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Label carbon content says new study

By Colin Ricketts - 29 Mar 2011 14:31:0 GMT
Label carbon content says new study

Labelling products with their carbon footprint will help consumers make greener choices and influence producers to make their products more sustainable says new research.

Thomas Dietz, a sociology professor from Michigan State University, publishes his research in the new edition of Nature Climate Change and says carbon labelling will help reduce carbon emissions.

''Even modest changes in the household sector could significantly reduce emissions,'' wrote Dietz. ''A carbon-labelling program could reduce carbon emissions in two ways: By influencing consumer choices and by encouraging firms to identify efficiencies throughout the supply chain.''

Up to one third of consumers are already trying to buy products because of their environmental credentials according to recent surveys, but Dietz believes shoppers need more information to help them make the choices they want.

''A major barrier to improved energy efficiency in households seems to be a lack of understanding of the impacts of various actions and products,'' Dietz said. ''Providing information would lower this barrier, allowing consumers to make more informed choices without substantial effort.''

''The value of the label comes not from providing perfect information, but better information than the consumer has at present.''

The study also believes that manufacturers will make greener choices to try and capture environmentally conscious consumers and enhance their reputations. They can also make production savings by reducing their energy use Dietz contends.