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

Standards & regulations

Transparency is the New Green: Meet BREEAM, the world's 1st green building rating system

By Sustainable Minds on October 18, 2018

Recorded Wed, Oct 10 | 2pm ET, 11am PT

BREEM USA delivered by bre

There are now six green building rating systems for North America that reward product transparency. With the increasing demand for products with better environmental performance and material health to build high-performance buildings, it is important to understand all the options for green building certification and how performance is measured to determine which best fits your project.

WEBINAR: GreenCE, Elixir Environmental, Sustainable Minds: Product Transparency and Specification – A Guide

By Sustainable Minds on September 11, 2018

Recorded Mon, Sep 10, 2018 12 – 12:30pm EDT
Presenters: Terry Swack, CEO, Sustainable Minds
Tara Blank, Founder, Elixir Environmental

View the recording >

Environmental impact and material health are performance criteria, now part of ‘high performance’ building. Specification decisions for green building projects are increasingly being made based on whether or not products have transparency documentation.

We are extremely proud to be a 2018 Cleantech Open national sponsor.

By Sustainable Minds on July 16, 2018

As an in-kind sponsor, Sustainable Minds is offering a free 6-month subscription to its SM Eco-concept + LCA software for all members of the 2018 CTO cohort.

https://cleantechopen.org/en/page/national-sponsors-en

We kicked things off with the webinar: “Hands-on Training in Life Cycle Thinking & LCA for Cleantech Entrepreneurs.” The webinar provided an introduction to life cycle thinking and LCA and how to use the software in early stage product development to make informed trade-off decisions that can dramatically reduce impacts and drive innovation — in products, business models and systems.

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.

SM Transparency Catalog DEMO: The Educational Marketing Platform for Product Transparency

By Sustainable Minds on July 1, 2017

Find, understand, learn, share, reward...change.

NEW release! 500+ brands, 1000s of products and growing.

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.

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. 

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: