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What is Product Transparency?

 , updated on January 14, 2023
Product transparency is the practice of disclosing detailed information about products and services including what they contain, how they were produced and where they come from. Such information is useful to businesses, professionals and consumers. For example, an architect can use product transparency to ensure that a building will be free of molecules such as volatile organic compounds. The following are a few examples of information that can be disclosed.


A list of substances found in a product both in layman's terms and as a detailed list of substances, potentially at the molecular level.


The amount of energy that was used to create a product or deliver a service.

Environmental Impact

The waste products that went into the environment directly or indirectly as a result of production of a product or delivery of a service.

Production Methods

Descriptions of production methods such as organic certifications.

Community Impact

Certifications that indicate that a product was produced in a way that is fair to people. For example, that they were not produced in a way that funds a conflict.

Country of Origin

The origin of the product and its component parts and materials.
Overview: Product Transparency
DefinitionThe practice of disclosing detailed information about products and services.
ValueConsumers may feel that they have the right to know what they are buying.
Producers of secondary products may use detailed specifications of a components, materials, products and services in order to meet their requirements and sustainability goals.
Related ConceptsPrecautionary Principle
Sustainable Design


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