Friday, 20 August 2010

Adessi 10:10 - Ecological Impact Laid Bare

After reading this article on the guardian website, I got thinking about products and their impact on the environment. Although, I always try to recycle as much as I can, I have to admit I've never really thought about the eco-impact of how a product is made. World Tap Water Week has highlighted the impact of drinking bottled water, but what about the impact of other products, and how can the customer find out about this information?

It has been suggested that 'Radical Transparency' is the way forward, to inform customers of a product's ecological impacts in a clear manner. Transparency is already applied to price, and if it was applied to eco-impact, buyers would no longer know less than sellers.Walmart has discussed plans to introduce a 'Sustainability Index' where a clear rating of eco-impacts would be displayed on their products.Although to get all the information about a product's life cycle takes a lot of time and money, and a new 'Group of Ten' companies have developed the E2 Turbo, which measures just 20% of a product's life cycle, but accounts for 80% of it's environmental impact. This supply chain transparency could lead the way for products' eco-impact rating to be easily available to customers.

However, in one survey only 10% of people would go out of their way to find out about the eco-impact of products. The Good Guide have tried to make the information easier by releasing a free iPhone app which gives you informations about a product's eco-impact right in the aisles of the supermarket, and roughly two thirds of shoppers feel that it would be a part of their decision making process if the information was easy to come by.

Would this information make a difference to how you shop? Would you like to see a traffic light system for eco-impact right next to the calories, fat and salt readings?

I think this would be a really good idea, it would hopefully encourage companies to think more about their carbon footprint and how they make their produce so they could have a better reading. It's something I've never really considered, but is something I'd be interested to find out about, I'd hate for all the foods I eat to be having a huge ecological-impact and cancelling out all the good we're doing here at Adessi for the 10:10 campaign!


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