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

Marketing

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 – 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: 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.

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.

New SM Transparency Reports(TM) Facilitate and Accelerate Greener Product Purchase Decisions, Alternative to EPDs

By Sustainable Minds on November 19, 2013

Sustainable Minds®, TOTO USA and NSF International Demonstrate Thought Leadership In Standardizing Transparency Reporting

Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, Philadelphia, PA – November 20, 2013 – In response to market demand and LEED v4, three companies with a common mission to bring credibly greener products to the marketplace have introduced a new product for manufacturers to transparently report the environmental performance of their products. SM Transparency ReportsTM are a new alternative to Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) – with equivalent verification and credibility.

NSF International, a global public health organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for multiple industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment, is providing the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) verification and report certification. Today, SM Transparency Reports can be used to meet LEED v4 MRc2 Option 1 for product-specific declarations by presenting the results of a publicly available, verified ISO 14044 LCA. Their designation as a USGBC approved program to earn EPD equivalency is in process.

No magic formula… but Sustainable Minds is removing the complexity and cost of LCA for the nonwovens industry

By Sustainable Minds on June 13, 2013

This month Sustainable Minds was featured in Sustainable Nonwovens, the leading publication for the twenty-eight billion dollar global nonwovens industry. Download the PDF to read the complete article. >

At this year's IDEA 2013 Conference & Expo in Miami, it was announced that nonwovens industry body INDA is joining forces with Sustainable Minds (SM) – the global leader in cloud-based life cycle assessment software. Sustainable Nonwovens editor, Adrian Wilson, caught up with SM’s CEO Terry Swack to find out how the company’s nonwovens solution is progressing and its industry sponsor relationship with INDA.