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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 03:37 GMT 04:37 UK
Firms sign up for carbon rating
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The UK is striving to cut CO2 emissions by 20% before 2020
Nine leading companies including Coca-Cola and Cadbury have signed up to a scheme to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of certain products.

They will measure the ecological impact of each product from the sourcing of raw materials through to disposal.

Halifax, Muller and the makers of Andrex toilet tissue are also involved.

The firms will use a draft product standard which is being developed by the government, Carbon Trust and BSI British Standards.

Cadbury Schweppes will be calculating the embodied greenhouse gas emissions during the life cycle of a Dairy Milk bar, while Coca-Cola will consider the carbon footprint of both a sparkling and still drink from its product range.

Kimberly-Clark intends to measure the environmental impact of Andrex Toilet Tissue and Huggies nappies.

Low carbon Britain

The remaining companies and their products are:

  • Aggregate Industries - Hard landscaping products (paving stones etc)
  • The Co-operative Group - 200g and 400g punnet strawberries
  • Halifax - Halifax Web Saver account
  • Marshalls - Hard landscaping products (paving stones etc)
  • Muller Dairy (UK) Limited - One type of yoghurt
  • Scottish & Newcastle - Fosters lager and Bulmers cider

Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock said it was encouraging that so many top companies were "stepping up to the plate" on the issue of climate change.

"The take-up from business of the Carbon Trust's scheme shows that there's real appetite and willingness to firstly understand, and secondly to reduce the impact that their products have on our planet."

Tom Delay, chief executive of the government-funded Carbon Trust, said consumers were demanding more information on the climate change impact of products.

"The unprecedented level of interest we have had in this initiative makes me confident that by working with manufacturers and producers to reduce indirect carbon emissions, we can move the UK another step closer to a low carbon economy," he said.

'Complex task'

Alex Cole, Cadbury's corporate responsibility director, said the company had already been looking at its carbon footprint.

"Whether it's British cows producing fresh milk or Ghanaian farmers growing cocoa, there's a whole bunch of activities that go into making a bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk," he said.

"This process is helping us understand where our greatest energy impacts are - so we can bring them down as part of our Purple Goes Green project to do our bit for climate change".

Paul Smith, from Coca-Cola Enterprises Europe, said understanding the overall footprint of individual products will be a "complex task" requiring a detailed analysis of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions across its life cycle.

"We are delighted to work in partnership with the Carbon Trust to undertake this task and hope to be able to support the proposed methodology and identify cost effective opportunities to reduce emissions generated across our supply chain," he added.

Earlier this year, Carbon Trust launched the carbon reduction label with Walkers, Boots, and drinks makers Innocent.

It states the emissions of their products and a commitment to reduce their product's emissions over a two year period.

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