How it works

A third-party verified SM Transparency Report™ is an ISO 14025 Type III environmental declaration, our brand of EPD.

ISO 14025, Type III Environmental Declarations – Principles and Procedures describes a Type III environmental declarationas a document which indicates the environmental performance of a specific product, providing quantified environmental data developed using the LCA methodology set forth in ISO 14040-44 and a predetermined set of rules for the assessment called Product Category Rules (PCR) and, where relevant, additional environmental information. ISO 14025 outlines the requirements for their content, transparency and verification.

The SM Transparency Report Program is:

Described in a collection of documents:

  • SM Transparency Report Framework
    Part A: LCA calculation rules and background report requirements
    Part B: Product group definitions
  • Program overview & governance
  • Content requirements & collection form

Overseen by a Technical Advisory Board (TAB) of:

  • LCA experts
  • Industry representatives with LCA expertise
  • Program operators with LCA/EPD expertise

Technical Advisory Board (TAB)

The TAB is the group who oversee the harmonized implementation of the SM Transparency Report Framework. It is made up of LCA experts, industry representatives with LCA expertise, and program operators with LCA/EPD expertise.

LCA experts

Industry representatives

Program operators

We welcome your feedback. Send email to tab[@]sustainableminds.com
— Jim Mellentine & Kim Lewis

"The SM Transparency Report Program is a solution that brings together all the relevant environmental data for a product or group of products and presents it in a short, simple and understandable format. They reduce the need to have multiple forms and formats to document and share information with potential users."
– Alex Mlsna

SM Transparency Report™ / EPD Framework

A comprehensive LCA-based framework that promotes harmonization and consistency in reporting the environmental performance of products over their entire life cycle pursuant to ISO 14040-44 and ISO 14025, the SM Transparency Report Framework mandates transparency and provides a common basis for consistent, robust and quality-assured LCAs. It builds on the work being done in Europe and North America on product category rules (PCR) and environmental product declarations (EPD) and in particular the EN15804 standard.

Sustainable Minds has re-engineered the process to be faster, better and more cost effective.

  • The Framework separates the general rules that apply to any product (Part A) from the specific rules that are needed for products with the same functional performance (Part B), significantly accelerating the development of new Part Bs.
  • The environmental performance information presented through the SM Transparency Report Framework is based on the ISO 14025 process for Type III environmental labels. In addition, information on what the results mean and what the manufacturer is doing to improve the environmental performance is included.
  • The Framework features different levels of verification and certification so everyone can get started.

Part A: LCA calculation rules and background report requirements

Part A is a structural standard that lays out LCA calculation rules and background report requirements. Its purpose is to transparently provide quantified environmental performance information using a harmonized and scientific approach for product sold in North America.

The Part A standard defines rules for the following:

  1. The declared/functional unit
  2. The product group and the product description
  3. The system boundaries, the considered stages and included processes of the product's life cycle
  4. The development of product level scenarios
  5. Calculating the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) and the Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) including the data quality, waste categories, and allocation and cut-off rules to be applied
  6. Relevant additional technical and environmental information
  7. Content requirements for an SM Transparency Report or an EPD

Now with the formation of the Program Operator Consortium, alignment to Part A means that the content requirements for Transparency Reports and EPDs are the same. This means greater standardization of the content reported, with the manufacturer’s choice of the format and delivery format.

Part B: Product group definitions

A product group consists of products that compete for/deliver the SAME function or purpose. Part Bs use a functional performance requirement(s) that impacts/drives the environmental performance of the products as codified or specified in standards. Based on this, then each manufacturer can demonstrate business advantage, competitive advantage and differentiation.

Part Bs consist of 3 sections:

  1. Functional performance – what performance are customers buying and how the industry measures it (example: R values for insulation)
  2. Declared/functional unit – how the performance of a product system can be quantified)
  3. Additional rules needed – to enhance the comparability of products within the same group

Download Part B: Product group definitions >

It's easy to get started creating Part B requests

  1. One company submits a Part B request

  2. An informal group of 2 or more collaborates to create a Part B request

  3. An industry group representative creates a strawman Part B and invites X companies to review

  4. A program operator can facilitate a stakeholder group

  5. Part B request form is sent to the TAB.

  6. TAB reviews the request and sends notification of a public 4-week review and feedback period.

  7. TAB reviews and considers feedback, adjusts as appropriate and publishes the approved Part B.

TAB's responses and modifications together with all received comments will be made available within 1 month following the end of the public consultation period. In the future, should additional rules be required, this same process can be implemented and the Part B updated.

Interested to be notified about Part B public comment open consultation periods and other SM Transparency Report Program news? Sign up >

Partners, affiliates & associations

NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International provides life cycle assessment (LCA) and report verification for SM Transparency Reports.

We have great partners and affiliates in LCA, HPD service delivery and sustainability software.
Sustainable Minds works with other organizations to make our offerings available through multiple sources. We also collaborate with professional associations and NGOs to advance environmental sustainability through greener product development.

LCA service providers, please contact us to learn about delivering SM Transparency Reports as part of your LCA deliverables.