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money-flyingShould there be a consistent world wide method to calculate and advertise the carbon footprint of products? And, if so, what should it say?

The International Organization for Standardization will be working hard on these issues at its upcoming meeting in Malaysia. A carbon footprint products standard would facilitate the efforts of both organizations and individuals to use their purchasing power to reduce their own footprint. The UK, for example, is enthusiastically pushing a draft document.

On the other hand, there are concerns about whether the proposed standard would create new barriers to trade. Alberta, for example, is concerned that such a standard might affect exports of oil from its oil sands.

Some vendors aren’t waiting, but are already issuing claims about their carbon footprints, using existing life cycle guidelines under ISO 14025. There is also a fascinating website at GEDNET, the GLOBAL TYPE III ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCT DECLARATIONS NETWORK, to encourage consumer-led purchasing of low carbon goods. Buying low carbon goods could be an important way for consumers to live their values.

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