Smoke stacks

A carbon-cutting revolution

After a quiet decade, carbon labeling may be poised for a come-back.

Remember carbon labels? If not, you’re not alone.

A decade ago, British retail giant Tesco boldly vowed to start putting the labels—emblazoned with a footprint and a number quantifying the greenhouse gases emitted in a product’s lifecycle—on each of its 70,000 products. Walmart chimed in too, with talk of a consumer-facing “sustainability index” that would incorporate carbon-dioxide emissions and allow people to “consume in a more sustainable

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