Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Carbon labeling of products could help consumers make environmentally friendly choices

Date:
March 30, 2011
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Labeling products with information on the size of the carbon footprint they leave behind could help both consumers and manufacturers make better, environmentally friendly choices.

Labeling products with information on the size of the carbon footprint they leave behind could help both consumers and manufacturers make better, environmentally friendly choices.

A Michigan State University professor and colleagues, writing in the April issue of the journal Nature Climate Change, said that labeling products, much like food products contain labels with nutritional information, could offer at least a short-term solution.

"Even modest changes in the household sector could significantly reduce emissions," wrote Thomas Dietz, a professor of sociology who also is with MSU's Environmental Science and Policy Program. "A carbon-labeling program could reduce carbon emissions in two ways: By influencing consumer choices and by encouraging firms to identify efficiencies throughout the supply chain."

Recent surveys, Dietz said, have found that nearly one-third of all consumers are willing to purchase "green" products or have already done so. The problem, he said, is a lack of information.

"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 authors of the piece said that labeling also may induce firms to reduce their emissions in ways that lower their costs, enhance their reputations, and make them more supportive of governmental policy measures that re-enforce their emissions-reducing actions.

There are often opportunities for cost savings by reducing fossil fuel use in manufacturing and distributing products. The analyses needed for carbon labeling can identify those potential savings.

The authors write that labeling alone will not solve the problem. But argue that a "private carbon-labeling program for consumer products could help fill the policy gap by influencing both corporate supply chains and consumer behavior."

Other authors of the article are Michael Vandenbergh of Vanderbilt University and Paul Stern of the National Research Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael P. Vandenbergh, Thomas Dietz, Paul C. Stern. Time to try carbon labelling. Nature Climate Change, 2011; 1 (1): 4 DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1071

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Carbon labeling of products could help consumers make environmentally friendly choices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329095442.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2011, March 30). Carbon labeling of products could help consumers make environmentally friendly choices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329095442.htm
Michigan State University. "Carbon labeling of products could help consumers make environmentally friendly choices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329095442.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins