Carbon Labelling

A European Pilot Initiative on Labelling Biodiesel and Fuel Efficiency

Duration: 2006 – 2008 ● Client: European Commission (IEE) ● WIP Expertise: Coordination, Market uptake, Policy development ● www.CO2Star.eu

Today, passenger cars alone are responsible for around 12% of European CO2 emissions. An opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions in transport is provided by the use of biofuels with beneficial life cycle CO2 emissions and low viscosity lubricants reducing fuel consumption.

This approach was tested in the Carbon Labelling project (Project No. EIE/06/015) supported in the framework of the Intelligent Energy – Europe (IEE) programme of the European Commission.

In the Carbon Labelling project, firstly a supportable methodology for the quantification of carbon life cycle reductions was identified in co-operation with recent and on-going activities and methodologies by European and worldwide expert groups such as NL Agency (NL), ifeu Institute (DE) and Imperial College (UK).

In a second step, the “CO2Star” was developed and the Carbon Labelling initiative actively promoted the carbon reduction potentials to consumers. Therefore, the following three “CO2Star” labelling initiatives were implemented:

  • Biodiesel labelling initiative at Q1 fuel stations in Germany
  • Improved lubricants labelling initiative at Q1 fuel stations in Germany
  • Labelling of low carbon freight services in The Netherlands

Furthermore, consumer surveys were conducted in order to assess the success of this initiatives and the recognition of GHG labels. In addition, managing directors and CEOs of fuel retailers as well as freight service and forwarding companies were interviewed about their attitudes towards carbon labels.

Apart from these three core labelling activities, the Carbon Labelling project targeted to overcome barriers of biodiesel use in smaller EU countries by information campaigns. Due to their lower capacities and limited infrastructure, smaller EU countries the use of pre-blended biodiesel were assessed.

The final report of the Carbon Labelling project gives an overview about carbon reductions in the transport sector, different GHG calculation methodologies, and recommendations of future labelling activities in the biofuels sector.