A quick look at some of the carbon footprint labeling efforts around the world:
- Japan: The trade ministry is working closely with 30 companies on a standardized carbon labeling scheme. Food and beverages are among the initial products to be labeled.
- UK: Tesco is testing carbon labels on its own-brand products (including food/beverages), and a standard is being developed by Carbon Trust, Defra and BSI.
- Europe: Multiple supermarket chains and others in the food industry are moving toward carbon labeling, some following the emerging UK standard.
- US: A lot of interest and some independent initiatives by Wal-Mart, Bon Appetit, others -- we've been involved in some of them, directly or indirectly -- but no large-scale efforts or move toward standards. The US is clearly lagging other advanced economies in systematically quantifying environmental performance. Before we can optimize performance, we need to quantify the current state. My best guess is that we'll be following the UK standard by next year.