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

Leading Green Building Consortium Expands on First Anniversary

By Sustainable Minds on October 5, 2016

Program Operator Consortium welcomes Canadian standards developer CSA Group and global software and LCA services provider thinkstep

Los Angeles, October 5, 2016 — The green building industry’s first and leading consortium of program operators announced today at Greenbuild the addition of two new members and an enhanced technical advisory board. CSA Group is now a member, while thinkstep is an affiliate member.

This marks the first anniversary of the Program Operator Consortium (POC), which launched last year to provide simpler, standardized and more useful environmental product transparency solutions and to reduce complexity in the marketplace. The consortium serves as an expert resource and advocate for creating product category rules (PCRs), reviewing life cycle assessment reports (LCA), and verifying and publishing environmental product declarations (EPDs).

CSA Group, a Canadian Standards Development Organization, joins existing members of the consortium: ASTM International, ICC-Evaluation Service, NSF Sustainability, SCS Global Services and Sustainable Minds.

“CSA Group is pleased to be joining the Program Operator Consortium and working together to ensure EPDs and PCRs are developed in a consistent fashion, following ISO standards and industry best practice, in order to showcase a product's true environmental impact,” said Michael Leering, Director, Sustainability, at CSA Group.

The first ‘Affiliate’ member of the Consortium is thinkstep, a software, data and environmental consulting services company that works with 40 percent of the Fortune 500. “Standardizing the PCR and EPD creation process is essential to lowering costs and scaling up the use of products that reduce environmental impact,” said Nuno da Silva, thinkstep’s director of product sustainability. “We’re delighted to contribute our expertise to this effort.”

The Consortium’s Affiliate Member Program was created for industry associations, government agencies, standards developers, consultants & data providers to have access to expertise from a like-minded community, education, discounted rates and a seat the table to contribute to creating uniformity across environmental reporting formats, data requirements and communication. Membership is free.

The Consortium’s Technical Advisory Board (TAB) is comprised of LCA experts who oversee the harmonized implementation of the POC’s North American 2-part PCR framework. Each POC member has a representative on the TAB:

  • Jim Mellentine, Senior Manager, Sustainability, Ramboll Environ (chair)
  • Birdie Carpenter, Life Cycle Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Nuno da Silva, Director, Product sustainability, thinkstep
  • Jack Geibig, President, Ecoform (representative for NSF Sustainability)
  • Keith Killpack, Manager, LCA Services, SCS Global Services
  • Kimberly Lewis, Program Coordinator, Sustainable Minds Transparency Reports
  • Douglas Mazeffa, Environmental Project Manager, The Sherwin-Williams Company
  • Joep Meijer, Principal, theRightenvironment
  • Alex Mlsna, Senior R&D Engineer, Kimball International
  • Carrie Pearson, LCA Supervisor, 3M
  • Wayne Trusty, President, Wayne B. Trusty & Associates (representative for ASTM International)

Over the past year, the Consortium members have aligned to use and maintain a 2-part PCR framework for North America. Now PCRs created by any member will produce standardized, simpler and more useful environmental declarations, to help manufacturers as well as decision-makers who specify green building materials and products make better-informed decisions. The Consortium has held both in-person meetings and webinars with global manufacturers, LCA providers and industry trade associations. They have also launched the first comprehensive catalog of North American PCRs and an aggregated catalog of EPDs from members’ programs. Both are free to use and available at


About CSA Group
CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit member-based association dedicated to advancing safety, sustainability and social good. We are an internationally accredited standards development and testing & certification organization. We also provide consumer product evaluation and education & training services. Our broad range of knowledge and expertise includes: industrial equipment, plumbing & construction, electro-medical & healthcare, appliances & gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability. The CSA mark appears on billions of products around the world.

As a Program Operator, CSA Group brings its expertise as the international secretariat for ISO Technical Committee 207, which is responsible for the development of internationally-adopted environmental standards. This includes ISO 14025, the standard that forms the foundation for the development of PCRs and EPDs. Visit CSA Group’s EPD program website for more information about our program.

About thinkstep
thinkstep enables organizations worldwide to succeed sustainably. Our industry-leading software, data and consulting services help businesses drive operational excellence, product innovation, brand value and regulatory compliance. With a global presence in 19 countries we serve more than 4,000 companies, including 40 percent of the Fortune 500, such as BASF, Interface, Johnson Controls, Gensler, ThyssenKrupp, Herman Miller and many more.

About the Program Operator Consortium
We are 5 standards developers & certifiers and 1 technology, design and innovation company – and growing. With the proliferation of program operators, complex reporting requirements and an increased demand for these services, our members recognized the value of pooling resources, jointly conducting outreach, education and communications and promoting the overall use of PCRs, LCAs and EPDs in the marketplace. This unprecedented relationship brings increased uniformity, greater recognition and visibility for product transparency work and greater value to decision-makers when specifying your materials or products.