Carbon Labeling in the United States – Illustrated by CarbonFree

At present, there are three types of carbon labels in the United States, all of which are launched by different companies, with no official carbon label system.


At present, there are three types of carbon labels in the United States, all of which are launched by different companies, with no official carbon label system.

The first carbon label is launched by Carbon Label California, which aims to help consumers choose more eco-friendly products. At present, the carbon label is mainly applied in food products, such as health supplements and certified organic food, and its calculation is based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

The second is a carbon label launched by Carbonfund, the first label applicable to carbon neutral products in the United States. Products reviewed by CarbonFree currently include clothing, candy, canned beverages, electric ovens, composite floors, etc. The carbon footprint calculation is based on the LCA as well. The CarbonFree carbon label is managed by Carbonfund, and a third-party agency is entrusted to perform annual LCA review.

The third is the Climate Conscious carbon label launched by Climate Conservancy. The purpose is to help consumers choose products and services with lower carbon footprints during the purchase process and build an eco-friendly market mechanism, thereby reducing carbon emissions. The carbon label is managed and evaluated by Climate Conservancy, and the LCA is also used to calculate the carbon footprint.

CarbonFree carbon label calculation scope

Different products apply to their own Product Category Rules (PCR), and the calculation scopes may slightly vary. The boundary is the carbon emissions of products from cradle to grave, including raw materials, manufacturing, transportation and storage, use and disposal.

The following activities may also be emission sources, and the carbon footprint calculation can be performed voluntarily by the company.

  1. The production of machinery used to manufacture and deliver products (e.g., embodied energy of factory equipment).
  2. Operations management or offices not directly involved in the manufacturing process or logistics.
  3. Products displayed at retail outlets or in the showcases.

Certification acquisition

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the entire life cycle will be determined by the LCA through participation in the Carbon Free product certification program. GHG emissions that cannot be reduced or eliminated in the product life cycle will be "neutralized" through carbon offsets of third-party verified renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry.

External emission reduction projects encompassing energy transitions (e.g., wind power, solar power), carbon sequestration (e.g., forestry), and technologies (e.g., energy efficiency) earn credits after validation and registration—allowing businesses to purchase these credits and offset the carbon emission during the production process of their products. The purchased credit represents the product or the company and cannot be repurchased.


(Based on the order in the introduction above)


(Figure III) Suggests the product or service having achieved the standard


  1. Carbonfund official website
Ecolabeling in France
The Carbon Label in Thailand
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