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

Certifications & labeling

SM named Smart Innovator in Verdantix Product Stewardship Solutions report

By Sustainable Minds on January 17, 2016

Sustainable Minds was featured as a provider of voluntary product stewardship solutions (vs. compliance-based solutions) along with 7 other companies including industry staples PRé Sustainability, Quantis International and thinkstep.

Verdantix defines a product stewardship solution as: “Software and services that enable firms to identify, report, manage and minimize the negative environmental, health and safety impacts associated with the manufacture, composition, distribution, use and disposal of a physical product for the purpose of meeting compliance requirements and supporting voluntary action.”

They further define voluntary product stewardship as focusing mainly on LCA and ecodesign, which are necessary to long-term global sustainability. Verdantix finds the solutions in this space tackle challenges including:

First Program Operator Consortium Launched for Environmental Product Declarations Market at Greenbuild 2015

By Sustainable Minds on November 17, 2015

WASHINGTON, November 17, 2015 — On Wednesday, four key green-building stakeholder organizations (ASTM International, ICC Evaluation Service, NSF International and Sustainable Minds) will launch the first Program Operator Consortium in the industry. The signing will take place at Greenbuild 2015 at the ASTM International booth (#3313) at 10:30 a.m.

The consortium will serve as an expert resource and advocate for creating product category rules (PCRs), reviewing life cycle assessment (LCA) reports, and verifying and publishing environmental product declarations (EPDs). The consortium members will pool resources, leverage existing relationships, jointly conduct outreach, marketing, education and communications, and promote the overall use of PCRs, LCAs and EPDs in the marketplace.

Manufacturers, design professionals and others will begin to see co-branded, verified EPDs from the consortium members, providing value to decision makers when specifying materials and products while helping manufacturers gain greater visibility for their product transparency work.

From ‘disclosure’ to brand value: Integrating product transparency into product marketing

By Sustainable Minds on February 18, 2015

Environmental performance and material health are rapidly becoming specification requirements. But today’s product transparency information is encoded in static reports full of technical data, which limits its use – and its potential to build business. Manufacturers who can explain what that data means and what they’re doing to make meaningful improvements, are informing greener purchase decisions and building a credibly greener brand.

Environmental performance is the latest criteria in product design – and now in product marketing.

Thanks to industry drivers and growing demand, environmental performance has taken its rightful place alongside functional performance, cost, aesthetics, safety and other criteria in product creation and purchasing. Manufacturers make trade-off decisions between these criteria to determine what products to make, and how to make them. To put an end to greenwashing, the market has demanded more scientific and rigorous methods to support manufacturers’ green claims. Thus, environmental performance has become part of product marketing. 

Sustainable Minds and TOTO Accelerate Impactful Innovation in Product Transparency Reporting to Drive Greener Purchase Decisions

By Sustainable Minds on November 4, 2014

Emerging software company innovates a global standards process into a market-driven, user-friendly solution

NEW ORLEANS, L.A., Oct. 22 /CSRwire/ - (Greenbuild, Booth #616) - Sustainable Minds (SM), a cloud software and services company whose mission is to operationalize environmental performance in product development and manufacturing, continued to demonstrate market leadership by launching today ten new SM Transparency Reports™ from TOTO, the largest plumbing manufacturer in the world, for select high-efficiency commercial products, showcasing 15 products across four categories. TOTO's SM Transparency Reports, verified by NSF, can be viewed in the TOTO Showroom, in the SM Manufacturers Showroom.

With the introduction of the SM Transparency Report Program, Sustainable Minds continues to realize the intent of the ISO 14025 standard for Type III environmental declarations (aka EPDs) and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v4 (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices: to encourage demand and supply of products with better environmental performance communicated with verified information that stimulates potential for market-driven continuous environmental improvement – and then to reward project teams for selecting products from those manufacturers.

TOTO Takes The Next Step And Verifies Its Commercial Products' Environmental Performance With Sustainable Minds Transparency Reports

By Sustainable Minds on November 4, 2014

Company Makes Building Industry's Green Purchasing Decisions Easier by Providing Functional and Environmental Performance Information in Easy-to-Understand Cloud-Based Reports

MORROW, Ga., Oct. 22, 2014 -- TOTO, the largest plumbing manufacturer in the world with $5.1 billion dollars in annual sales, announced today that it has strengthened its position as a leader in sustainable product design and marketing by introducing ten new Sustainable Minds (SM) Transparency Reports for select high-efficiency commercial products. The company's new SM Transparency reports showcase 15 products across four categories—toilets, sensor faucets, sensor flush valves, and ultra high-efficiency urinals.

Harnessing the life cycle assessment (LCA) results of TOTO's new commercial products, TOTO's SM Transparency Reports are the first to demonstrate this innovation in the design of ISO 14025 Type III environmental declarations. The objective of ISO 14025 environmental declarations is "to encourage the demand for, and supply of, products that cause less stress on the environment, through communication of verifiable and accurate information that is not misleading, that stimulates the potential for market-driven continuous environmental improvement."

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.

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

By Sustainable Minds on June 23, 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.

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.