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TEQs & PAS 2050 : Carbon Labelling

 
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jo



Joined: 20 Oct 2007
Posts: 184
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:04 pm    Post subject: TEQs & PAS 2050 : Carbon Labelling Reply with quote

Some new legislation from Defra seems to be leading down the road of total carbon accounting throughout industry and manufacture, something essential for TEQs to operate. You'll soon be able to calculate the Carbon content of all supplies into your production process : just what you need for full Carbon labelling :-

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http://www.packagingnews.co.uk/labelling/news/843913/Industry-voices-fears-PAS-2050-carbon-footprint-standard/

Industry voices fears over PAS 2050 carbon footprint standard
Josh Brooks, packagingnews.co.uk, 04 September 2008

Concern is mounting over the implications of a new carbon footprint standard that is due to be published next month.

A number of senior packaging industry sources have expressed doubts over Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2050, a standard being developed by Defra, the Carbon Trust and BSI British Standards that will measure the exact carbon footprint of any given product.

Brand owners will be able to show that carbon footprint, which includes the impact of packaging, on labels. The measurement is designed to inform consumers of the greenhouse gas emissions of a product over its complete lifecycle.

Details of the final specification, which are due to be published in October, are so far unclear and a spokeswoman for Defra refused to be drawn on what it may contain.

However, packaging sources are privately concerned over the standard and the methods early versions have used to calculate a product's carbon footprint.

In particular, the industry believes that the standard would be almost impossible to administer as it would require each product line to be individually measured, including differences where separate batches of a product are packed or produced in more than one factory.

One source said it would be unlikely that PAS 2050, which will be voluntary, would be adopted by retailers due to the "horrendous complexity" of measuring individual products and the likely expense.

"If you have to carbon footprint every line of products coming from every factory in which they are produced, it will be incredibly expensive," the source said.

Some are worried, however, that if one supermarket adopts the labelling system then all the rest will quickly follow suit. One source predicted: "The retailers are going to tell us to do this, whether itís a legal requirement or not. It just becomes a big headache."

Concerns have also been raised over the methodology of calculating carbon footprints, both in terms of the definition of a productís lifecycle and claims that the original methodology does not include provision for recycling.

Another source added that the two-year validity of any measurement would also make it too costly to administer.

A spokeswoman for Defra said that the standard would be published in October, as planned, but refused to be drawn on how the new calculations would differ from previous versions of the methodology.

It is understood that technicians have been working on the specification since the end of a consultation on the last version in March.

Does packaging need carbon footprint labelling? Log in and give your views below.

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jo



Joined: 20 Oct 2007
Posts: 184
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:20 pm    Post subject: PAS 2050 : BBC article Reply with quote

The BBC reports that the Carbon Trust has gone public on this :-

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7694212.stm

Page last updated at 00:08 GMT, Wednesday, 29 October 2008

UK unveils CO2 footprint standard
By Mark Kinver
Science and environment reporter, BBC News

A new standard that allows UK firms to measure the size of their goods' carbon footprints has been launched.

It is hoped the new audit will show customers how much CO2 has been emitted during the production, consumption and disposal of a range of products.

Some schemes that measure carbon emissions have been criticised in the past for being inconsistent, confusing or lacking transparency.

The system, known as PAS 2050, will be managed by BSI British Standards.

"PAS 2050 has been developed using BSI's rigorous consultation process, involving almost a thousand industry experts from within the UK and internationally," said Mike Low, director of BSI British Standards.

"The result is a robust framework within which businesses and public sector bodies will be able to assess the greenhouse gas emissions of their goods and services in a consistent manner."

Mr Low added that he hoped the new audit tool would be used by organisations of all sizes.

'Carbon labels'

The precursor to PAS 2050 was initially launched in 2006 by the Carbon Trust, a government-funded organisation, in response to a growing number of consumers who wanted to know the size of products' carbon footprint.

Trials, involving companies such as Walkers and Boots, led to "carbon labels" appearing on some goods in April 2007.

Despite the issue creeping up the political agenda in recent years, a survey by the Trust in December found that just 1% of firms questioned knew the size of their operation's carbon footprint.

Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay said he hoped making the scheme publicly available would improve the situation.

"For the first time, businesses have a robust, consistent standard for measuring the carbon footprint of their goods and services," he observed.

"ThisÖ development will help businesses really understand the carbon impact of their products and to follow this up with tangible ways to cut carbon emissions across the supply chain."

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) co-sponsored the scheme, and Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said he hoped firms would use the tool.

"Companies have said that they want to be able to count their carbon emissions in a better way, and we have responded to that," he added.

"Consumers want to know that emissions are being cut by businesses and this standard will help businesses do that."

Later this year, the Climate Change Bill is expected to become law and will commit future governments to reducing carbon emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050.

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Shaun Chamberlin



Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 114
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:24 pm    Post subject: Re: TEQs & PAS 2050 : Carbon Labelling Reply with quote

jo wrote:
Some new legislation from Defra seems to be leading down the road of total carbon accounting throughout industry and manufacture, something essential for TEQs to operate.


Just a little correction - carbon accounting is definitely not necessary to the implementation of TEQs. It was this mistake that led the Lib Dems to argue that it wouldn't be possible to implement it for many years to come.

In terms of carbon measurement, all that is needed to implement TEQs is knowing how much fuel and electricity is sold at retail outlets (which they of course already know in order to charge their customers). Since all fuel and electricity would be carbon-rated this provides all the info necessary for the TEQs scheme.

So in fact carbon labelling might be made somewhat redundant by a TEQs scheme operating within a sufficient carbon cap. Although it might possibly still cause increased behavioural change..?
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jo



Joined: 20 Oct 2007
Posts: 184
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:51 pm    Post subject: It depends on point of use Reply with quote

@Shaun,

If you want to restrict Carbon Accounting to (a) Energy and Fuel used by (b) Citizen End Consumers, then yes, it can all be done at the pumps and in the utility bills.

But if you want to account for Carbon "embedded" "embodied" in manufactured goods, and other things such as clean water provision, then you need to move backwards up the Carbon Chain, to include (a) Energy and Fuel used by (b) Manufacturing Consumers.

The easiest way to account for Carbon at this stage, in my view, is to adopt the PAS 2050.
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Shaun Chamberlin



Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 114
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: It depends on point of use Reply with quote

jo wrote:
@Shaun,

If you want to restrict Carbon Accounting to (a) Energy and Fuel used by (b) Citizen End Consumers, then yes, it can all be done at the pumps and in the utility bills.

But if you want to account for Carbon "embedded" "embodied" in manufactured goods, and other things such as clean water provision, then you need to move backwards up the Carbon Chain, to include (a) Energy and Fuel used by (b) Manufacturing Consumers.

The easiest way to account for Carbon at this stage, in my view, is to adopt the PAS 2050.


In my opinion one of the most beautiful aspects of the TEQs design is the brilliant way it accounts for all emissions in the economy while only requiring direct accounting of primary energy and electricity. That is a big part of what led me to devote much of my time to supporting it over the past few years.

In this way it gets rid of the apparent choice between the simple solution of accounting only for end use and the comprehensive solution of dealing with all embedded energy. As outlined in David's Energy and the Common Purpose, TEQs does account for all the embedded emissions, but is able to do while, as you say, restricting the overt carbon accounting to primary energy and electricity purchase, and without requiring the complicated processes of carbon labelling, measuring point emissions etc.
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