The Transparency Project – Call for Abstracts

The Transparency Project: Everyday Products, Consumer Knowledge and Environmental Impacts

The Transparency project has just announced call for expression of interest for the seminar being held in Feb 2020! The seminar and linked publication will be focused on the problem of opacity, or a lack of evident transparency and traceability in everyday products in today’s global economy. 


Hosted by China Australia Centre for Sustainable Development at the University of South Australia this one day and a half seminar and linked publication will be focused on the problem of opacity, or a lack of evident transparency and traceability in everyday products in today’s global economy.

Consumers today have very little reliable information about the environmental impacts of the products and services that dominate their lives. From cars and phones to furniture, appliances and packaged foods, most products and services are understood and compared in terms of advertised claims which can be misleading. There is growing evidence to suggest that when consumers are made aware of an environmental problem (as in the ABC’s War on Waste TV series), they are more likely to accept pro-environmental regulatory change (such as bans on plastic bags).

Given recent rapid advancements in material and energy assessment, sensing and communication technologies, there are few reasons why environmental impact information cannot be presented to consumers and other actors in the market in a more accessible format. Policy makers, designers, producers, retailers and waste managers could also benefit from access to this information. 

This seminar and related book project aim to explore how we might be able to establish higher standards of transparency and traceability in everyday consumption, and how this might be used to support a transition to more ‘responsible production and consumption’ (UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12). Policy and regulation, business and economic development, design and production, and waste management services could all benefit from reducing the global economy’s present environmental opacity.

Multidisciplinary in focus, the seminar’s organisers invite presentations on three themes:

  1. Case Studies profiling the impacts of products and services in everyday use, clarifying ways of measuring their impacts in a more accessible manner.
  2. Communicating environmental impacts more effectively to non-specialists, through labelling, app-based systems, sensing, and other assessment systems.
  3. Policy and regulation transitions towards ‘responsible production and consumption’ (SDG 12), with a particular focus on greater transparency and traceability.



Please submit abstracts (up to 200 words) including title with nominated themes and a separate short bio (up to 200 words) no later than September 23rd, 2019 via the Unmaking Waste website

Dates & Details

More details on the abstracts, papers, the seminar and related activities, will be announced and posted on the Unmaking Waste website from July 2019 Abstracts (up to 200 words) are to be submitted via the website by November 29th, 2019, for consideration by the seminar’s organising committee.

Abstracts will be reviewed by the seminar committee, and those submitting will be advised by December 16th, 2019. Once abstracts have been accepted, those presenting will be asked to submit their intended presentation prior to the seminar.

Presenters will have the opportunity to submit their 5000-7000 word paper for inclusion in an edited book. More details of the requirements for this paper will be distributed later. Ideally, your paper should be ready for peer-review by late February/early March, 2020. Negotiations are currently underway to develop a book based on the seminar with a leading international publisher.

If you have any queries about the seminar or associated publication please write to Dr Robert Crocker: or Asa Jonasson

Dr Robert Crocker and Professor Martin Shanahan, Co-convenors


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply