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Carbon/Efficiency Labelling & Bio-Blending for Optimising Benefits of Biodiesel & Additive Use (CARBON LABELLING)

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The Carbon Labelling project implemented several labelling measures in Europe focused on transportation products and services with low CO2 emissions. The project promoted biodiesel, low-viscosity lubricants and ‘low carbon’ freight services. This first European carbon labelling initiative supported the discussion about measures for the greenhouse gas reduction (GHG) targets of the European Union and the role of biofuels to mitigate GHG emissions. Carbon life cycle numbers were calculated with GHG models from leading European research institutes. The identified carbon reduction numbers were used for pilot labelling initiatives via the label “CO2Star” developed by a professional advertising agency. The label and consumer information websites provided information to consumers about environmental and economic benefits of the labelled biofuels, lubricants and freight services. For instance, the German fuel distributor Q1 implemented a carbon labelling pilot programme for biodiesel (B 100) and lubricants at its fuel stations, while Dutch horticulture freight companies implemented the carbon label to promote "low carbon" freight services.


  • Development of the “CO2Star” label for the three carbon labelling initiatives.
  • Implementation of a carbon labelling pilot programme for biodiesel (B100) at the German fuel retailer Q1 showing a 60% GHG reduction when compared to fossil diesel.
  • Implementation of a carbon labelling pilot programme for freight services operating its trucks with B30 in The Netherlands.
  • Implementation of a carbon labelling pilot programme for low viscosity lubricants in order to show their CO2 reduction potential. Four low viscosity lubricants of the German fuel retailer Q1 were labelled.
  • Support for smaller EU member counties, such as Malta and Slovenia, which have limited capacities to produce and distribute high blends of biodiesel and may opt to import pre-blended biodiesel.

Lessons learned

  • The CO2Star initiative for biodiesel (B100) of the German fuel retailer Q1 was a great success, since the dissemination level was very high. Due to the campaigns and the enthusiasm of the service personnel of the fuel stations, some fuel consumers were even motivated directly at the fuel pumps to switch from fossil diesel to biodiesel. The campaign was launched on 12 July 2007 at a Q1 fuel station in Osnabrück, Germany.
  • However, results of the consumer surveys show that the majority of consumers are not willing to pay a premium price for fuels with reduced GHG emissions, efficiency improvements, and ‘low carbon’ freight services. Furthermore, the price of a fuel is the main factor influencing the purchasing decision of consumers in Europe. There is also very little knowledge of the public about biofuels in general, and more specifically on the potential for GHG emission reductions offered by biofuels.
  • Carbon labelling of biofuels and efficiency improvements will only be effective if there is a choice of products for consumers. In this respect the labelling of the biofuel fraction in mandatory blends (e.g. B5, E5) is not recommended. Carbon labelling of fuels shall focus on high blends of biofuels (e.g. B100, B30, E85) or other alternative transport fuels. Last updated: 28.06.2010

Partners and coordinator

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WIP GmbH & Co Planungs-KG
Contact point: 
Martha Bissman
Christian Epp
0049-89-720 12 729
Dominik Rutz
+49 89 720 12 739
Mr Michael Papapetrou
0049 89 720 12 7 12
Rainer Janssen
0049 89 72012 739
Ms Ingrid Weiss
0049 (0)89 720 12 741
Rainer Janssen


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In brief

01/10/2006 to 30/09/2008
Contract number: 

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