The Carbon Trust was dealt a blow this week when Procter & Gamble rejected its carbon footprint label as "too confusing for consumers" and launched its own eco-mark.

The Carbon Trust's label, launched earlier this year, is being trialled on packs of Walkers crisps and in Boots stores. It shows how many grams of carbon were generated in producing the product and indicates a commitment to reduce this.

But P&G said it did not believe carbon footprinting was the best way to improve the environment and was launching an alternative label that would be simpler and easier for shoppers to understand.

P&G's label, Future Friendly, is to appear first on brands including Flash, Ariel, Lenor and Fairy. However, it will also be opened up to non-P&G brands. The principle behind the label, launched this week by Sir Trevor McDonald and the  BBC's green living expert Joanna Yarrow, is that by buying the product, the shopper can do their bit for the environment.

By using Ariel, for example, they can turn the temperature of their wash down to 30C to save power. By buying Lenor concentrate, they can help use 70% less packaging and reduce the amount of fuel consumed transporting it. "We think carbon footprinting is too confusing for consumers," said a P&G spokesman. "We may take it up in the future - we're not ruling it out completely - but we'd have to see how it develops."

The Future Friendly label, devised in partnership with Global Cool, Energy Saving Trust, Waterwise and Waste Watch, will be backed by a £17m marketing campaign.

"It is not a carbon label," said Matthew Wright, director of customer insight at the Energy Saving Trust. "It is a brand logo that represents P&G's efforts to do what it can to make products better for the environment. We are behind changing behaviours, but people can also buy products to do that."

The launch of the label is another setback for the Carbon Trust, which has been working to develop a single carbon footprint label to be used across the industry.

The trial label has attracted some criticism since its launch in April, most notably from Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy. He told The Grocer the scheme did not go far enough - although it is understood the retailer is working with the Trust to resolve their differences over the label.

In May, research carried out for The Grocer showed nearly half of consumers - and even some retail buyers - did not understand the labelling scheme. The Carbon Trust declined to comment.

GfK NOP analyst Helen Roberts said: "If P&G has done research that shows people don't understand carbon footprinting then clearly it feels it is helping its customers by introducing its own, simpler, scheme."