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Study: Carbon Footprint Labels Need To Step It Up

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Study: Carbon Footprint Labels Need To Step It Up

USC Professor Finds Environmental Labels Are Lacking

Using labels to designate environmentally friendly products has become increasingly important. Sustainability and going green has become a primary objective for businesses and consumers alike, and the prevalence of organic and eco-friendly seem to indicate success in the endeavor. However, a new study shows many labels are falling short of that goal.

According to research by University of Southern California professor Richard Vos, carbon footprint labels on consumer products do not assess the true value of their environmental impact.

Some Labels Aren't Based On Accurate Science
As part of two studies into environmental labels, Vos said current scientific methods used to measure carbon footprint that then inform the labels are not sufficient in pegging down the actual impact of the product on the environment.

Vos asserts the problem with current labels is that science does not accurately take into consideration the location of production and the effects on adjacent lands. Vos singled out paper as a product suffering from insufficient labels. He said the ability of trees to "act as the planet's lungs by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide" is compromised and not taken into account when labels are designed.