Mon, Dec 01, 2014 - Page 3 News List

EPA announces results of carbon footprint program

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced the results of the implementation of its carbon footprint calculation platform over the weekend, saying that as many as 69 local firms have benefitted from the system and now provide “carbon labels” on 235 products, making the industries more eco-friendly.

EPA Deputy Minister Yeh Hsin-cheng (葉欣誠) said that Taiwan has been collaborating with the UK since 2011 to establish a bilateral certification system to encourage companies to publicize their products’ carbon footprints — the total amount of carbon generated throughout the products’ lifespan, beginning with the processing of raw materials, then to the point where they are stored before sale to consumers and finally, recycled or discarded.

O’right, a shampoo and conditioner company, stood out from the firms for having become the first local company to gain bilateral recognition by both the EPA and UK-based Carbon Trust — a carbon reduction technology developer and consultancy company — in terms of carbon labeling.

One of O’right’s products, the tea tree shampoo, was incorporated into Carbon Trust’s carbon labeling system, which establishes a product’s carbon footprint to be 300g of carbon dioxide per wash.

O’right president Steven Ko (葛望平) said the number is determined by indices prescribed by Carbon Trust to measure the amount of water required to wash off the shampoo and the electricity used during showers.

He said that many companies cut the carbon footprints of their products by improving the products themselves — for example experimenting with their formula, but user habits also play a major role in the task.

As part of its efforts to develop eco-friendly products, Ko said his company has spent 20 years finding the right formula for the shampoo, which can be easily washed off, reducing water consumption by about one-third compared to that of other brands.

With people becoming more environmentally conscientious, the carbon labeling system serves as a useful mechanism for consumers to examine companies’ commitment to environmental protection, he said.

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