About 30 Japanese companies will voluntarily start carrying carbon footprint labels on food packaging and other products beginning in April 2009, Guardian reports.
Unlike carbon footprint labels being tested in other parts of the world, such as U.K’s Tesco and France’s Casino; Japan’s trade ministry has drawn up a uniform method of labeling carbon emissions to avoid fears among some firms that their competitors may use in-house calculations and produce the lowest possible emissions data. The labels will provide detailed breakdowns of each product’s carbon footprint during manufacturing, distribution and disposal.
In the UK, a draft product carbon footprinting standard is currently being developed by Carbon Trust in partnership with Defra and BSI British Standards.
“Unless all of the companies use the same method, there’s little point to the exercise,” the trade ministry’s Takuma Inamura told the Guardian.
The labeled items by participating companies such as Sapporo (which has already announced plans for carbon labels), Aeon, Lawson, Seven-Eleven and Matsushita, will be first displayed in December, at an eco-products fair in Tokyo.
The EU is also working to introduce carbon labels.