IGD launches environment labelling initiative

Earth from space

Trade body IGD is aiming to develop a labelling scheme by the end of 2021 that displays a product’s sustainability credentials.

IGD has kicked off a new environment labelling project, which aims to develop a method of displaying products’ sustainability credentials that the whole sector can get behind.

The project’s initial focus is on creating a strategic framework for an environment labelling scheme that will provide consistent and transparent information for consumers, enabling them to make more informed choices at point of sale.

The project builds on IGD’s experience in nutritional labelling, where the organisation has previously led a joined-up industry approach to make it easier for consumers to use and understand nutrition labels and to enable them to draw comparisons between products in a consistent way.

IGD has commissioned sustainability experts Anthesis to develop a recommended industry framework. Product footprinting experts from ERM will also provide support, while IGD will also seek input from other experts across academia, non-government organisations, and government.

Susan Barratt, Chief Executive of IGD, 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 environment labelling supported by robust consumer insights.”

Barrett added: “This agenda is moving at pace. Without a coordinated approach from the whole UK food sector, we risk confusing consumers and undermining the credibility of any labels that are being trialled. Environment labelling is a very complex area, with many unanswered questions in terms of data accessibility, governance, relevant impact indicators and scoring methodology, as well as the most effective way to visualise the information on-pack.”

IGD is aiming to develop a recommended strategic framework for environmental labelling in the UK by the end of 2021.