Kingsmill first UK bread brand to use carbon label

By Lindsey Partos

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Carbon trust Carbon dioxide Bread Food

Tapping into growing demand for foods with greener credentials, Kingsmill has become the first major bread brand to tackle lifecycle emissions by employing the Carbon Trust's carbon reduction label.

Three sub-brands of Kingsmill – Great Everyday white, Tasty Wholemeal and 50/50 – that together represent 80 per cent of the brand's volume sales, will carry the trust's logo from the end of June.

"The Carbon reduction label tells you that we have made a clear commitment to reduce the carbon footprints of our loaves over the next two years and that the Carbon Trust will hold us to this promise,"​ said Kingsmill.

Food firms are increasingly taking a hard look their supply chains, honing in on the carbon intensity at every link in the chain, and constructing new procedures to reduce their carbon footprints.

Carbon trust

Recently launched by the UK's BSI British Standards, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Carbon Trust, the PAS 2050 standard – the methodology used for Kingsmill – allows businesses to measure the greenhouse gas emissions of their products.

In the case of Kingsmill, the trust's label reflects a detailed carbon footprint for a loaf of bread, from growing the wheat that makes the flour, to the baking process, distribution, and in household consumption.

The Carbon Trust said the food industry was showing a lot of interest in the scheme.

"We've been approached by more than 200 companies who want to work with us, and the bulk of interest is coming from food and beverage companies,"​ Euan Murray, carbon footprinting general manager at the Carbon Trust, informed recently.

Being green

Green initiatives have become a vital component of being in business as increasingly militant consumers factor green issues into their buying patterns.

Despite the economic downturn, a recent UK government survey suggests consumers are still prepared to buy green.

A YouGov 2000-person poll conducted earlier this year found that two thirds of consumers say it is important to buy from environmentally responsible companies, with one in seven voting with their feet by opting not to buy from a company based on their environmental reputation.

Further, nearly two-thirds – 62 per cent – of consumers say environmental concerns influence their purchasing decisions 'the same as a year ago',​ according to the poll data.

"We believe companies that take real action will seize the dual benefits of immediate cost savings and a stronger reputation, which is good for business,"​ said Harry Morrison, head of the Carbon Trust Standard.

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