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

Sustainable Minds release 1.0 is getting great reviews!

By Terry Swack on November 15, 2009

When you launch a new product, it’s not as though you don’t know what people will think. You’ve already taken a lot of time working with your customers to get it right.

At Sustainable Minds, we’ve spent the better part of three years making it our business to understand what product design teams need in order to help them create more environmentally sustainable products.

Nonetheless, we’ve been delighted at the positive results we’re hearing from all sorts of practitioners – from product designers to engineering teams (the un-staged photo of product designers trying out Sustainable Minds software above was taken at our Boston workshop on November 11). Now that we’ve launched R1.0, it’s great to hear that others think we got it right.

Take a look at this blog post by Kenneth Wong, a contributing editor for Desktop Engineering magazine. He attended a recent Sustainable Minds workshop in San Francisco.

During the seminar, Kenneth and his team were tasked with redesigning an outdoor children’s play system to be “cleaner and greener” – and quantify the results. He describes how his team was able to reduce the environmental impact score significantly. “We began with 440 Okala points. In Redesign Version 1, we were down to 47 points; in Version 2, we ended up with 32 points, which represents the design option with the lowest environmental impact.”

Kenneth also created an excellent learning tool about Sustainable Minds Version R1.0. For a step-by-step view of how the software works, check out Kenneth’s video analysis.

Here’s another positive review of R1.0, from Cory Vanderpool, writing for, “one of the world’s most well-read websites on the subject of responsible business with a fast growing audience of over 100,000 unique readers a month.”

As Corey states in his blog post, “The October 2009 release of Sustainable Minds 1.0 marked the first web-based, on demand, life cycle assessment tool for greener product design. The unique software package enables users to apply eco-design strategies to product concepts. This interoperability comes as a result of a partnership between Sustainable Minds and Autodesk Inventor, which is a software product line that provides for 3D mechanical design, product simulation and design communication. Now manufacturers can measure the environmental impact of a product before a part is ever cut.”

We’re excited about the positive initial reviews of Sustainable Minds R1.0, but we’re not resting on our laurels. At every workshop we host, we’re hearing straight from the product design and development community what they’d like to see in the software, and we’re already working to implement those suggestions.

And we’d like to hear from you. Send us your impressions of R1.0 in the box below. If you haven’t done so, sign up for a trial subscription of Sustainable Minds, and attend a workshop!