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Transparency reports facilitate efficient and effective decision making

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NSF International


NSF International and Sustainable Minds Partner to Accelerate Product Transparency Reporting

Transparency reports facilitate efficient and effective decision making

Published: Monday, June 23, 2014 - 13:15

(NSF: Ann Arbor, MI) --Sustainable Minds has partnered with NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International, to provide life cycle assessment (LCA) verification and report certification for Sustainable Minds Transparency Reports.

Sustainable Minds (SM), a software and services provider founded to operationalize environmental performance into mainstream product development and manufacturing, will introduce the complete SM Transparency Report Program to manufacturers and industry advocates through a webinar on Tues., June 17, 2014, at 2 p.m. Eastern. Sign up here.

SM Transparency Reports, third-party verified by NSF Sustainability and based on ISO 14044-compliant LCAs, are an alternative transparency reporting tool to environmental product declarations (EPDs). NSF Sustainability’s extensive background in certifying environmental reports and sustainable products and services provides additional credibility for the contents of the transparency reports.

Created for efficient and effective decision making, SM Transparency Reports drive purchase decisions by making LCA and environmental performance information easy to understand. They are strategic marketing and lead-generation tools that include fundamentally all the information housed in an EPD, organized into three comprehensive and easy-to-understand pages.

Manufacturers can present a product’s functional and environmental performance attributes and make LCA results understandable by describing what they are actually doing to make their products greener, giving the reader visibility into decisions being made across the product’s life cycle. Decision-makers can quickly review and make well-informed and greener purchase decisions. Reports are stored in the cloud, freely available, and can connect buyers and sellers in one click. Originally developed for product categories without a product category rule (PCR), SM Transparency reports can be used by manufacturers in any industry to market products.

“The SM Transparency Report Program is a solution that brings together all of the relevant environmental data for a product or group of products and presents it in a short, simple and understandable format,” says Alex Mlsna, senior R&D engineer at Kimball International. “It reduces the need to have multiple forms and formats to document and share information with potential users.” Mlsna also chairs both the committee working with NSF to develop PCRs for office furniture products and the BIFMA (Business & Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) LCA subcommittee.

The Sustainable Minds Transparency Report Program:
• Provides efficient and cost-effective options for manufacturers to get started with transparency reporting by using a standardized framework
• Delivers the SM Transparency Report, a strategic marketing and lead-generation tool that enables greener purchasing decisions
• Delivers software tools and data to design greener and improve products’ environmental performance

Efforts in Europe to streamline and standardize PCR development influenced Sustainable Minds to create the SM Transparency Report Framework, a comprehensive LCA-based framework that promotes harmonization and consistency in reporting environmental performance, and to introduce product group definitions (PGDs) that enhance consistency in product transparency reporting. PGDs describe baseline functional and environmental attributes of products in a particular category, and inform the LCA development process. This allows manufacturers to demonstrate product advantage and differentiation.

TOTO USA, the world’s largest manufacturer of bathroom fixtures and fittings, was the first company to publish SM Transparency Reports. After the introduction of LEED v. 4, and with no PCR that applied to its high-efficiency toilets products, TOTO wanted a tool to provide transparency claim verification and LEED v. 4 credit for its customers. TOTO helped drive the development of SM Transparency Reports with NSF Sustainability, providing LCA verification and certification. View TOTO’s Transparency Reports.

Click here for larger image.

The development of SM Transparency Reports is an important alternative to help manufacturers of all sizes across the value chain meet the market’s demand for science-based, verified sustainability information, delivered in a meaningful, understandable way,” explains Tom Bruursema, general manager of NSF International’s Sustainability Division. “This increasing demand is driving the need for solutions that help manufacturers not only report but also to design more sustainable products and demonstrate continuous improvement.”

“We are excited to work with NSF International, a global leader in this industry, as it brings its proven processes and experience in product sustainability certification to substantively accelerate the reach of this offering. Building on the success of the introduction, the market has validated the tremendous need for what the SM Transparency Report Program offers,” says Terry Swack, Founder and CEO of Sustainable Minds.

For more information on NSF Sustainability, visit nsfsustainability.org or contact Jamie Bush at jbush@nsf.org.


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NSF International

NSF International, the parent company of NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR), is an independent public health and safety organization that certifies products and writes standards for food, water, and consumer goods to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF-ISR performs audits and provides management systems registration for clients throughout the world. NSF-ISR is accredited by ANAB, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for various programs as well as recognized by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) to provide ISO/TS 16949 registrations.