UK consumers will be able to use their environmental discretion when shopping, thanks to a new labelling system being launched this month by the Carbon Trust.

The organisation hopes 'carbon footprint' labels will eventually serve as a universal indicator of the amount of carbon emitted in the manufacture, packaging and transport of a product.

The Carbon Trust is an independent company funded by the British government to help business and the public sector reduce emissions.To qualify for the label, businesses must commit to reducing their carbon footprint over a two-year period.

The labels will make their first trial appearance on snackfood products from Pepsico's Walkers Crisps, on organic shampoo from the Boots national retail chain and Innocent for its Smoothies health drinks.

Research carried out by the Carbon Trust claims 66% of consumers want to know the carbon footprint of the products they buy.

Comments ceo Tom Delay: "Everything we do or buy has a carbon impact and it is clear that consumers and business want to take action to help tackle climate change."

He adds: "We believe this label, with its built-in commitment to reduce the product's carbon footprint, will act as a powerful bridge connecting carbon-conscious companies and their customers."

In addition, says Neil Campbell, ceo of Walkers: "We think that raising awareness of carbon emissions is the right thing to do . . . We hope this label will empower people to make more informed choices about the products they buy."

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff