Earthster Announces Founding Members of Earthster 2 Turbo™ Open Data Commons and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Tool Pilot Program

New Software as a Service (SaaS) Platform Debuted; Will Provide Companies with Actionable Analysis of Environmental and Social Impacts of Product Design and Manufacturing Processes

Nov 09, 2010, 15:57 ET from Earthster

YORK, Maine, Nov. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Earthster today launched the Earthster 2 Turbo™ (E2T) tool pilot program and announced their collaboration with three companies leading in sustainability to create an open, data commons for product designers, manufacturers, suppliers and sustainability experts looking for current information on materials, energy, water, social and climate impacts throughout the product life cycle.  

During today’s webinar launch with Seventh Generation, Tetra Pak and Walmart, Earthster CEO Greg Norris provided a demonstration of E2T, showing how companies are able to understand where their largest impacts are and how to find more sustainable alternatives.  A built-in recommendations engine, drawing on environmental and climate databases, suggests user-specific options for cost-effective improvements of environmental impacts.  Social impacts can be identified using the Social Hotspots Database, a resource currently unique to Earthster.

Walmart contributed funding to the Earthster project to support a number of pilot life cycle assessments (LCAs) of their private brand products.  “As companies focus more on the sustainability of products they buy and sell, it’s important to have tools like Earthster available to help track products over their full life cycle” said Jeff Rice, Walmart Sustainability Director. “LCA software that creates value and makes measuring practical improves the effectiveness of reporting standards, like those of the Sustainability Consortium and the Global Packaging Project, especially when those tools are integrated with existing industry platforms like GS1.”

Seventh Generation has committed to be the first company to use Earthster’s interactive web visualizations to share product sustainability information on its website for two of its product lines.  Tetra Pak will be importing a complex set of material and impact options for sustainable packaging options.  More companies across a wide range of industries – apparel, food, building materials, automotive, etc. – are sought as additional founding member pilot companies collaborating in user-based tool design and contributing to the data commons.

Consumer information is Seventh Generation's interest in E2T, according to Dave Rapaport, who leads sustainability for the company. "We are excited to have the opportunity to pilot E2T to provide a graphical display of product lifecycle impacts to consumers through our website. We believe strongly in transparency and feel it is our responsibility to help consumers understand the lifecycle environmental and social impacts of the products they buy. We're thrilled to be a part of the pilot program and expect E2T to become a valuable tool enabling more conscious consumption as well as to offer our supply chain a simple way to track and analyze their impacts."

According to David Cockburn from Tetra Pak, “E2T gives us and our customers the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from a growing body of knowledge that will help everyone make better decisions in the future.”

Earthster’s sustainability data commons is being developed to spur product innovation for sustainability.  According to Greg Norris, Earthster CEO, “Earthster brings open source software and linked open data into a world which is primarily inhabited right now by proprietary software and data.  We’re thrilled to have Walmart, Seventh Generation and Tetra Pak participate in the development of a unique open system where data is being developed in a bottom-up, crowd-sourced, exponentially-increasing way, broadening scope, detail, and the geographic coverage of LCA data resources in the world.”

About Earthster 2 Turbo

Unlike today's standard LCA tools, Earthster operates as a sustainability wiki, with users having the option to contribute data to a data commons that companies build together. This allows the generation of new data on representative production for a given process or product, filling in data gaps in today's LCA databases. E2T is optimized to safeguard proprietary, business-sensitive data while at the same time building the data commons.

A key differentiator with Earthster’s E2T is the integration of social impacts with environmental.  From labor rights to working conditions and local community impacts, the social dimension of producing goods and services in global supply chains is layered into E2T analysis and visualizations.  Users can refine their social risk assessment through a supplier self-assessment questionnaire integrated into Earthster, and aligned with the Global Social Compliance Programme.

About Earthster

Earthster is a project of New Earth, a 501.c.3 charitable organization based in Maine and is the first open source platform to measure and manage a product’s social and environmental impacts throughout the supply chain. Earthster accelerates the global transition to sustainable products and supply chains, by enabling sharing of product sustainability-related information between a manufacturer and its supply chain, its customers, and its other stakeholders, while keeping business-sensitive information confidential.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Gregory Norris

SOURCE Earthster