Sustainable Minds Introduces Software Suite for Ecologically Sustainable Product Design

June 10, 2008

MONTEREY, CA /PRNewswire/ -™, recently introduced at the Sustainable Brands '08 conference, is the first Web-based, early-stage design tool that forecasts a product's life-cycle environmental and human health impacts in a collaborative workspace with continuously updated information services. is targeted at product designers and engineers, sustainability managers, product managers, design consultancies, and manufacturing companies who are championing sustainable products or responsible for complying with sustainability requirements or directives. Created by leading product design practitioners and educators, the science behind is Okala™, a comprehensive ecological design course and the first North American Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. Using powerful Web 2.0 capabilities and leveraging existing product design tools, develops the skills and knowledge of design organizations to grow revenue and markets through sustainable product innovation.

Environmental pressures and sustainable business challenges—such as climate change, ecological and human health damage, resource depletion, social equity, regulation, brand reputation, and cost and risk reduction—are impacting the way companies make products. Companies are setting operational sustainability goals, but are not yet able to consistently apply them to the design and manufacture of their products, as there are no standards for "sustainable" products. Product design teams are being asked to assess the impacts of the products they develop and understand how design changes affect the products' life-cycle performance, while uncovering opportunities for innovation.

"The problem we are solving is to help product teams learn how to design more ecologically sustainable products, and understand the impacts of their design decisions early enough in the process so they can design a greener product from the start," says Terry Swack, CEO and co-founder of Sustainable Minds. "Operationalizing sustainable product design starts with bringing life-cycle thinking and a whole product systems approach to the front of the design process. The result is more sustainable, innovative products, lower costs by eliminating re-engineering, and greater competitive advantage."'s subscription-based service connects environmental performance goals with design decisions and business goals by enabling design knowledge sharing in a social software-based collaborative environment. Customers can access best strategies, products, materials, and regulatory updates from industry experts and peers, along with assessment-based case studies and benchmarks. also supports LCA from CAD and product life-cycle management tools. Continuously updated Okala Impact Factors allow design teams to perform "what-if" comparisons of existing products or new design concepts based on 10 environmental impact categories, or just global warming impacts, measured in CO2 equivalents.

The SM Blog featuring industry-leading thinkers, practitioners and business people and "Ask the Okala Experts" are launching later this month. Software suite availability is scheduled for fall 2008. For more information, visit

About Sustainable Minds
Sustainable Minds' mission is to mainstream sustainable product design in an accessible, empowering and credible way. To do this, it has integrated deep knowledge of product design, Life Cycle Assessment and environmental systems design with expertise in Web-based business, software design and customer experience. Sustainable Minds is committed to helping create sustainable products that are environmentally beneficial, economically viable and socially and ethically equitable. More information about Sustainable Minds, founded in 2007 and headquartered in Cambridge, MA, can be found at

Source: Sustainable Minds

For additional information, contact Sandy Skees of Sustainable Minds: [email protected]

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