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

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.

“Within the next couple of months, all of our product development and commercialization teams will routinely calculate environmental impacts associated with our products and will discuss the data with our customers,” stated Jeffrey Best, Director of Marketing. “One of our goals is to improve the sustainability of our products without compromising container integrity and performance. We also want to use a set of data that is widely adopted across all industries and academia to ensure transparency and impartiality in how the data is calculated.”

Spartech and Sustainable Minds collaborated to locate LCI (life cycle inventory) reports for thermoplastics, additives, and concentrates used in the plastics processing industry. When LCI reports could not be located for several specialized polymers, Sustainable Minds created custom impact factors for these raw materials by using LCIs for each individual molecule used in the polymer. By mid-October, Sustainable Minds’ database will contain life cycle inventories for more than 50 thermoplastics and 25 additives commonly used in the plastics processing industry, making it one of the most complete sets of data for plastics processors.

“Increasingly, manufacturers want to use data that is specific to their products and supply chain. Our SaaS (Software as a Service) delivery uniquely allows us to meet the needs of customers as their requirements evolve,” said Terry Swack, Sustainable Minds CEO. “Creating custom impact factors is a key part of our service. Customers can have generic data added from publicly available sources, from their supply chain, or from their own primary manufacturing information. Our dataset is continually evolving and all this data is available to all customers. If a company wants to keep their data proprietary, we have a private SaaS option. Spartech demonstrates our mission exactly – which is to enable a consistent way to measure environmental performance while demonstrating the impacts of those tradeoffs during the critical early stage of product development. Spartech is using environmental performance as an innovation driver and creating preference with customers for greener products, without compromising functional performance.”

Spartech will use life cycle assessment in the development of its first Corporate Sustainability Report due out early next year. The data will also ensure that Spartech’s customers have access to emissions information needed for their own internal sustainability initiatives. “Using Sustainable Minds to conduct life cycle assessment for each of our products continues to fulfill our goal of becoming a total solutions provider for our customers,” comments Carol O’Neill, SVP Packaging Technologies at Spartech.

About Spartech Corporation
Spartech Corporation is a leading producer of plastic products including polymeric compounds, concentrates, custom extruded sheet and rollstock products and packaging technologies for a wide spectrum of customers. The Company's three business segments, which operate facilities in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and France, annually process approximately one billion pounds of plastic resins, specialty plastic alloys, and color and specialty compounds. Additional information can be found at http://www.spartech.com.

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Related: Spartech Celebrates Grand Opening of New Technology & Innovation Center >

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