable electricity green label

CO2 Measured

This label shows that the carbon footprint for this product has been measured and certified.

CO2 measured label

 

Label requirements and conditions

Reducing CO2

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. 

Wherever the label appears on a consumer facing product, this represents a cradle-to-grave footprint.

Reducing CO2 Packaging

The ‘Reducing CO2 Packaging’ label has the same requirements as above, but applied to the boundary of packaging only.

Carbon Neutral

In order to achieve the certification, a company must:  

  • Measure the footprint within a clearly defined boundary.
  • Develop 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 ongoing emissions reductions
    •  Offset strategy 
  • Purchase high quality carbon credits/offsets such as Gold Standard, VCS and Woodland Code UK to compensate for remaining emissions.

The duration of certification is one year, after which the product must be re-certified if it is to continue to use the label. Re-certification requires evidence that reductions have been achieved in both absolute and intensity terms against the preceding period.

Carbon Neutral Packaging

The ‘Carbon Neutral Packaging’ label has the same requirements as above, but applied to the boundary of packaging only.
 

Lower CO2

The following rules apply:

  • Clear definitions need to be established of the product, its function, the ’market dominant‘ 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.

100% Renewable Electricity

In order to achieve certification, a company must:

  • Demonstrate that the product is 100% backed by Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificates.
  • Have embedded policies and procedures, which relate to data collection, reporting and tracking, to ensure that the emission factors associated with the certified product are reported in accordance with the GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance.

CO2 Measured

The product footprint should be certified against an internationally recognised standard such as PAS2050, GHG Protocol Product Standard or ISO14067.

Wherever the label appears on a consumer facing product, this represents a cradle-to-grave footprint.


 

* 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 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.
 

Product carbon footprint labelling: consumer research 2020

Consumer research shows continuing levels of support for carbon labelling on products, with two-thirds of consumers saying they think it is a good idea.

Read the full report

Labelling report cover