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

In the press

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.

Announcing SM v3.0 – New data, your data, Branded Data

By Sustainable Minds on May 14, 2013

Thank you for making Sustainable Minds the #1 Cloud LCA software for greener product innovation – now used in 600 locations in 60 countries. We are excited to bring you SM v3.0.

Sustainable Minds’ easy-to-use, standardized Life Cycle Assessment solution makes it possible for manufacturers across the value chain – large and small – to dynamically evaluate, compare and improve their products' environmental performance by integrating life cycle thinking and LCA into their product development processes. The company has been recognized by Gartner® in its 2013 Cool Vendor Report, in Product Design and Life Cycle Management, as 'innovative, impactful and intriguing.'

Now with SM v3.0, Sustainable Minds can partner with manufacturers to get visibility for your brand and make your product data available to manufacturers, consultancies, educators & students worldwide.

Sustainable Minds Named ‘Cool Vendor’ in Product Design and Life Cycle Management by Gartner

By Sustainable Minds on May 7, 2013

CAMBRIDGE, MA – MAY 7, 2013 – Sustainable Minds, a provider of life cycle assessment software solutions, was named one of Gartner’s 2013 Cool Vendors in Product Design and Life Cycle Management for. The list of Cool Vendors is designed to highlight interesting, new and innovative vendors, products and services. The company was recognized as a distinguished source of software tools and knowledge regarding product design and environmental life cycle assessment.

Gartner suggests managers responsible for developing positive brand image and ensuring best environmental design practices across all manufacturing industries, should prioritize the use of Sustainable Minds.

INDA joins Sustainable Minds Industry Sponsor Program to deliver the first industry-defined lifecycle dataset for nonwovens

By Sustainable Minds on April 18, 2013

SM teams up with nonwovens industry experts Chapas & Chinai Associates to provide product innovation services

Cary, NC April 19, 2013. INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, announced today it has become a member of the Sustainable Minds Industry Sponsor Program. Sustainable Minds is the global leader in cloud-based Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) software that enables companies in a wide range of industries to design greener products. The goal of this relationship is to enable manufacturers across the nonwovens value chain to credibly, efficiently and cost-effectively evaluate the environmental performance of nonwovens to design innovative greener products. The Sustainable Minds nonwovens solution will include a continually expanding dataset, example products, knowledge sharing, training and a platform for showcasing greener materials and products, their uses and applications.

Customer Success Story: Creating Knowledge Workers for the Greener Product Marketplace Part 3: Integrating Ecodesign & LCA

By Sustainable Minds on September 24, 2012

On August 28th, we held the third in a series of webcasts that feature educators from leading colleges and universities demonstrating how Sustainable Minds is being used in education. Sustainable Minds merges practice and science, ecodesign and LCA. This webcast showcases three educators and practitioners – teaching materials, industrial design and geography – demonstrating their success stories. Educators with different expertise can use Sustainable Minds to teach lifecycle thinking through hands-on experience.

The connection between greener product development education and industry demand for graduates possessing this type of preparation is strong and growing. Integrating sustainability and sustainable decision-making and assessment into curriculum is becoming a more important part of the product development education system. Sustainable Minds helps educators integrate environmental considerations, providing the opportunity for different disciplines and perspectives to come together and reach common agreement and for students to understand how their decisions make a difference.

People responsible for sustainability training in industry are also using Sustainable Minds to get everyone in the mindset of systems thinking and whole product lifecycle. There is the potential to create a powerful connection between academic and commercial partnerships when people from industry work with colleges and universities.

This webcast spotlights educators from a range of disciplines, with both professional and academic careers, are using Sustainable Minds to not only improve students’ understanding and practice of ecodesign and LCA but also to establish its significance for the greater community.

Following is a summary of the presentations.

Customer Success Story: Creating Knowledge Workers for the Greener Product Marketplace – Part 2: Getting Started

By Sustainable Minds on June 12, 2012

On May 24, we held the second in a series of webcasts that feature educators from leading colleges and universities demonstrating how Sustainable Minds is being used in education. This webcast showcases the creativity of two engineering and manufacturing educators discussing how they got started integrating Sustainable Minds into current projects and courses, and how they developed new ones. They reported not only a very high level of student engagement and enthusiasm, but a clear impact on students’ improved job marketability.

Integrating environmental sustainability into product development education is still relatively new for just about all schools. Despite its newness, the link between greener product development education and industry demand for graduates possessing this type of preparation is strong and growing. This webcast series spotlights how educators from a range of disciplines, with both professional and academic careers, are themselves learning new things, building on what they know and getting started teaching in new ways.

Customer Success Story: Creating Knowledge Workers for the Greener Product Marketplace – Part 1

By Sustainable Minds on May 9, 2012

3 Schools / 3 Disciplines / 3 Educators
On April 24, we held the first in a series of webcasts on how Sustainable Minds is being used in education. Featuring three educators from three different disciplines at three leading institutions, each demonstrated and discussed the use of Sustainable Minds in their curriculum, expansion in their programs and the implications for the future. The range of disciplines represented by the presenters illustrates the interest and need for teaching life cycle thinking and action to all types of students – business, design and engineering – to prepare them for taking on the challenges and opportunities in the greener product economy.

These educators’ stories illustrate that schools will increasingly attract students in response to industry demand, and manufacturers creating greener competitive advantage will recruit students who can execute on that strategy. Each presenter took a unique approach to help students integrate environmental sustainability into a product development education.