MORROW, Ga., Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- TOTO announced today that it is introducing an innovative, new way to report product transparency that enables customers to earn LEED v4 credit for select high-efficiency toilets.
Committed to environmental leadership that exceeds compliance, TOTO discovered that it was unable to comply with LEED v4's disclosure option to provide Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for its high-efficiency toilets. The company could not do this because there is no Product Category Rule for toilets (PCRs define the requirements of EPDs for each product category). EPDs are required for its building industry customers to earn the highest number of LEED points for purchasing TOTO products. To solve this problem, TOTO, already using Sustainable Minds' LCA software to help it design sustainable products, turned to the company to help it solve this problem marketing.
Together, TOTO and Sustainable Minds discovered that current EPDs generally provide too much life cycle analysis and other environmental data, making their length and level of technicality difficult to understand for a non-technical reader. In addition, few include much-needed product marketing information to put the environmental information in context. In short, today's EPD's make it difficult for architects, builders, contractors, and other members of the building industry to compare plumbing products and make well-informed greener purchasing decisions.
As remedy, TOTO and Sustainable Minds saw an opportunity to use the life cycle assessments TOTO does on its products to develop a transparent reporting tool that is effective, credible, comparable, and affordable. The new SM Transparency Reports are concise, compelling and effective. They present functional and environmental product performance information together in a three-page report, enabling a manufacturer like TOTO to make its LCA results understandable by describing what the company is doing to make its products more sustainable. The new SM Transparency Reports give readers visibility into the decisions TOTO makes across the life cycle of its products.
To ensure industry recognition that the new Transparency Reports are credible, Sustainable Minds turned to NSF International, industry leader in product certification, to provide the LCA third-party verification and report certification.
Five SM Transparency Reports for select TOTO high-efficiency toilets may be previewed through the introduction of the Sustainable Minds' Manufacturers Showroom, a public destination to showcase brands across the value chain, making credibly greener materials, processes and products.
"Since our incorporation in 1917, TOTO has been committed to environmental stewardship and reducing our products' impact on the environment throughout their life cycle, from birth to the end of life," said Bill Strang, President of Operations – Americas, TOTO USA. "As a part of our People, Planet, Water ethic, we have long-used life cycle thinking to prioritize where we should direct our efforts to increase environmental sustainability. As a part of our ongoing journey to reduce our environmental impact, we have integrated life cycle analysis into our design process, operations, and supply chain. With the introduction of LEED v4, we sought to provide the same level of transparency to our customers. Unfortunately, without a Product Category Rule, we found that an Environmental Product Declaration was impossible. However, working with Sustainable Minds and NSF International, we discovered that we could address this challenge by innovating a new way to report product transparency. TOTO is proud that our partnership with Sustainable Minds and NSF resulted in such a simple, elegant and credible solution, which enables us to continue communicating the message of our sustainability journey to our customers."
"When it became clear that TOTO, a company committed to environmental leadership beyond compliance, was not going to be able to comply with the new LEED v4 disclosure option to provide EPDs for customers to earn the maximum available product credits for purchasing TOTO products – it was 'game on' to find a solution. Bill Strang is the best kind of customer who embraces innovation as component of leadership. It is a privilege to work jointly with a customer to innovate and address big systemic opportunities," said Terry Swack, Founder & CEO, Sustainable Minds.
"NSF Sustainability's extensive experience in validating and certifying products for the building products industry informs us that innovation is needed to identify, quantify and credibly certify more sustainable products and get that information to the market faster. The model developed by Sustainable Minds and TOTO provides a platform for doing that," said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF Sustainability.
"It is great to see companies like TOTO embracing product information transparency and delivering it in a way that is approachable and useful for the design and construction community," said Kirsten Ritchie, Director of Sustainable Design, Gensler.
TOTO USA is headquarters for the Americas Division of the TOTO Global Group, which was established in 1917 with the founding of TOTO, Ltd., in Kitakyushu, Japan. TOTO is the world's largest manufacturer of bathroom fixtures and fittings with $5.1 billion dollars in annual sales. For nearly 100 years, TOTO has been the recognized leader in performance innovation and design with products that enhance the luxury bathroom experience. Today, the company maintains 23,500 employees in 69 offices around the world and owns manufacturing facilities in Japan, Mexico, the USA, China and Europe with an affiliated network of more than 80 production facilities worldwide. With over 1,500 engineers on staff and three centers devoted to research and development, TOTO is dedicated to engineering products that respect the environment while meeting people's needs for comfort, beauty and performance. TOTO's corporate philosophy – People-First Innovation – is the guiding principle for all the company's processes, from engineering and design to manufacturing and sales. Consumers enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing they purchased a brand that innovates to improve people's quality of life. Winner of numerous domestic and international awards and recognitions, TOTO is the only plumbing manufacturer honored as Water Efficiency Leader by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company continues to raise industry standards and consumer expectations as to what is possible in the bathroom, as TOTO believes a high-quality bathroom is an experience and an everyday luxury people value and appreciate. For more information, consumers may visit www.totousa.com or call 1.888.295.8134, Option 5. Follow TOTO on Twitter (@TOTOUSA) and become a TOTO fan on Facebook.
About Sustainable Minds
Sustainable Minds cloud software and services help product manufacturers, across the value chain, Design & Market greener products. The company is dedicated to operationalizing environmental performance in mainstream product development and manufacturing in an understandable, empowering and credible way. Sustainable Minds life cycle assessment (LCA) software for greener product innovation is used by industry and education in more than 600 locations in 60 countries worldwide. Sustainable Minds' easy-to-use, standardized solutions make it possible for manufacturers – large and small – to dynamically evaluate, compare and improve their products' environmental performance by integrating life cycle thinking and LCA into their product development and marketing processes. The company has been recognized by Gartner in its 2013 Cool Vendor Report as 'innovative, impactful and intriguing.' To learn why, visit www.sustainableminds.com or call 617 401-2269. Follow Sustainable Minds on Twitter @sustainablemnds
About NSF International
Founded in 1944, NSF International is a global independent public health and safety organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). NSF International has been collaborating with the World Health Organization since 1997 in water quality and safety, food safety and indoor environments.
NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR) offers a comprehensive portfolio of management systems registration solutions to meet the demands of the global marketplace (nsf-isr.org). NSF-ISR is recognized by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) to provide ISO/TS 16949 registrations in the automotive sector. NSF-ISR also provides registrations for the following programs: ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, AS 9100/10/20, ISO 13485, ISO 20000-1, Responsible Care (RC) 14001 and Responsible Care Management Systems (RCMS), as well as greenhouse gas verification/validation. For more information, please visit: www.nsf.org
Image with caption: "TOTO is the first plumbing manufacturer to validate its products' environmental performance with new Sustainable Minds' Transparency Reports. The company's Drake II 1G is one of its first ultra-high efficiency toilets for which a new SM Transparency Report has been developed." Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131120/MM20659
SOURCE TOTO USA