Perspectives on greener product development and manufacturing from Sustainable Minds, our partners, customers and contributors.

  • The SM Transparency Report™ Program: A step change innovation in the PCR/EPD process

    by Sustainable Minds on October 8, 2014

    With Greenbuild just around the corner and interest in LEED v4 and product transparency increasing amongst manufacturers and their customers, there’s concern that building product manufacturers won’t be ready.

    The SM Transparency Report™ Program is a step change innovation in the PCR/EPD process to standardize, harmonize and make product transparency reporting understandable and meaningful, it’s also faster, scalable, cost efficient and user-friendly.

    It is based on these fundamental ideas:

  • The SM Transparency Report™ Program – The Genesis

    by Sustainable Minds on September 17, 2014

    A step change innovation in the PCR/EPD process to standardize, harmonize and make product transparency reporting understandable and meaningful. It’s also faster, scalable, cost efficient and user-friendly.

    Now that environmental performance is a standard criteria in product design, shouldn’t greener be a standard part of how products are marketed?

    We wondered in B2B marketing, why is there typically one document describing product features and benefits—and a separate technical document ONLY about the product’s environmental performance? Don’t manufacturers have enough product literature to manage already? And don’t customers already have too many pieces of disparate information to put together to make purchase decisions?

    If environmental performance is to be operationalized into the way products are designed and marketed, it requires an integrated mindset, process and technology solution.

  • Teaching life cycle assessment with Sustainable Minds: A discussion with examples and student projects

    by Sustainable Minds on August 27, 2014

    Mark Meo, Kelsey Bowman, Kayla Brandt, Madeline Dillner, Dylan Finley, Justin Henry, Kaylie Sedlacek, and Aaron Winner

    Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019

    Abstract
    When the Department of Geography at the University of Oklahoma expanded its undergraduate degree options to include Environmental Sustainability in 2011, it was faced with the question of how should the Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) core course be taught, and what aspects of LCA should it cover. In addition to the textbook selected for the classroom, it was clear that students would also need to get hands-on experience using LCA in a manner that reinforced and extended the themes taught in class. This dual challenge was resolved with the selection of a readable and easily understood text and the adoption of Sustainable Minds software for the conduct of student projects. In this paper, we describe the manner in which LCA is taught in the classroom and the important role that LCA software has played to help students acquire a working understanding of the merits of the technique as well as its limitations. Examples of student projects that were completed as course assignments are used to illustrate the scope of student interests and accomplishments.

  • SM Transparency Report™ Framework: Product group definitions - How to create, comment on and use

    by Sustainable Minds on July 30, 2014

    SM Transparency Report™ Program
    Simplifying and standardizing product transparency reporting
    Webcast recorded on Tuesday, July 29, 2pm ET

    The increased demand for transparency and greener products requires a comprehensive solution. The SM Transparency Report Program creates a market-facing deliverable that does more than help your customers 'check a box.'

    On our last webcast, we introduced the program's methodology, the SM Transparency Report Framework – a re-engineered product category rule (PCR) development process. Based on EN15804+A1 and in compliance with ISO 14040-44 and 14025, the framework provides a comprehensive LCA-based, time and cost-efficient, harmonized and user-friendly way to create product group definitions to enhance consistency in product transparency reporting.

  • SM Transparency Report™ Framework: Introduction and comparison to ISO14025 type III environmental declarations

    by Sustainable Minds on June 24, 2014

    Webcast recorded Tue, June 24, 2014

    Last week, Sustainable Minds launched the SM Transparency Report™ Program, an alternative to the PCR/EPD process with equivalent credibility, verification – plus much more.

    This week, we invite you to join us for an introduction to the program's methodology – the SM Transparency Report Framework.

    Based on EN15804+A1 and in compliance with ISO 14040-44 and 14025, the framework provides a comprehensive LCA-based, harmonized and user-friendly way to create product group definitions to enhance consistency in product transparency reporting. It then delivers a strategic marketing and lead generation tool to inform greener purchase decisions by making LCA and environmental performance information understandable and meaningful.

    You will learn on this webcast:

  • The SM Transparency Report™ Program – The Launch

    by Sustainable Minds on June 20, 2014

    With the rollout of LEED v4 and the focus on product transparency reporting, there is confusion and anxiety in the building products industry around product category rules and environmental product declarations (PCRs and EPDs).

    SM Transparency Reports were introduced at Greenbuild 2013, to provide manufacturers a new way to communicate the environmental performance of their products in an understandable, credible and consistent way.

    Since then, Sustainable Minds has been developing its methodology to complete the program’s offering – the SM Transparency Report™ Framework. Based on EN15804+A1 and is in compliance with ISO 14040-44 and 14025, it provides a comprehensive LCA-based, harmonized and user-friendly way to create product group definitions (PGD) up front to enhance consistency in product transparency reporting.

    Sustainable Minds is now launching the complete solution. The SM Transparency Report Program is the first comprehensive solution for product manufacturers to Design and Market greener products. It is an alternative to the PCR/EPD process with equivalent credibility, verification – plus much more.

  • Sustainable Minds launches the SM Transparency Report™ Program

    by Sustainable Minds on June 17, 2014

    A complete solution for manufacturers to Design and Market greener products.

    CAMBRIDGE, MA – June 12, 2014 – Sustainable Minds launches the SM Transparency Report™ Program, the alternative to the product category rule/environmental product declaration (PCR/EPD) process with equivalent credibility and verification – plus much more. Sustainable Minds will introduce the program to manufacturers and industry advocates on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 2:00pm EST. 

    The SM Transparency Report Program:
    1. Provides options for easier adoption of transparency reporting
    Re-engineers the PCR process providing a more efficient and cost-effective way to standardize reporting and create product group definitions.

    2. Delivers a strategic marketing and lead generation tool – SM Transparency Reports
    Drives greener purchase decisions by making life cycle assessment (LCA) and environmental performance information understandable and meaningful; enables a manufacturer to describe how they are making products greener. A third-party certified SM Transparency Report exceeds the ISO 14025 requirements for type III environmental declarations.

    3. Helps market greener, and promotes greener design
    More than just a report, deliverables include the manufacturer’s product data in a private dataset in Sustainable Minds’ flagship Eco-concept & LCA Software, used in over 750 locations in industry and education world-wide.

    Categories: In the press
  • NSF International and Sustainable Minds Partner to Accelerate Product Transparency Reporting

    by Sustainable Minds on June 11, 2014

    Sustainable Minds Transparency Report™ Program offers an innovative market solution to the growing need for product transparency reporting and verification

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Sustainable Minds has partnered with NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International, to provide life cycle assessment (LCA) verification and report certification for Sustainable Minds Transparency Reports™.

    Sustainable Minds (SM), a software and services provider founded to operationalize environmental performance into mainstream product development and manufacturing,will introduce the complete SM Transparency Report™ Program to manufacturers and industry advocates through a webinar on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at 2:00 pm EST.  Sign up at sustainableminds.com/weekly-webinar.

    SM Transparency Reports, third party verified by NSF Sustainability and based on ISO 14044 compliant LCAs, are an alternative transparency reporting tool to environmental product declarations (EPDs). NSF Sustainability’s extensive background in certifying environmental reports and sustainable products and services provides additional credibility for the contents of the transparency reports.

  • Creating Knowledge Workers for the Greener Product Marketplace, Part 7: The World is Transforming Design Education

    by Sustainable Minds on February 20, 2014

    On February 11, we held the seventh in a series of webcasts featuring educators from leading colleges and universities demonstrating how Sustainable Minds is being used in education. Today's environmental challenges are driving transformation in design education. Learn from three educators from thought-leading institutions how they are using Sustainable Minds to design businesses and products that create value and catalyze positive change. You can download the presentation deck here.

  • Webcast Replay: SM Transparency Reports, a solution to the LCA/EPD/PCR conundrum

    by Sustainable Minds on January 28, 2014

    In response to market demand and LEED v4, three companies with a common mission to bring credibly greener products to the marketplace -- Sustainable Minds, TOTO USA and NSF International -- have introduced a new product for manufacturers to transparently report the environmental performance of their products.

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