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As Climate Changes, Central America Lags on Improving Food Security

UNFCC Climate Change Headlines - 45 min 7 sec ago
Source: World Politics Review - While poverty and violence have pushed thousands of Central Americans to take the long and dangerous trek to the United States, the embattled region now faces another challenge: Droughts and torrential rains have all but ruined the harvests of hundreds of thousands of impoverished farmers in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. And even though climate extremes were exacerbated in recent years by temporary weather phenomena, ill-prepared governments and climate change have put food security in the region permanently at risk.
Categories: Climate Change News

Banks invest record €66bn in coal sector

UNFCC Climate Change Headlines - 45 min 13 sec ago
Source: RTCC - Commercial banks poured record sums of money into coal last year, despite mounting evidence of the climate risks.
Categories: Climate Change News

Africa adopts sustainable transport plan

UNFCC Climate Change Headlines - 45 min 20 sec ago
Source: RTCC - African countries have moved closer to a cleaner, greener system of cars and public transport after ministers adopted a continent-wide sustainability strategy today.
Categories: Climate Change News

Minor EU emission cuts masks underlying apathy on 2C

UNFCC Climate Change Headlines - 45 min 28 sec ago
Source: RTCC - Latest GHG data from Brussels shows we have achieved nothing of significance relative to scale of the climate challenge.
Categories: Climate Change News

Rio says it will offset 3.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions at 2016 Olympic Games

UNFCC Climate Change Headlines - 45 min 37 sec ago
Source: Daily News & Analysis - The Rio 2016 local organizing committee set a target on Thursday to offset the total amount of greenhouse gases estimated to be produced by the world's largest multi-sport event.
Categories: Climate Change News

Video: 'By 2020 there may be no more forests left in the world to save'

Business Green - 1 hour 49 min ago

APP's head of sustainability explains the challenges the company has faced ending deforestation


Categories: Climate Change News

'Too many people': Philippine island being deforested despite extensive protections

Mongabay Rainforest News - 2 hours 13 min ago
About an hour and a half plane ride from the Philippine capital Manila is Palawan, a long, narrow island home to about a quarter of all the animal species found in the country. But the province is losing its forests at a rapid clip due to human population increases, logging, quarrying, mining, and even a huge palm plantation.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

BusinessGreen debates zero deforestation

Business Green - 6 hours 44 sec ago

Catch up with BusinessGreen's Twitter debate with Aida Greenbury, managing director of sustainability for Asia Pulp and Paper


Categories: Climate Change News

Video: Ergro takes on the Nissan e-NV200 £2 challenge

Business Green - 7 hours 9 min ago

A leading building and building services engineering group is the latest UK business to put the groundbreaking e-NV200 through its paces


Categories: Climate Change News

Row ignites over BPVA Powering Knowledge solar schools campaign

Business Green - 8 hours 20 min ago

Friends of the Earth rejects claim it is 'working closely' with controversial trade association, as row sparks host of questions over schools-focused lead generation initiative


Categories: Climate Change News

Friends of the Earth distances itself from BPVA Powering Knowledge solar schools campaign

Business Green - 8 hours 54 min ago

NGO says it is not 'working closely' with trade association, despite BPVA's claims to the contrary


Categories: Climate Change News

How energy storage can change the power dynamic

Business Green - 8 hours 57 min ago

Stationary battery storage is emerging as ‘phenomenal opportunity’ and a fundamental challenge


Categories: Climate Change News

Apple's Lisa Jackson: ‘We are swinging for the fences’

Business Green - 9 hours 7 min ago

Apple's VP of Environmental Initiatives hopes she has inspired home runs, starting with renewable energy


Categories: Climate Change News

Coal gets cold shoulder from Denmark and Germany

Business Green - 14 hours 16 min ago

Danish minister says country is looking at ways to ditch coal power within 10 years, while Germany mulls shutting down capacity


Categories: Climate Change News

UK unveils first commercial-scale green hydrogen fuelling station

Business Green - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 8:23pm

Consortium launches Swindon facility that boasts first UK hydrogen production and refuelling site to be powered by the sun


Categories: Climate Change News

EU car makers already beating 2015 emission targets

Business Green - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 8:08pm

EU data shows 11 major manufacturers have passed the 130g CO2/km mark two years early


Categories: Climate Change News

We've got an EU 2030 deal, what now?

Business Green - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 8:05pm

Roz Bulleid of the EEF offers five proposals to help ensure the EU meets its new energy and climate change targets


Categories: Climate Change News

Green Investment Bank marks second birthday by passing £5bn milestone

Business Green - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 8:05pm

Prime Minister hails bank's work to cut emissions and boost green energy investment, as first energy efficient datacentre project is unveiled


Categories: Climate Change News

Dissolving pulp: a growing threat to global forests

Mongabay Rainforest News - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 1:54pm
Dissolving pulp is not just a threat to the forests of Indonesia. It is a growing industry across the globe, and it’s putting several of the world’s endangered forests in jeopardy.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Sustainable Minds and TOTO Accelerate Impactful Innovation in Product Transparency Reporting to Drive Greener Purchase Decisions by Making Environmental Performance Information Understandable and Meaningful

CSRwire - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 10:15am

(Greenbuild, Booth #616) - Sustainable Minds (SM), a cloud software and services company whose mission is to operationalize environmental performance in product development and manufacturing, continued to demonstrate market leadership by launching today ten new SM Transparency Reports™ from TOTO, the largest plumbing manufacturer in the world, for select high-efficiency commercial products, showcasing 15 products across four categories. TOTO's SM Transparency Reports, verified by NSF, can be viewed in the TOTO Showroom, in the SM Manufacturers Showroom.

With the introduction of the SM Transparency Report Program, Sustainable Minds continues to realize the intent of the ISO 14025 standard for Type III environmental declarations (aka EPDs) and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v4 (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices: to encourage demand and supply of products with better environmental performance communicated with verified information that stimulates potential for market-driven continuous environmental improvement – and then to reward project teams for selecting products from those manufacturers.

The SM Transparency Report Program represents a step change innovation in the ISO 14025 process. This new product category rule/environmental product declaration (PCR/EPD) process is designed to standardize, harmonize and make product transparency reporting understandable and meaningful. The SM Transparency Report Framework is a 2-part PCR process regionalized for North America and extensible globally. It provides a common basis for consistent, robust and quality-assured LCAs. It builds on PCR/EPD work being done in Europe and North America and particularly on EN15804, the European standard for construction products.

Faster, scalable, cost-efficient and user-friendly, it delivers a Transparency Report, an EPD++ that informs greener product decisions and drives continuous environmental improvement. It is the first comprehensive program for product manufacturers to design and market greener products to create a continuous improvement loop. TOTO’s leadership in developing and demonstrating the SM Transparency Report Program is highly valuable to stakeholders in all industries.

“TOTO products are known worldwide for their quality, innovation and for having first class performance that exceeds customerexpectations and enhances usability. Communicating our products’ performance with SM Transparency Reports goes beyond other types of EPDs that exist today. They bring together functional performance with scientific, yet understandable, environmental performance data. The SM Transparency Report Framework used to create the product category rule (PCR), the standard for how LCAs are done, is efficient and focused. It defines rules for product groups, i.e., products that compete for and deliver the same function or purpose. Product group definitions (PGDs) include the functional performance parameters that are codified in a commonly accepted national standard to drive the requirements for how the LCA for products in that group are done. Based on this common baseline, each manufacturer can then demonstrate business advantage andcompetitive differentiation,” said Fernando Fernandez, Director Codes and Standards, TOTO USA.

The idea for this broad-based program is the result of two people with significant knowledge, experience and vision in very different arenas coming together: Joep Meijer, with world-class expertise in life cycle assessment, PCR/EPD development and international standards creation; and Terry Swack, environmental entrepreneur, industry pioneer and expert on brand experience and designing useful and usable web-based business systems.

"The approach Sustainable Minds follows just makes the most sense. All learnings from the LCA and EPD community of manufacturers and LCA practitioners that benefit the overall system go into Part A, the main body of the PCR. It spells out the rules for all products. It provides the best guarantee for consistency, transparency, reliability and technical rigor for all EPDs. It is build on the experiences with the EN15804:2012+A1:2013 standard which is the most well defined core EPD framework in the world. The product specific rules, which tend to be both an important but also small part of the PCR, are covered in Part B, the product group definition. This split approach expedites the PCR development process tremendously. The combined innovation and rigor of this Part A and Part B is unparalleled in the Northern American market," explains Joep Meier,President, theRightenvironment and Sustainable Minds LCA Technical Expert.

“With the demand for transparency growing, manufacturers will get started when they see the direct correlation to business value. We saw this as an opportunity that needed to move from the standards development space (only), into a market-driven solution space. We’re a small company taking on a huge systemic challenge, but we saw the opportunity and addressed it as a product development challenge, bringing the program to market iteratively using an agile process. As a customer centered design organization, engaging stakeholders and customers and integrating their requirements and feedback into the process has served to continuously improve the offering, and will continue to drive the programs evolution,” said Terry Swack, Founder & CEO, Sustainable Minds. “There are things people in the industry are attached to and would prefer to keep status quo, but the bottom line is that the SM Transparency Report Program is better for the customer, better for the marketplace, better for each industry, and hopefully for people and planet.”

"Sustainable Minds is helping to address one of the construction industry's most significant challenges with product transparency – understanding what the LCA and material health information they’re being provided means, and then how to use it to make decisions. Prominent AEC firms are requesting EPDs and HPDs (Health Product Declarations) from manufacturers in order to be considered for product selection, but there’s an enormous amount of education that’s going to have to happen on both sides to understand what and how to report and how to use the information. Sustainable Minds is helping manufacturers provide concise and understandable information so designers have the ability to start making better informed specification choices now,” said Brad Blank, VP, GreenCE, Inc., the online resource for design professionals who want to learn about sustainable design, conservation and the LEED rating system.

“We look forward to continuing to develop and scale the program through collaboration with certifiers, program operators, LCAproviders, industry organizations and of course, manufacturers and their customers,” said Terry.

Note: High-resolution images of Sustainable Minds Transparency Reports for TOTO are available upon request.

For more information contact: Terry Swack | 617.877.5146 terry@sustainableminds.com

About Sustainable Minds®: Sustainable Minds cloud software and services help product manufacturers, across the value chain, design & market greener products. The company is dedicated to operationalizing environmental performance inmainstream product development and manufacturing in an understandable, empowering and credible way. Sustainable Minds Eco-concept & Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) software for greener product innovation is used by industry and education in more than 750 locations in 75 countries worldwide. Sustainable Minds’ easy-to-use, standardized solutions make it possible for manufacturers – large and small – to dynamically evaluate, compare and improve their products' environmental performance by integrating life cycle thinking and LCA into their product development processes. The brand and market footprint position the company to become the industry standard solution for designing and marketing greener products. Sustainable Minds has been recognized by Gartner® in its 2013 Cool Vendor Report as “innovative, impactful and intriguing.” To learn why, visit www.sustainableminds.com or call 617-401-2269. Follow Sustainable minds on Twitter @sustainablemnds

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