German discounter Lidl has announced plans to flag the environmental impact of some of its products in an effort to let climate-conscious customers minimise the impact of their weekly shop.
Lidl GB said on Tuesday it would begin trials of a new "traffic light" system at its Scottish stores from October. The new markings will appear on 50 own-brand products, such as tea and coffee, which will be marked with a coloured grade from A to E based on how little or much they impact the environment and how sustainable they are.
Grades will be based on a range of factors such as biodiversity impact, packaging, and the carbon footprint involved in getting the product onto shelves. Scores will be boosted if producers are members of climate-friendly third party schemes such as Fairtrade or the Rainforest Alliance.
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"Rolling out the Eco-Score trial in Scotland is a huge milestone for Lidl, one we’re extremely proud of," said Amali Bunter, head of responsible sourcing and ethical trade at Lidl.
“We know that shoppers want more support in understanding the environmental impact of the products they buy day-to-day and Eco-Score will do just that. The trial will help customers in our 105 Scottish stores road test the new traffic light system and ultimately make greener shopping choices in the process.”
The trial comes as companies across the world face growing pressure to address the planet's looming climate crisis. A recent UN report on climate change warned the planet is on track for devastating man-made warming, with UN secretary-general António Guterres describing the findings as "code red for humanity."
While tackling the problem is the responsibility of governments, pressure groups and consumers are increasingly looking to corporations to do their bit too.
Lidl said it would share the results of its eco-labelling trials with the wider food and supermarket industry to help "shape an approach that works for customers and the industry in the long term." The supermarket, which has 860 stores across Britain, said it would listen to feedback from customers and did not commit to the scheme long-term.
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