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

Life cycle assessment

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.

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: