Sustainable Minds Releases New, Web-Based Life Cycle Assessment Software
Software and information services company Sustainable Minds has debuted its life cycle assessment (LCA) software, a Web-based program intended to help companies make greener design choices and understand the impacts of products and their parts.
The software, Sustainable Minds 1.0, uses the life cycle assessment of materials to determine the potential environmental and human health impacts of existing or new products. The Learning Center feature of the software provides in-context information on sustainable design practices and LCA as users work on projects, based on what they are working on. No previous LCA expertise or training is required.
“The software provides real time analyses that allow users to make informed trade-offs between standard product design criteria such as performance, cost, and aesthetics, with environmental impact - well before product design is complete, and before changes are costly or impossible to make," said Terry Swack, co-founder and CEO of Sustainable Minds.
Users can assess entire products, assemblies, sub-assemblies and parts. By using current products, users can set benchmarks to compare new designs against.
The software analyzes impacts from manufacturing, use, end of life and transportation, using the Okala Methodology, which evaluates 10 environmental impact categories: global warming/carbon footprint, acid rain, ecotoxicity, ozone depletion, water eutrophication, photochemical smog, human respiratory, human toxicity, human carcinogens and fossil fuel depletion.
Sustainable Minds 1.0 is geared toward a broad range of users, including product designers, mechanical engineers, product managers, marketers and sustainability leads in manufacturing companies and consultancies, as well as educational institutions teaching product design, engineering or sustainable business.
The software is optimized for household appliances, housewares, consumer electronics, industrial and commercial equipment, and outdoor and sporting equipment.
Sustainable Minds uses Flash 8 or higher, and runs in Firefox 2, Explorer 7, Safari 2, Opera 9 and Chrome 1 or higher. It can interoperate with any CAD or PLM system to easily import bill of material data, and is streamlined for bill of material data import from Autodesk Inventor. The program costs $700 for a single user annual subscription and includes software and data updates. New users can test the program with a 30-day trial subscription.