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

Standards & regulations

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:

SM Transparency Report™ Framework: Introduction and comparison to ISO14025 type III environmental declarations

By Sustainable Minds on June 24, 2014

Webcast recorded Tue, June 24, 2014

Last week, Sustainable Minds launched the SM Transparency Report™ Program, an alternative to the PCR/EPD process with equivalent credibility, verification – plus much more.

This week, we invite you to join us for an introduction to the program's methodology – the SM Transparency Report Framework.

Based on EN15804+A1 and in compliance with ISO 14040-44 and 14025, the framework provides a comprehensive LCA-based, harmonized and user-friendly way to create product group definitions to enhance consistency in product transparency reporting. It then delivers a strategic marketing and lead generation tool to inform greener purchase decisions by making LCA and environmental performance information understandable and meaningful.

You will learn on this webcast:

The SM Transparency Report™ Program – The Launch

By Sustainable Minds on June 20, 2014

With the rollout of LEED v4 and the focus on product transparency reporting, there is confusion and anxiety in the building products industry around product category rules and environmental product declarations (PCRs and EPDs).

SM Transparency Reports were introduced at Greenbuild 2013, to provide manufacturers a new way to communicate the environmental performance of their products in an understandable, credible and consistent way.

Since then, Sustainable Minds has been developing its methodology to complete the program’s offering – the SM Transparency Report™ Framework. Based on EN15804+A1 and is in compliance with ISO 14040-44 and 14025, it provides a comprehensive LCA-based, harmonized and user-friendly way to create product group definitions (PGD) up front to enhance consistency in product transparency reporting.

Sustainable Minds is now launching the complete solution. The SM Transparency Report Program is the first comprehensive solution for product manufacturers to Design and Market greener products. It is an alternative to the PCR/EPD process with equivalent credibility, verification – plus much more.

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.