Tesco is to test putting 'carbon labels' on its own-brand
products next month in a move to enable consumers to choose
products which are less damaging to the environment.
The retailer will put carbon-count labels on varieties of
orange juice, potatoes, energy-efficient light bulbs and washing
detergent, stating the quantity in grammes of CO2
equivalent put into the atmosphere by their manufacture and
Chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said - "We will give the
carbon content of the product and the category average." The
labels should eventually allow shoppers to compare carbon
costs in the same way they can now compare salt and calorie
The UK's biggest supermarket first announced its intention
to put carbon counts on up to 70,000 products some 15 months
ago. It has since been working with the Carbon
Trust to find an accurate method of labelling. "It
has not been simple, but we are there" - said Leahy.
Tesco will unveil the details of the scheme shortly and the
chief executive said he hoped the labels "will end-up being
He promised "a revolution in green consumption" - saying
that he wants to bring the environmental movement into the
mass market. Tesco's corporate carbon footprint is about 4m
tonnes a year.