SourceMap is an outstanding venture sponsored by different groups within the MIT. As they state on the site: "When you invite people to an event, buy the ingredients for a recipe, or design the parts of a product, your choices have a significant impact. Some things have vast supply chains that stretch across the world while others are completely regional. Understanding the reach of our sourcing is fundamental to improving economic, social and environmental conditions."
Sourcemap is a tool for producers, business owners and consumers to understand the impact of supply chains. The site is a social network where anyone can contribute to a shared understanding of the story behind products. You can simulate the impact of manufacturing, transporting, using and throwing away products using their Life-Cycle Assessment calculator. This web-based tool uses linked data from geological and geographic resources. Each 'Sourcemap' can be used to help market socially - and environmentally - conscious products and to buy carbon offsets. Supply chains published on the site can be embedded in external websites, printed onto product packaging or linked through QR codes readable by camera phones. As the site grows, suppliers will be able to contribute their products to the Sourcemap database, providing a geographic catalogue of materials and products around the world.
The images shown here are from a sourcemap of IKEA's Sultan Alsarp bed. You might also enjoy seeing Patagonia's Footprint Chronicles. I truly hope this represents a critical business shift towards transparency and environmental awareness.