The Carbon Trust talks with P&G and Unilever stall

The Carbon Trust says it is in continuing discussions with packaged goods giants Procter & Gamble and Unilever aimed at persuading them to sign up to its carbon footprint “kitemark”.

The trust is struggling to get the packaged goods giants on board despite signing up nine new partners to the scheme. The companies are: Aggregate Industries; Cadbury Schweppes; Coca-Cola; The Co-operative Group; Halifax; Kimberly-Clark; Marshalls; Müller Dairy (UK); and Scottish & Newcastle.

The “carbon footprinting standard”, which is being developed together with Defra and BSI British Standards, aims to end consumer confusion by offering one standard scheme. Despite talks with the trust, P&G has launched its own “environmental kite mark” called Future Friendly.

The Carbon Trust marketing director Peter Hambly admits consumers may find it confusing but says he hopes to get the two companies to work with it on the pilot scheme, but concedes that they are at least “engaging with consumers” about the environment. He adds that the trust is in talks with similar non-governmental groups to develop a worldwide policy on how to demonstrate the carbon efficiency of products and services.

Hambly says the carbon efficiency kitemark that is being piloted and used by brands such as Boots and Walkers will be evaluated next year to determine its effectiveness and consumer understanding. He adds: “Companies see this as a way forward, but not the only way.”

The companies will be part of the pilot for two years, during which the trust will help them calculate the embodied carbon emissions of selected products and help identify ways to reduce emissions.

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