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

Marketing

Fueling Product Innovation through environmental performance

By Sustainable Minds on November 13, 2011

Environmental performance is the newest criteria for product development. It sits alongside traditional criteria such as functional performance, cost, ergonomics, aesthetics, safety, market demand, etc…

Announcing Strategic Customer Win: Spartech Standardizes Product Development and Commercialization Teams on Sustainable Minds

By Sustainable Minds on September 20, 2011

Collaboration Creates Comprehensive Data Set for Plastics Processors

Cambridge, MA – September 20, 2011 – Sustainable Minds, the industry leader in on-demand, eco-concept modeling and life cycle assessment software for product development and manufacturing, today announced new strategic customer, Spartech Corporation. Spartech, a leader in the development and design of rigid packaging, is using Sustainable Minds on-demand software to quickly quantify the environmental impacts associated with the production of their products. By entering information about the product’s attributes, Sustainable Minds software calculates the life cycle environmental impacts for air, land, water and human health, as well as carbon footprint.

Al Dean, DEVELOP3D, says about SM 2.0: "It doesn't get much better than this."

By Sustainable Minds on August 11, 2011

This is a repost of Al Dean's review of Sustainable Minds 2.0.
Read the review on DEVELOP3D >
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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is increasingly pushing towards the cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS). Al Dean takes a look at one of the industry’s pioneers.

Life Cycle Assessment is a corner-stone of any environmentally aware organisation’s toolkit, but there’s one serious issue if you’re looking to both integrate environmental impact assessment as part of your design process - particularly at the early stages.

Many of the historical solutions are mono- lithic systems targetting in-depth, expert led analyses once a product is complete. As such, they aren’t suited to the rapid fire, often quick and dirty conceptualisation and product development process.

Into this comes Sustainable Minds (SM) and its cloud-based service.

Available now – SM Release 2.0 is all about data!

By Sustainable Minds on April 26, 2011

Sustainable Minds enables product development teams to rapidly model the environmental performance of new product concepts in the earliest stages of design. Key to this process is to have access to a broad and deep set of current life cycle environmental impact data. Science improves and so does the data. Sustainable Minds’ SaaS delivery means data can continually be updated and new data added so product teams have what they need, when they need it.

1. Introducing the SM2011 Methodology – The science inside our software
2. Custom impact factor creation service
3. Sustainable Minds Private SaaS – for custom and proprietary datasets

New in SM r2.0:

fredsparks improves sales, sustainability, AND lowers costs

By Guest contributors on March 30, 2011

Guest contributor Ken Harris is one of the owners of fredsparks, a design consultancy that focuses on strategy, innovation and sustainability for its clients. Its use of Sustainable Minds regularly, helps them provide product and package solutions that speak to all of those business capabilities.

Challenge
Having learned after a few years of working with fredsparks to not be surprised at getting much more than expected, Schutt Sports presented the company with another challenge that brought out all three areas of success that fredsparks typically provides its clients: 1. Strategy, 2. Innovation, and 3. Sustainability.

Sustainable Minds and Eco Innovators Partner to Advance Greener Product Design for Australian Manufacturers

By Sustainable Minds on March 16, 2011

Sustainable Minds today announced a partnership with Melbourne-based environmental consultancy, Eco Innovators to bring Sustainable Minds Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) software to Australian product manufacturers, designers, educational institutes and sustainability consultancies to meet the growing demand for product environmental performance information.

With the impending tax on carbon and the increased authority of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to prosecute false environmental claims, Australian manufacturers are looking to credibly measure and manage the environmental performance of their products.

Director of Eco Innovators, Leyla Acaroglu, recent Melbourne Design Award recipient, was responsible for the development of one of the first simplified online LCA tools – Greenfly. “I have had a great deal of experience with designing tools and resources to assist designers in integrating sustainability into product development, and for me, Sustainable Minds LCA software is the best on the market for supporting designers, manufacturers and product developers in understanding and reducing the life cycle impacts of their products.”

Will Sustainability Usher In the Next “Golden Era of Design?”

By Guest contributors on March 14, 2011

Guest contributor Amy Rowell is the founder and principal analyst at Four Winds Research, an independent market research and analysis firm dedicated to sustainable product design and manufacturing. Four Winds’ research efforts are focused on identifying the key issues and challenges facing designers and engineers today as they attempt to create sustainable products; understanding how organizations can effectively apply sustainability principles in product design and development both internally and across the supply chain; and the critical role that sustainability metrics, tools, and technologies promise to play in product design and manufacturing in the coming decade. Amy also authors a blog on this topic, Sustainable Product Design Tools and Strategies.

Webcast #4: MCAD Smackdown! Going head to head: direct vs. parametric modeling (Replay)

By Sustainable Minds on February 28, 2011

Originally recorded on February 24, 2011, some of the mechanical CAD industry's most knowledgeable (and opinionated) voices assembled to debate one of today's existential technology questions: When, why and how do you use direct and/or parametric modeling to best support your business? And, is there too much emphasis on the tools and not enough on the resulting design, i.e., is it difficult and expensive to manufacture, service, repair, use, transport and recycle or reuse?

Moderated by Cadalyst contributing editor and CAD guru Bill Fane, an all-star panel began to cut through the marketing hype to deliver some practical, expert insight about these two very different approaches to 3D modeling. Attendees posed their own questions to the panel throughout the discussion. The panel includes avid users and proponents as well as creators of the technologies:

Consensus from Sustainable Plastics Packaging 2010 conference

By Sustainable Minds on January 27, 2011

sustainableplasticspackaging.com

Designers see total package
Designing a package to be sustainable and making one that consumers view as sustainable aren’t necessarily the same. “Why we buy things and why we make things are often completely opposite,” said Mark Dziersk, vice president of industrial design in Chicago for global brand design firm Brandimage-Desgrippes & Laga.

“Ninety-five percent of what we work on [in design] is based on a rational process. But why consumers buy things is exactly the opposite” with emotions often accounting for 95 percent of the decision. “All that speaks to the importance of the front-end of the process,” Dziersk said at the Sustainable Plastics Packaging 2010 conference in Atlanta.

At Yakima, lifecycle thinking generates products that not only reduce carbon footprint but also drive innovation and save money.

By Sustainable Minds on January 18, 2011

This article was originally published in the Fall 2010 issue of Cadalyst magazine.

Forget about doing the right thing, giving back, and corporate conscience. Today, companies in increasing numbers are pursuing sustainable product design because, plain and simple, it makes good business sense. Environmental performance is the newest criteria for product development — and it's driving innovation and boosting profits.

An approach known as lifecycle assessment, or LCA, is key to realizing these bottom-line benefits, and it's catching on. LCA models the complex interaction between a product and the environment, from cradle to grave. When used in early-stage design, it brings sustainability considerations into product development by taking a comprehensive view of a product's potential lifecycle impacts on the environment in an effort to reduce those impacts (including carbon footprint), as well as overall costs. In short, it supports what is known as the double bottom line: planet and profits.

Read the rest of this article >