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SB'12 - Are All LCA Tools Created Equal? How Design Tool Choices Influence Decision-Making and Ultimate Impact

“There is no such thing as a green product,” as Terry Swack, CEO of Sustainable Minds, states in the demo video for the company’s LCA software, as all products require materials and energy to produce. The best we can do is to minimize both by keeping end-of-life or, ultimately, reuse in mind starting at the design phase. But since processes and inputs differ greatly from product to product, it’s important to choose the appropriate assessment tool. Whether you’d like to gauge the impact of existing products and packaging or are starting from scratch, the right tool can be an invaluable guide for development and continued improvements.

To help demystify the options, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business recently conducted a study to test several popular packaging assessment tools – GaBi, SimaPro, Sustainable Minds, COMPASS and the Walmart Packaging Scorecard – by comparing the data outputs generated from each tool with different packaging materials. Join us Thursday afternoon, June 7, as Tony Kingsbury takes us through the findings from the study. Learn how each tool handles issues such as reuse or recycled content, and how the carbon footprints can appear to differ widely for the same product, depending on the tool. 

Tony Kingsbury, Director of the Sustainable Products & Solutions Program at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, also leads Dow’s global engagement with The Sustainability Consortium and co-directs Dow’s “Breakthroughs to World Challenges” 2015 corporate sustainability goal.

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