The Sustainability Consortium Meets a Major Milestone: Members Approve a Year’s Worth of Technical Work on Consumer Product Sustainability for Independent Review

Members from The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) have approved their first round of life cycle assessments and rules for calculating environmental footprints for seven different product categories: laptop computers, laundry detergent, orange juice, showering products, strawberry yogurt, surface cleaners, and wheat cereal. These product categories represent hundreds of different consumer products sold on retail shelves.

The event is a major milestone on TSC’s path towards developing a shared and standardized platform and set of standards for companies to analyze, share and report on data about a product’s environmental and social impacts. TSC’s Sustainability Measurement and Reporting System (SMRS) is expected to decrease the cost and time needed by companies and product innovators to assess product sustainability, and will educate buyers and ultimately consumers, enhancing the demand for more sustainable products.

“Our success on these initial prototypes demonstrates that competitors and diverse stakeholders can come together and create common ways to measure, report and communicate a product’s sustainable attributes,” said Bonnie Nixon, Executive Director of The Sustainability Consortium.

The product life cycle assessments and product category rules were created by multi-stakeholder groups of experts from academia, corporations, and governmental and non-governmental organizations. The documents are now undergoing review by panels of independent experts, after which a public review period will follow in Fall 2011.

“We look forward to learning from these efforts and developing a product sustainability measurement and reporting system that is truly global and covers all consumer product sectors,” said Tim Carey, TSC Board Member and Director of Sustainability and Technology, PepsiCo Beverages.

The Sustainability Consortium is on course to identify where in a product’s supply chain the greatest environmental and social impacts are occurring (i.e., “hot spots”) and to provide information on the drivers and indicators for approximately 100 product categories by the end of the year. To date TSC has focused on the food, beverage and agriculture, home and personal care products and electronics sectors. For this next milestone, the Consortium is adding packaging, paper, toys, apparel and soft home merchandise like sheets and towels.

About The Sustainability Consortium
The Sustainability Consortium, (TSC) is an independent organization of diverse global participants that work collaboratively to build a scientific foundation that drives innovation to improve consumer product sustainability. TSC develops transparent methodologies, tools and strategies to drive a new generation of products and supply networks that address environmental, social, and economic imperatives. The Sustainability Consortium advocates for a transparent process and system, not individuals or organizations. Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas jointly administer The Sustainability Consortium. Learn more at www.sustainabilityconsortium.org / Twitter: follow@sus_consortium

The Sustainability Consortium is a part of the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University and the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas.

The Global Institute of Sustainability is the hub of ASU’s sustainability initiatives and home to the first of its kind School of Sustainability; it works to advance research, education, and business practices for an urbanizing world; visit: sustainability.asu.edu / Twitter: follow@asugreen

The Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas leads organizations in the retail and consumer goods industries toward sustainable practices that support an economy built around people, planet, and profit. The center is part of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and serves multiple disciplines across campus; visit: asc.uark.edu

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Media Contacts:
Patrice Bettison-Clark, Manager, Marketing and Communications
The Sustainability Consortium
Arizona State University
[email protected] / 480-965-2135

Karen Leland, Director, Communications
Global Institute of Sustainability/School of Sustainability
Arizona State University
[email protected] / 480-965-0013

Danielle Strickland, Director of Development Communications
University of Arkansas
[email protected] / 479-575-7346

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