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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 - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 12:15pm

(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

Mayor to Proclaim Vancouver’s Non-GMO Awareness Week October 20 - 26

CSRwire - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 12:15pm

Mayor Gregor Robertson will proclaim October 20th-26th Non-GMO Awareness Week in the city of Vancouver, following a request by the Vancouver Food Policy Council (VFPC). The VFPC is the volunteer advisory committee that helps the city move toward a more just and sustainable food system.

Inspired by a month-long campaign in the U.S. by the non-profit organization The Non-GMO Project, Mayor Robertson’s proclamation will help local community groups raise awareness and generate discussion about the complex issues behind Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in our food supply. News of the proclamation has inspired the creation of several events by the local community group GE Free BC, including a celebration dinner, a press conference with a reading of the proclamation by Councillor Andrea Reimer and a Facebook party.

Zsuzsi Fodor, co-chair of the Vancouver Food Policy Council, says the city has a role to play in this issue.

“Genetically engineered foods, or GMOs, present risks to our food system,” says Fodor. “While much of the regulatory work that needs to be done falls under the jurisdiction of the federal or provincial government, municipal governments can do their part by helping educate citizens about the risks of GMO crops and the pesticides associated with them.”

Whole Foods Market on Cambie and West 8th Avenue in Vancouver will host a reading of the proclamation at a press conference on Tuesday, October 21st at 11:30 am. Whole Foods Market has a long-standing commitment to transparency and the consumer’s right to know what’s in their food. In March 2013, Whole Foods Market became the first major grocer to set a deadline for full GMO transparency. By 2018, all food in Whole Foods Market’s U.S. and Canadian stores must be labeled to indicate if it contains GMOs. Whole Foods Market has already been hard at work with its suppliers for several years to source products without GMO ingredients.

Joe Rogoff, Whole Foods Market Regional President in the Pacific Northwest will participate in the press conference with Andrea Reimer and Ian Walker of Left Coast Naturals.

“At Whole Foods Market, we believe consumers have a fundamental right to know what’s in their food so that they can make informed choices about what’s right for them and their families. Our shoppers are telling us they want to know when food is genetically engineered. We hope that as we provide that transparency, others in the industry will follow our lead.”

Ian Walker, President of Left Coast Naturals, a local supplier to Whole Foods Market, will also participate in the press conference. In January of this year, Left Coast Naturals announced its own non-GMO policy, promising to rid its catalogue of GMOs by the end of 2015. The move will make Left Coast the first food distributor in North America to create such a policy. 

“Consumers are nervous about GMOs, and rightly so, but many are not sure why,” says Walker. “In the absence of a ban on GMO crops, we think that educating consumers and providing them with choice are practical steps.”

 

About Left Coast Naturals
Founded in 1996, Left Coast Naturals is an organic and natural food manufacturer and distributor based in Burnaby, British Columbia. Distributing nearly 30 brands, 200 bulk foods, and two house brands—Hippie Foods and Left Coast Bulk Foods—to grocery, specialty and natural food stores across Canada, Left Coast Naturals is committed to serving the planet, the community, and customers. It is a certified B Corp, the first distributor in North America to have a non-GMO policy and was recently selected as one ofCanada's Top 100 Small & Medium Employers. The company celebrates natural foods and only uses pure, simple, whole-food ingredients. For more information, please visit leftcoastnaturals.com; Twitter @LeftCoastFoods; and Facebook facebook/leftcoastnaturals.

About Whole Foods Market® 
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company's motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 78,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, the company had sales of $12.9 billion and currently has more than 360 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

 

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 - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 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

Argosy Group International CEO Honored With Orlando Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award

CSRwire - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 10:15am

(Marketwired) - Argosy Group International, a leader in the commercial frozen dessert equipment industry, announced today that its CEO, Raphael Doromal, has been nominated to Orlando Business Journal's 2014 40 Under 40 list. The list recognizes the top business professionals and civil leaders in Central Florida under the age of 40. 

"It is an honor for not only me, but also for the entire Argosy team, to be recognized for this award," stated Doromal. "Five years ago we made it our goal to be one of the most innovative foodservice equipment manufacturer's in the industry and it looks like we are on the right track."

Argosy Group International is one of only a handful of companies in the world that manufacture commercial soft serve machines. Although Argosy has been in business for five years, many of its competitors date back to the early 1900s. In May 2014, Argosy launched one of the most efficient soft serve machines in the industry; optimizing efficiency by increasing energy-savings and reducing maintenance requirements. "By focusing on innovation for the operator, we were able to make a name and a niche for ourselves," remarked Doromal.

Orlando Business Journal's 40 Under 40 competition began in 1996 and every year since then, OBJ has recognized young professionals who stand out from the crowd and who have played a key role in shaping our community. The awardees are people who have proven their potential by taking leadership roles in Central Florida. Consideration is given to business accomplishments as well as civic and philanthropic efforts to make Central Florida a better place for everyone to live, work and play.

The individuals selected for the 40 Under 40 award will be recognized at the OBJ 40 Under 40 event on November 6 and will be featured in the November 7 weekly edition of the Orlando Business Journal. For more details on Florida Companies to Watch, visit bizjournals.com/orlando.

About Argosy Group International
Argosy Group International (AGI), based in Orlando, FL, is an innovative trailblazer in the foodservice equipment industry. AGI manufactures, distributes and supports commercial equipment across the globe. AGI consists of foodservice professionals that care about creating an unparalleled customer experience through value innovation, consultation, service, and support. Argosy's equipment is used in a wide range of foodservice businesses which include but are not limited to, convenience stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, hotels, corporate offices and schools. For more information about Argosy Group International visit ArgosyGroupIntl.com or call 1-888-350-8091.

Embedded Video Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KcuFqI2JIM

EU could cut emissions 24 per cent by 2020

Business Green - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 8:54am

Preliminary figures suggest bloc is on track to meet all three 2020 climate and energy goals


Categories: Climate Change News

It's not perfect, but the EU energy and climate package is great news for the green economy

Business Green - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 8:01am

The targets and policies delivered by the EU energy and climate change package prove that decarbonisation efforts are now firmly part of the political and business mainstream


Categories: Climate Change News

Agri-giant Bunge commits to zero deforestation palm oil

Business Green - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 7:30am

Investors welcome commitment but call for Bunge to set deadline for delivering sustainable palm oil


Categories: Climate Change News

Met Office £97m climate supercomputer 'to save £2bn'

Business Green - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 6:13am

Ministers say investment will make UK a world leader in climate science and enable better protection from extreme weather


Categories: Climate Change News

Defra admits it has no idea about size of solar farm impact on food production

Business Green - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 5:50am

Written ministerial answer confirms no estimate has been produced as to the amount of land taken out of fruit and veg production to make way for solar farms


Categories: Climate Change News

National Grid: 'The country has the ability to meet its energy needs in a cold winter'

Business Green - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 5:40am

National Grid again seeks to downplay blackout fears, but admits electricity supply margins have tightened


Categories: Climate Change News

2030 pact UK's most significant environmental deal ever – Ed Davey

Business Green - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 4:48am

British understanding with Poland key to climate agreement, says energy minister, but devil is in the detail


Categories: Climate Change News

The key ingredients for successful green collaboration

Business Green - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 1:48am

Stephanie Draper of Forum for the Future outlines how companies can work together to solve industry-wide challenges


Categories: Climate Change News

Green Investment Bank toasts latest green whisky distillery project

Business Green - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 8:05pm

Royal Brackla Distillery in Nairn becomes latest site to benefit from GIB-backed biomass boiler investment


Categories: Climate Change News

National Trust launches new Snowdonia hydro turbine

Business Green - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 8:05pm

Charity says trial hydroelectric project marks first time system has been pre-fabricated offsite, reducing construction risks


Categories: Climate Change News

Lord Mayor blazes a trail with electric 'limousine'

Business Green - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 8:05pm

Lord Mayor of Newcastle-upon-Tyne takes delivery of all-electric Nissan Leaf, making George Pattison the first mayor in the UK to switch to an electric car


Categories: Climate Change News
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