Full Product Transparency

Full Product Transparency
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'If you're making things or buying things, or setting procurement policy, 
I can't think of a better use of 90 minutes of your time.'

WILL DAY, Sustainability Advisor to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Senior Associate of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), and  former chair of the UK's Sustainable Development Commission

Watch Tom Idle from 2 Degrees interview Ramon Arratia

This book outlines a path towards a more practical era for 'corporate responsibility', where companies make real environmental gains based on hard facts, using lifecycle assessment (LCA) and environmental product declarations (EPDs). 

By the time you have finished this book you will be able to make the case for moving from corporate to product sustainability and propose a methodology for doing this, based on EPDs.

In the past decade,  thousands of companies have started the journey towards sustainability, leading to a huge supporting industry of sustainability professionals, lorry loads of corporate reports, and a plethora of green labels and marketing claims. Ramon Arratia argues that it's now time to transform this new industry by cutting out all the fluff and instead focusing on full product transparency (FPT). In the world of FPT, companies carry out LCAs for all their products and services, identifying their biggest impacts and where they can make the greatest difference. They disclose the full environmental impacts of their products using easily understood metrics, allowing customers to make meaningful comparisons in their purchasing decisions and providing governments with a platform to reward products and services with the lowest impacts. 

This book will help you put your company on a path towards full product transparency. This is a decision that can revolutionise and align consumer behaviour, supply chains, policy-making and reporting. It is no less than the path to the future of all business.


Ramon Arratia is a sustainability director with 13 years of practical experience in corporate positions at multinational companies such as Interface, Vodafone and Ericsson

He was named by The Guardian newspaper as one of the world’s top sustainable business tweeters. 

He is a strong advocate of product sustainability through his popular blog (interfacecutthefluff) and gives 50 speeches a year on the subject. He campaigns for stronger and more efficient European regulation based on product standards, for revisiting corporate sustainability reporting and for many years he led the ‘Cut the Fluff’ campaign against labels, certificates, partial truths, marketing claims and all the components of the old sustainability beauty contest. 

Ramon has an MBA from Warwick Business School, a MSC in Quality and Environment from Spain and a degree in chemistry. This mixture of business and technical education has given him a privileged perspective to understand both the geeks (LCA practitioners, academics, engineers) and the geezers (marketing, PR, sales, sustainability consultants). This book has been written with a hybrid ‘geekzer’ mindset.


"Arratia’s customary clarity is refreshing. He points out the futility of much of what passes for corporate responsibility today: measuring the wrong things, devoting resources to secondary issues, and communicating about superficial improvements. A thought-provoking read that will challenge you to focus on the essential."
PATRICK LAINE, Director Corporate Partnerships, WWF-UK

"If you're making things or buying things, or setting procurement policy, I can't think of a better use of 90 minutes of your time. It gets to the heart of what needs to change, and critically importantly, how that might be achieved, and is doubly persuasive because it's based on real-life, hard-nosed, commercial experience."

WILL DAY, Sustainability Advisor to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Senior Associate of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), and former chair of the UK's Sustainable Development Commission

"Full Product Transparency is an emerging idea of increasing importance to all businesses. This concise guide will show you how your company can go beyond sustainability 'fluff' and make a real difference for your customers. Ramon Arratia is a champion and pioneer of this concept, and his book offers an immensely clear and practical introduction to new thinking about product transparency. Informative, readable and highly practical. This is a must-read." 

POLLY COURTICE, Director, University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership

"Gloriously illuminates a daunting topic and turns it into a compelling call for action.  The author uses the crucial ingredients of straight talking, humour and the benefits of hands-on sustainable product experience."

JULIE HILL, Associate, Green Alliance, and author of The Secret Life of Stuff


Part 1 The case for refocusing on product (rather than corporate) sustainability 
1. The corporate responsibility beauty contest hasn’t taken us that far 
2. It’s about products, not companies! 
Part 2 What is full product transparency and how do you go about it 
3. What are FPT, LCAs and EPDs? 
4. Full product transparency at work: The magic metric that changed the car industry 
5. How to revolutionise other industry sectors through a magic metric: A practical guide for policy-makers 
6. Guide for companies to truly embed sustainability at the core: How this seemingly naïve idea of full product transparency can align companies and their value chains 
7. How full product transparency will revitalise the bureaucratic approach to managing sustainability in the supply chain 
8. If you sell to the government, you’d better understand full product transparency: How Green Public Procurement is becoming based on transparent metrics 
Part 3 How full product transparency will revolutionise business relations with consumers, investors, policy-makers and society
9. Consumers might not care that much but full product transparency can still stimulate real demand for sustainable products 
10. How full transparency can make policy instruments more effective 
11. Full product transparency: The future of reporting


Title: Full Product Transparency
Author: Ramon Arratia
Publication Date: December 2012
Page extent: 80 pages
Formats and ISBNs: 
pdf: 9781909293236
epub: 9781909293229
print: 9781909293212

Corporate Product Sustainability, Product Sustainability Marketing, Sustainability Product Marketing