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

Green Economy

Introducing the North American PCR Catalog, v1.0

By Sustainable Minds on August 18, 2016

Take a look! Is there an expiring PCR in your industry or one you’d like to create?

Sustainable Minds created the North American PCR Catalog for 2 reasons:

SM named Smart Innovator in Verdantix Product Stewardship Solutions report

By Sustainable Minds on January 18, 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.

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."

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.

Webcast: 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. 

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.

TOTO Is The First Plumbing Manufacturer To Validate Its Products' Environmental Performance With New SM Transparency Reports

By Sustainable Minds on December 17, 2013

Company Innovates a Solution and Goes Beyond Compliance in Response to LEED v4's 'Building Product Disclosure and Optimization' Option

MORROW, Ga., Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- TOTO announced today that it is introducing an innovative, new way to report product transparency that enables customers to earn LEED v4 credit for select high-efficiency toilets. Committed to environmental leadership that exceeds compliance, TOTO discovered that it was unable to comply with LEED v4's disclosure option to provide Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for its high-efficiency toilets. The company could not do this because there is no Product Category Rule for toilets (PCRs define the requirements of EPDs for each product category). EPDs are required for its building industry customers to earn the highest number of LEED points for purchasing TOTO products. To solve this problem, TOTO, already using Sustainable Minds' LCA software to help it design sustainable products, turned to the company to help it solve this problem marketing.

Sustainable Minds' New Tool Adds Approachability to Product Life Cycle Transparency

By Sustainable Minds on December 17, 2013

via sustainablebrands.com

The first company to publish its product lifecycle information with SM Transparency Reports is leading plumbing manufacturer TOTO USA. The need for a new solution became evident when TOTO was not able to comply with the new LEED v4 disclosure option to provide EPDs, for customers to earn the maximum available product credits for purchasing selected TOTO products. The company discovered there is no Product Category Rule (which defines the requirements for EPDs of a certain product category) for toilets, just as there are no PCRs for hundreds of other types of products used in building and construction.