Food firms to trial UK carbon footprint standard

By Linda Rano

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Carbon trust, Low-carbon economy, Carbon dioxide

The UK-based Carbon Trust has announced that five food and drinks
companies will make up a third wave of new partners to trial a new
standard for assessing carbon emissions.

The draft Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2050, designed to assess the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services, is being developed by the Carbon Trust, DEFRA, BSI British Standards and CCFRA (Campden Chorleywood Food Research Association). The aim of the current trial is to provide information to refine and finalise the BSI PAS 2050 and provide DEFRA with interim indicators of the relative merits of different potential food supply systems. The PAS is being developed with a view to being applicable internationally. The five food and drink companies included in the third wave are: British Sugar​, the UK's leading supplier of sugar products to the food manufacturing and consumer markets, with operations in China, Poland and South Africa. Colors​, one of South Africa's largest privately owned agri-businesses and the third largest fruit exporting company with UK retailers, accounting for 30 per cent of the volumes being exported. The company also packages its products. Danone WatersUK and Ireland​, part of the Danone group, which produces, amongst other brands, Evian, Badoit and Volvic. Mey Selections​, based in the North Highlands, which uses sustainable standards of farming, fishing and food production to manufacture food and drink products, the ingredients for which are sourced mainly from within a 100 miles radius of the Castle of Mey. Molson Coors,​ one of the world's leading brewers, with executive offices in Denver and Montreal. Coors Brewers Limited is the UK's second largest brewer with over a 20 per cent market share, brands include Carling and Grolsch. ​The Carbon Trust, which is an independent company set up by the UK government in response to the threat of climate change, says it is now trialling the PAS 2050 with about 75 product ranges and 20 companies. Other food and drink manufacturers on board include Cadbury Schweppes, Coca-Cola, Muller Dairy UK Limited, Walkers and Scottish & Newcastle. British snacks manufacturer Walkers has already adopted the Carbon Trust's Carbon Reduction Label, which measures the carbon footprint of a product from source to store and product disposal. The label appears on the packaging of Walker's crisps. Companies displaying the label undertake to reduce the carbon footprint of the product over a two year period or have the label withdrawn. Tom Daley, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust said: "Consistently testing the applicability of the draft PAS 2050 standard is… crucial in ensuring that we establish a credible, comparable and universal methodology which can be applied across different business sectors and product categories". ​The Carbon Trust aims to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy by helping businesses and organisations reduce their carbon emissions and by developing commercial low-carbon techniques. Funding can be provided to help companies introduce low carbon technologies. The Trust also offers an energy survey to help companies reduce their energy usage and so reduce proportional spend on energy costs.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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