Product Carbon Labelling standards in USA

Posted on November 19, 2010 by


There are a number of standards in the US

1. Carbon Fund – “Certified Carbonfree’ label

California’s carbon labelling legislative initiative didn’t pan out so efforts in the US are in the private domain. Here, the Washington-based Carbon Fund, an independent  non-profit carbon offset provider, developed the ‘Certified CarbonFree’ label along with Edinburgh Center for Carbon Management. This label is based on ISO lifecycle analysis standards, the GHG protocol and the UK Carbon Trust’s (2007) Carbon Footprint Measurement Methodology.Six products, including certain products of drinks manufacturer Monarch Beverages and organic sugar company Florida Crystal, carry the label with a further five  products currently under-going life cycle assessment. Rather than displaying product carbon content, it indicates that the products’ carbon footprint has been calculated, is continually monitored and reported, and that all carbon is being offset.



In the case of Florida Crystals, for example its website indicates that its products’ CO2 emissions are neutralized by its own production of renewable energy (from bagasse  and wood waste), which powers not only their sugar mill and refining operations but tens of thousands of homes as well. Another participant, Motorola, has its W233 Renew cell phone (constructed from recycled water bottles), released in 2009, certified carbon-free by the carbon fund.

2. Climate Conservancy – “Climate Conscious” label

Separately, the California-based Climate Conservancy, founded by scientists at Stanford University, established the Climate

Conscious label. While it uses life cycle  assessment methodology, the label provides a rating (bronze/silver/gold) rather than displaying specific CO2 content. Scoring is based on products’ GHG intensity – specifically the grams of CO2 equivalent emissions per dollar of product.

3. UK Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust of UK is working with some major soft-drink and other companies on product life cycle assessment for the purpose of the Carbon Reduction Label.

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