Carbon allowances per person?

Big businesses have to fall in line with a carbon emissions allowance. So how would the average man on the street cope if they had a personal carbon allowance? That’s […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Big businesses have to fall in line with a carbon emissions allowance. So how would the average man on the street cope if they had a personal carbon allowance?

That’s the question asked by low carbon advisers at Carbon Trust Advisory and soft drinks giant Coca-Cola in a recent experiment.

They ran a four-week trial in Britain which set a personal carbon allowance of 20Kg of CO2 per day.

The 24 London-based consumers in the trial kept track of their carbon footprint, by keeping a diary of their weekly energy consumption, daily food and drink consumption as well as their transportation.

According to the report, consumers did act to cut food waste and energy bills, but other areas, such as holidays and meat consumption, were harder to change.

The research indicated that many participants expect large companies and government to lead the way by helping them to play their part.

Hugh Jones, Managing Director of the Carbon Trust Advisory agreed that businesses could positively influence their customers.

He wrote in the report: “Companies have a vital role to play to help consumers understand the impact of their decisions. They need to improve the communication of their goods and services to help consumers choose quickly and easily.”

One way of doing this would be giving more environmental information to customers, for example with food and drink products. The report found this “could help to deliver tangible reductions to the environmental impact of that sector.”