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

Life cycle assessment

2018 SM Transparency Report™ / EPD Framework – Integrating the international standard ISO 21930:2017

By Sustainable Minds on April 14, 2018

Release notes

Now in its fifth annual release, the SM Transparency Report™ / EPD Framework Part A 2018 has integrated key rulings from the new ISO 21930:2017, as determined by the SM Technical Advisory Board (TAB) and public comments.

What is ISO 21930 and why is it important? ISO 21930: Sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works – Core rules for environmental product declarations of construction products and services is one of the primary standards for product category rule (PCR), life cycle assessment (LCA), and Type III environmental declaration development for building materials. It is specifically named in LEED v4 as one of the two standards for creating conformant Type III environmental declarations. Outside of Europe, this international standard (ISO 21930) is more likely to be used than the European standard (EN 15804), as it applies internationally.

It’s ready! Announcing new guidance for creating product group benchmarks to make EPDs comparable.

By Sustainable Minds on December 1, 2017

Finally, a standardized way to make EPDs comparable. This guidance for creating product group benchmarks represents the completion of the draft benchmarking guidance introduced in July’s webinar.

This new document provides detailed guidelines, process examples, and tools for creating a Benchmarking Addendum to a PCR, which includes the additional rules needed to create an industry-wide EPD for use as a credible product group benchmark; AND how manufacturers can use it to make comparative claims.

Knauf Insulation North America Partners with Sustainable Minds to Make Product Transparency Understandable and Actionable

By Sustainable Minds on November 12, 2017

Knauf Insulation North America is the first fiberglass insulation manufacturer to provide comprehensive environmental and material disclosures all in one place with Sustainable Minds Transparency Reports and Material Health Overviews

Shelbyville, Ind. (November 9, 2017) – Knauf Insulation North America (KINA) is simplifying the process of researching and specifying building products that meet today’s most stringent green building rating systems through an innovative partnership with Sustainable Minds (SM).

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.

Creating SM Transparency Reports using any PCR

By Sustainable Minds on November 17, 2015

Recorded Thur, Nov 12 | 2pm ET/11am PT

Liberating manufacturers from having only one EPD option: a technical disclosure

Our compatibility process enables manufacturers to create SM Transparency Reports, our brand of EPD, using any PCR in any industry ensuring the LCA rules are the same, only the Type III environmental declaration is different.

SM Transparency Reports are strategic marketing tools that showcase both functional and environmental performance in a concise, easy to understand format for decision-makers to make informed greener purchase decisions.

  1. They describe what manufacturers are actually doing to make products greener.
  2. Add material assessment results & interpretation for comprehensive reporting.
  3. They're in the cloud, freely available and in one click, connect buyers and sellers.

Leverage your investments in product transparency and help your customers earn LEED v4 credits by making LCA, environmental performance & material health information understandable and meaningful.

Webcast: Creating Knowledge Workers for the Greener Product Marketplace, Part 10: Making Scalable Solutions

By Sustainable Minds on June 26, 2015

On May 28th, we held the tenth in a series of webcasts featuring educators from leading colleges and universities demonstrating how Sustainable Minds is being used in education. Modeling product concepts is the start of a journey to scaling production. Environmental performance can be included every step of the way. Learn from educators with diverse backgrounds, how they are working with students to advance and inform product design through life cycle thinking. They will share how they use Sustainable Minds to engage students in the essential conversation about measuring and interpreting results.

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. 

Webcast: Creating Knowledge Workers for the Greener Product Marketplace, Part 9: Systems thinking + LCA metrics = sustainable progress

By Sustainable Minds on November 21, 2014

On November 18th, we held the ninth in a series of webcasts featuring educators from leading colleges and universities demonstrating how Sustainable Minds is being used in education. This webcast showcases three educators with diverse backgrounds as they discuss how they are working with students to further systems thinking, understand environmental performance and use Sustainable Minds to measure impacts, interpret results and create actionable recommendations.