The Product Transparency Movement:
Peeking Behind the Corporate Veil
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I thought I knew you. What did I know?
– The Beatles
In the last two years, building product transparency has started to get traction in North America: changes in consumer expectations, building certification systems, and international laws and standards have finally begun to converge in standardized corporate reporting about any number of environmental, social, and health impacts. Many in the design community as well as the manufacturing community are developing ways to easily communicate some of this information through what is often called a nutrition label for building products. While lots of folks are looking forward to having this nutrition label, there are different visions of what this means. Most are talking about environmental product declarations (EPDs), which are designed to inform us about the environmental impacts of a product over its life cycle. Some are referring to disclosure of ingredients and their health impacts through a health product declaration (HPD). ...