Low carbon economy: Carbon footprint

Carbon Footprints (The Economist article)

1.- Tracking carbon footprints give companies in industrialized countries more control over carbon emissions in developing countries (cross-border carbon flows).

2.- Applying carbon labels could also result in arguments between retailers and suppliers about whose products are greener, but it is also said to be helpful in raising consumer awareness.

3.- Carbon-labelling need to be standardized across the globe to avoid trade barriers and consumer confusion.

4.- Calculating the carbon footprints and applying the labels on each product require high amounts of investment, but it would lead to saving costs spent on energy.

5.- The carbon labels itself does not matter as much as the process that is undergone to attain the certified label, because it’s main benefits are said to derive from upstream manufacturers, not consumers.

6.- The manufacturing processes involved in improving energy efficiency of certain products, such as electrical appliances, have become more complicated, and may result in creation of more carbon footprint but the overall footprint over the product’s entire life cycle has actually been decreased.

7.- Some retailers such as E. Leclerc and other French retailers have taken their own initiatives to come up with creative ways of displaying the carbon labels to increase consumer awareness.

8.- The label idea will work always that it goes beyond the label. The real impact is achieved when companies adapt this tools as a management one (part of its strategy), besides than a marketing one.

9.- The compulsory requirement of carbon labels can create a new barrier due to the investment needed to get it. Therefore, it could exclude from the global market the small and medium business, mainly those from developing countries. If it’s not well managed, it could create (at least in the short term) less competition, giving the market power to big companies with budget to do it.

10.- The regulation of this kind of mechanisms may also create the wrong incentives to companies, limiting their capacity/will to act. In these kind of areas, it is always better to give positive incentives (through voluntary schemes) rather than regulating it.



Tatiana Casquero

Nur Syafrina Mohd. Sharif

Aitana Leret

Diana Sánchez

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