LONDON (Reuters) - Tesco has joined with government-backed agency the Carbon Trust to measure the carbon footprint of products from light bulbs to orange juice in an effort to see how the weekly shop impacts climate change.
Thirty individual products sold by Britain’s biggest retailer will be assessed in five categories — tomatoes, potatoes, orange juice, light bulbs and washing detergent, a statement said.
“What we learn from this project will be invaluable to our efforts to help companies make informed decisions about what they produce and offer to consumers,” Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock said in the statement.
Climate change is working its way to the top of the agenda for British retailers with surveys showing green issues — from organic farming to local produce to food miles — are increasingly influencing shopper choices although the products can often cost more.
Justin King, chief executive of the country’s number three supermarket group J. Sainsbury, on Wednesday launched a switch to 100 percent Fairtrade tea and said consumers were still focusing on quality despite increasing pressures on household budgets from rate rises and the global credit crunch.
The Carbon Trust is a private company set up and funded by the government in response to the threat of climate change and to accelerate Britain’s transition to a low carbon economy.
It has already worked with Walkers Crisps, health and beauty group Boots and drink maker innocent on carbon footprinting and carbon labelling projects.
The scheme will use a draft standard for tracking greenhouse gas emissions from products and services being developed by the Carbon Trust, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and BSI British Standards.