Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Carbon Labeling: Putting the Power in Consumer’s Hands

30.03.2011
Almost all climate scientists agree that actions must be taken to lower carbon emissions, also known as greenhouse gases, to reduce the risk of damage to the environment and ultimately human health. A group of researchers say adding carbon labels to products could help change purchasing behavior and corporate supply chains, ultimately leading to large emissions reductions. They propose a private labeling system to fill the gap until national and international rules are adopted.

“When you look at food in a grocery store, one item may be very low carbon and one may be very high and right now you just don’t know. A global private labeling system would give you information on the carbon associated with the various products you might buy,” said Michael Vandenbergh, environmental law professor at Vanderbilt Law School and director of the Climate Change Research Network.

Vandenbergh and co-authors Thomas Dietz of Michigan State University and Paul Stern of the U.S. National Research Council believe adding carbon labels to products could put power in consumer’s hands to not only buy products with a lower carbon footprint, but also influence how businesses produce, package and transport products, thus leading to lower carbon emissions. Their commentary is published in the premier issue of the journal Nature Climate Change, published April, 2011.

BENEFITS TO COMPANIES
By consumers choosing one product over another, companies may be pressured to make different choices in how they grow or produce, package and transport consumer goods. But this could also lead to financial benefits to companies as well.

“Research shows that when a firm begins to study where the carbon is coming from in its supply chain, it will often find efficiencies in the supply chain it didn’t know existed,” said Vandenbergh. “For many companies, they will find that there are energy efficiency savings there— which mean cost savings— and they will begin to act in part because they want to provide consumers with what they want and part because it’s simply cheaper for the business to operate.”

HOW WOULD A CARBON LABEL WORK?
Right now there are multiple carbon labels being promoted and used—all with the goal of trying to reduce carbon emissions by influencing companies and consumers.

One version of a carbon footprint label currently on some products in the United Kingdom was established by the non-profit Carbon Trust. The goal of their label is to show the volume of greenhouse gasses emitted during a product’s lifecycle, also known as its carbon footprint. The label also shows that a company is working to reduce that carbon footprint number within two years.

HOW IS A CARBON FOOTPRINT MEASURED?
A carbon footprint is measured by adding all the greenhouse gasses released during the life cycle of a product. These gasses may come from farming and sourcing of raw materials; how and where the product is built; how it’s transported; and how the product and its packaging is disposed by the consumer.

Amy Wolf | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.vanderbilt.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>