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Green Deal Finance Company says liquidation 'highly unlikely' as demand accelerates

Business Green - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 8:05pm

Company confirms weekly demand for Green Deal plans has topped £2m for the first time, further fuelling hopes that refinancing package can be agreed


Categories: Climate Change News

Mining companies should report on climate impacts, MPs say

Business Green - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 8:05pm

Select committee calls for tough Social Responsibility Index to ensure environmental and social governance matches financial oversight


Categories: Climate Change News

Shell seeks to extend Arctic drilling licences beyond 2017

Business Green - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 8:05pm

Letter obtained by Oceana shows Shell is seeking five more years for controversial exploration programme


Categories: Climate Change News

10:10 renews call for a dose of climate optimism

Business Green - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 8:05pm

ComRes poll suggests people more likely to back climate action if they are better informed about the clean technologies that can deliver decarbonisation


Categories: Climate Change News

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 - 4:15pm

(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

CVS/pharmacy West Haven Store Awarded Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification

CSRwire - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 4:15pm

CVS Health announced today that the CVS/pharmacy store in West Haven, Connecticut has been awarded the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, making it the most energy efficient CVS/pharmacy store in the country. This achievement marks the first CVS/pharmacy store to be certified with the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) highest distinction and is the company’s eighth LEED-certified building.

“CVS Health is proud to celebrate this model store, which allows us to pilot environmental innovations and uncover best practices we can apply to other facilities,” said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy at CVS Health. “This initiative aligns with our CSR platform, Prescription for a Better World, and supports our efforts to reduce our impacts on the environment.”

The LEED system, developed by the USGBC, is the most internationally recognized program for green building certification. The Platinum level distinguishes those buildings that are designed, constructed and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

CVS/pharmacy’s West Haven store is exemplary in its sustainable design and operations as a result of innovative features, including:

  • Recycled  materials used in building design
  • Stormwater design to reduce runoff
  • Landscaping that doesn’t require irrigation
  • A solar photovoltaic system to improve energy efficiency
  • High-efficiency lighting, HVAC and plumbing systems
  • Day lighting technology
  • An electric car charging station, and more

With these features, the West Haven store uses 40 percent less energy and 50 percent less water compared to a traditional building of similar size. CVS/pharmacy plans to incorporate some of the successful elements from the West Haven store into future new stores. Learn more about The company’s green building efforts in the CVS Health 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,700 retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact:
Joanne Dwyer
401-770-2898
JDwyer@cvs.com

Global Sustain presents the Yearbook 2014/15 “The Power of Collaboration”

CSRwire - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 4:15pm

Seven years passed since Global Sustain presented its first Yearbook, triggering a global discussion regarding important sustainability issues.

This year, Global Sustain chose the theme “The Power of Collaboration” since partnerships are more than ever needed in order to address universal challenges.

Global developments and expectations in economy, environment and technology sectors are among the factors that promote the formation of partnerships, since individual organisations cannot act alone. These partnerships come in many forms, ranging from alliances between businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to goverments and civil society and they create shared value for all stakeholders.      

This Yearbook will address, among others, the following topics:

  • Win-win partnerships
  • Facilitating supplier collaboration
  • Delivering long-lasting, mutual benefits with innovative strategic partnerships
  • Joining forces for human rights and transparency issues
  • Quantifying and measuring partnerships’ true value
  • Collaboration between academics, companies, NGOs and governments
  • The impact of business goals on engagement in social partnerships
  • Encouraging and incentivising employees to engage into collaborative actions
  • Transforming stakeholder dialogue into stakeholder collaboration
  • Communicating collaborations effectively
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and partnerships

 

The 8th Yearbook, will future CEOs, corporations and organisations from all around the world, leading the way in sustainability-driven collaborations. There will be research and viewpoints of top experts, decision-makers, policy formers, Nobel Laureates and gurus who will share their vision and expertise regarding this timely subject, with a global audience.

  • The 160page Yearbook will be published in June 2015 and presented in special events.
  • The deadline for the expression of interest in participating is December 19, 2014.
  • For further information regarding the Yearbook series you may visit the following address: http://globalsustain.org/en/yearbook.
  • Additional material regarding the publication is attached.

 

About the Yearbook series

Yearbook series aim at highlighting critical sustainability issues and constitute a catalyst for constructive dialogue and positive change. This annual global publication is trusted by top companies and important stakeholders from all around the world. Each year, Global Sustain selects a topic of universal interest relevant to the people-planet-profit concept and analyses all the aspects through the views of internationally renowned personalities, business leaders, politicians, visionaries and academia.Industry opinion formers and decision makers across the world contribute with policy and business intelligence to the publication, while leading corporations showcase their best practices and flagship products and services in the sustainability field. The hard copy publication is presented every year in special events and venues, with high level participants and is distributed to a worldwide targeted audience. To date, Yearbooks have been distributed in more than 50 countries on 4 continents, profiling more than 200 CEOs.

For more details about previous Yearbook titles and info please visit: http://globalsustain.org/en/yearbook.

About Global Sustain

Founded in 2006, Global Sustain with offices in Athens, Brussels, Colombo, London and Melbourne, creates awareness and inspires and supports companies and organisations to embody sustainability, through advisory, communications, networking and training, with a focus on the people-planet-profit philosophy. Its members include corporations, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, municipalities and local authorities, educational foundations, media, professional bodies, think tanks and other public or private entities. Global Sustain is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, to the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), a GRI Data Partner and Organisational Stakeholder (OS), an affiliated member of the Academy of Business in Society and donates a percentage of its annual pre-tax earnings to help fund innovative, not-for-profit projects that make an impact. www.globalsustain.org.

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.

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