Do eco-labels on menus influence sustainable food choices?

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

Researchers want to know whether placing a traffic light rating of eco-friendliness next to dishes on a menu increases the likelihood of diners choosing more sustainable options.

Most U.S. consumers don’t know what ‘carbon neutral’ means

Sweaters with carbon neutral CO2 neutral verified on the label.

Read the full story at Morning Consult.

When asked to select the correct definition of the term “carbon-neutral” from three options, roughly 3 in 5 U.S. adults either chose the incorrect definition or said they didn’t know what it meant, according to new Morning Consult data. 

Climate Neutral is trying to build a net-zero labeling system that drives change–and dollars

Read the full story at Fast Company.

To earn the label, companies must not only show how they’re offsetting current emissions, but also lay out a plan for future carbon reduction.

How fashion giants recast plastic as good for the planet

Read the full story from the New York Times.

An influential system overseen by retailers and clothing makers ranks petroleum-based synthetics like “vegan leather” as more environmentally sound than natural fibers.

Sustainable shopping: Four ways you can help consumers navigate environmental claims

Read the full story at Dairy Reporter.

Growing demand for environmentally responsible food and drink has been accompanied by increased concern over greenwashed claims and rising confusion over what they actually mean. Els Zeeuwen, Director Branding & Communications at FrieslandCampina Ingredients, shares four top tips to help shoppers navigate these muddied waters.

Upcycled innovation accelerating

Read the full story in Food Business News.

The Upcycled Food Association launched its Upcycled Certification mark last June. By May of this year, the mark was on the labels of over 200 products being sold in the United States, preventing 840 million lbs of food waste every year, said Turner Wyatt, chief executive officer and co-founder of the UFA.

EPA launches modernized Design for the Environment logo for disinfectant and other antimicrobial products

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a new, modern Design for the Environment (DfE) logo that will appear on antimicrobial products like disinfectants and sanitizers within the next year. EPA’s DfE logo helps consumers and commercial buyers identify antimicrobial products that meet the health and safety standards of the normal pesticide registration process required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as well as other rigorous criteria required by the agency

An image displays: On the left, the old DfE logo, featuring a globe; in the middle, a right-pointing arrow; and on the right, the new logo, featuring text, a web address, and an image.

“Protecting the health and safety of our families and our homes is central to EPA’s mission,” said Michal Freedhoff, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “EPA is excited to take the DfE program to the next level with a bold, new logo to further empower consumers to make environmentally and health-conscious buying decisions.”

To further EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment, in 2009, the DfE program began including products that sanitize and disinfect, including wipes and sprays used to treat surfaces like countertops, tubs, tile, and toilets. To qualify for the DfE logo, every ingredient in a product must meet a rigorous set of chemical and toxicological standards.

EPA has seen a surge of engagement in the last few years from consumers, schools, and other organizations who want to know more about how the products they use affect their health and the environment—and who are eager to make the most responsible purchasing choices they can. The updated logo released today should make DfE-certified products easier for purchasers to find, which in turn will encourage companies to seek certification for their products.

Companies who make products carrying the DfE logo have invested heavily in research and reformulation to ensure that their products meet the DfE certification requirements. Pursuing DfE certification provides an opportunity for companies to work toward their sustainability goals.

DfE products meet criteria that evaluate human health and environmental effects, product performance, packaging, and ingredients. The requirements are intended to:

  • minimize any possible risks to human health by excluding ingredients that might have the potential to negatively impact young children, cause cancer, or have other negative effects;
  • further protect fish and other aquatic life;
  • minimize pollution of air or waterways and prevent harmful chemicals from being added to the land; and
  • ensure products have no unresolved compliance, enforcement, or efficacy issues.

EPA does not consider the logo to be an endorsement. Similar to saying a pesticide is “EPA-registered” because EPA has found it meets the registration standard, the DfE logo indicates that the product has been reviewed and meets the FIFRA registration standard as well as the standards for the DfE program.

To learn about the process for seeking DfE certification for antimicrobial products, see EPA’s website.

Del Monte Foods doubles down on upcycled foods by reusing pineapple juice

Read the full story at Food Dive.

UPDATE: April 20, 2022: Del Monte Foods said its Del Monte Gut Love and Boost Me Fruit Infusions have been declared Upcycled Certified by the Upcycled Food Association, the latest of the company’s offerings to receive the designation.

The canned fruit and vegetable company estimated the products will redirect about 130,000 pounds of pineapple juice each year, helping to provide nutritious and affordable food while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The liquid comes from pineapple used in Gut Love, Boost Me and other products.

Del Monte Foods has announced what it said is the industry’s first canned vegetable product to be certified by the Upcycled Food Association under its new upcycled certification program.

The company’s Blue Lake Petite Cut and Blue Lake Farmhouse Cut Green Beans are made with 100% upcycled and sustainably grown green beans from Wisconsin and Illinois. Both products have been on the market for years. Del Monte said it is looking into reflecting the new certification on future cans.

Del Monte is among countless other companies in the CPG space looking to curtail product waste and find new ways to use foods that would otherwise be thrown out as the issue becomes more important to shoppers.

License to Greenwash: How Certification Schemes and Voluntary Initiatives Are Fueling Fossil Fashion

Download the document.

The fashion sector is awash with certification schemes, sustainability labels and multi-stakeholder initiatives all seeking to steer the industry onto a greener course. As public and political awareness of the high environmental and social toll of the fashion industry has climbed the agenda, and scrutiny on brands has intensified, so has the visibility of certification schemes and voluntary initiatives pitched as holding the solutions.

The existence of such schemes serves a dual purpose for the brands. As the fashion industry is one of the least regulated sectors in the world, these schemes partially exist as a genuine attempt to move towards sustainability in the absence of environmental legislation. But they also enable the proliferation of ‘greenwashing’ on a remarkable scale. Whether it is the use of certification labels on individual products – assuring customers that they can shop guilt free by putting their money where their values lie – or brands proudly communicating their membership of various fashion-related voluntary initiatives, the existence of these schemes and the inherent lack of accountability within them are a key part of the greenwashing machinery of the modern fashion industry. Moreover, the level of influence exercised by fashion brands in these initiatives and the lack of any independent oversight, inevitably means that they end up promoting industry interests.

Plastic labelling needs ‘sustainability scale’

Read the full story from the University of Exeter.

Labelling of plastic products needs a drastic overhaul including a new ‘sustainability scale’ to help consumers, researchers say.