Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Japan
Online ISSN : 1881-0519
Print ISSN : 1880-2761
ISSN-L : 1880-2761
Case Study Research Article
Approach for Improvement of Recognition of Carbon Footprint and Introduction of Computer System for Its Calculation: A Case Study in Supermarket
Peijiang ZHAOKoji NAGANOAkinori SUZUKIKazuhiko SATO
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2016 Volume 12 Issue 1 Pages 15-25


Objective. The objective of our supermarket case study is to make consumers aware of the carbon footprint of products (CFP). 130 products were calculated on their CFP and a publicity campaign was undertaken to inform consumers of the CFP. In the publicity campaign, we introduced the CFP in combination with human health. Quick calculation of the CFP is important in increasing the number of CFP product. We introduced a semi-automatic calculation system so that we can shorten the computing time of the CFP.
Results and Discussion. 50 of the 130 products with the CFP have been sold with the CO-OP Sapporo private label. We designed a package for the private label in order to announce the CFP to consumers. The design is so simple and specific that the consumers can recognize the CFP at one view. We have also distributed pamphlets in which our approach for the CFP is written. We introduced the CFP in combination with nutrient factors both in the package design and in the pamphlets. We expected that consumers would become interested in the CFP together with nutrient factors. Our developed semi-automatic calculation system picks up the data in a data acquisition file in which raw data on the production process of each product are recorded. CO2 emission factors and transportation distance are automatically obtained by searching in installed databases and Google Maps. Results of the calculation are stored in a Microsoft Excel file. The computing time of our system is one-tenth to two-tenths as long as that of manual calculation. We carried out questionnaire surveys in 2014 and 2015 in order to examine our approach. The results indicated that a ratio of consumers who knew our private-label of the CFP increased after our approach.
Conclusions. Our approach for the CFP in supermarkets contributed to an increase in the number of consumer who knew about the CFP of specific products. However, many consumers did not recognize the CFP label even though they read the designed package. Our approach shows that it is difficult to provide CFP-labeled products and influence consumer behavior through CFP products.

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© 2016 The Institute of Life Cycle Assessment, Japan
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