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 Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>