Leading supermarkets are set to trial an industry first, front-of-pack environmental label. Although the design has not been finalised, it is said to combine an eco-scoring system with colour coded elements on the front packaging.
In June 2021 companies such as M&S, Nestlé, Co-op, and Sainsbury’s were involved in launching Foundation Earth, an alternative front-of-pack eco-scoring system measuring carbon emissions, water usage, and impact on biodiversity loss.
A spokesman from Foundation Earth had this to say: “We are delighted that Foundation Earth has helped to create the current traction behind the environment labelling agenda. We also welcome IGD’s adoption of many of our key principles.”
“We remain open to working and collaborating with the IGD to deliver an optimum harmonised system, as we have no doubt our two organisations could work much more effectively together on this project as all stakeholders seek a harmonised approach and to avoid proliferation.” (1)
The label is currently being scientifically evaluated by the World Resources Institute ahead of in-store execution. IGD said it was aware of other environmental labelling schemes and had consulted with many of them, but that it was intent on developing a balanced approach.
IGD CEO Susan Barratt said, “We recognise there is a growing appetite from all parts of the food system to measure and communicate the environmental impact of individual products, to drive positive change in consumption habits,”
“We also know there is a real desire for collaboration, to champion a science-based approach to environmental labelling supported by robust consumer insights,” she added. “We have been working in close partnership with senior industry representatives, NGOs, and technical experts over the last few months to develop an environmental labelling framework. Seeing this workstream now move into the trial phase is an exciting next step.”(2)