The Carbon Trust has found that two-thirds of consumers support carbon labelling on products. The research, undertaken online between 25th February and 2nd March 2020, included 10,540 adults across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US. The 2020 survey was the second year the research had been conducted in the majority of markets, and the third time it had been conducted in the UK.

The survey results found that there is the same level of support (67%) for carbon labelling across all countries, compared to the 2019 results. Across the eight countries:

  • 42% agreed that “before purchasing a product, it’s important for me to know that the company I’m purchasing it from is taking action to reduce the product’s carbon footprint
  • 67% agreed that “it’s a good idea to use a recognisable label on products that have been made with a commitment to measuring and reducing their carbon footprint”
  • 50% agreed that “when I am choosing a product to buy, the product’s carbon footprint is not generally something that I think about”
  • 64% felt ‘more positive’ in relation to the following statement: “imagine that you were considering purchasing a product, and you discovered that one of the companies selling it had reduced the carbon footprint of that product…Knowing this, to what extent would it make you feel more or less positive towards this company, or would it make no difference?”

France, Italy and Spain were the countries with the highest level of support for labelling. However, the percentages of respondents agreeing with the above statements for the UK were generally in line with, or slightly lower than, the international results presented.

This consumer appetite for knowing more about the products that they are purchasing paves the way for organisations to start communicating messages about the sustainability of their product. With two-thirds of respondents saying they are more likely to think positively about a brand that could demonstrate it had lowered the carbon footprint of its products, organisations may start to benefit from including sustainability information on pack.

The Sustainable Food and Farming team offer a range of measurement, analysis, strategy and communication services. We collect qualitative and quantitative data to help you understand your agricultural value chain. We can then support you with external reporting so that you can rest assured that your messages are accurately deployed. For more information on carbon footprinting, or to discuss the specific requirements for your operation, please contact Sarah Wynn, Managing Director for Sustainable Food and Farming.

You can read the full report from the Carbon Trust here.