Ebook review: Full product transparency by Ramon Arratia

10th December 2013

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Life Cycle Analysis ,
  • Ecodesign ,
  • Products ,
  • Supply chain ,
  • Procurement


Sarah-Jane Holmes

Full product transparency

Ramon Arratia / Do Sustainability / ebook £30 / ISBN 978-1-9092-9322-9

This ebook looks at the flaws of “green labelling” and argues for a more transparent footprint of products’ environmental impacts throughout their entire lifecycle to better inform consumers.

The author suggests that there is a lot of “fluff” in the sustainability industry that companies are using to look good rather than paying attention to performing well. He says that firms should start using comparative benchmarks, which measure the environmental and social impacts of products common to an industry, not just focus on impacts that have been cherry-picked by a company. This approach, he says, will force companies to compete on all aspects of the production process, including environment issues.

The book includes a good example of an approach to partial product transparency from the automotive industry. The easily understandable metric of CO2 produced per km travelled allows consumers to make informed decisions, and legislators to tax high-emitting cars more than low-CO2 vehicles.

This is a thought-provoking read, particularly for those in companies that have focused on reducing the environment impacts of their operations rather than looking at the wider impacts associated with their supply chains. This ebook heralds a new era for reporting.

Alex Butcher, AIEMA, environmental adviser at Cable and Wireless


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