Building the Sustainability Pathway!

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EarthShift NewsletterOctober 2010
 New EarthShift Logo no tag lineGreetings!

As consumers have become more aware of their own impacts on the planet they are demanding products that reflect their social and ecological values.  Increasingly companies are striving to find innovative ways to develop products that meet these demands by integrating LCA cost effectively into the product design process.
  • Join us in Miami at the LCA Sustainable Product Design Summit, October 26th & 27th to hear principal Melissa Hamilton speak on how we have helped two multi-national clients bring the power of LCA into the design process with simplified LCA tools. 
  • Read below how the University of Oregon's School of Architecture is equipping their students with the tools and knowledge to meet the demand for sustainable buildings. 
  • And finally take a look at how our client Danisco has used a critically reviewed LCA to launch their product XIVIA in a white paper published just this week called sustainable and substantiated.
Take action to advance your LCA knowledge this Fall:
Integrating LCA as a key element in Sustainable Design Education- Erin Moore, Univ of Oregon, School of Architecture
Erin Moore, Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon's Architecture Department, has added LCA as a topic in the Universities' already acclaimed number one graduate program in the US for Sustainable Design Education by Design Intelligence magazine. 
The Lifecycle thinking is  first introduced to undergraduates in a required Building Construction class as a means to get students thinking about the ecological connection of the products and processes used during the assembly and life of a building.  "It helps them to get a picture of where products come from, where they go in the end and what impacts that has on the environment" says Moore. 
Students in the program can then further their LCA knowledge through two additional seminars taught by Moore, Ecology of Building Materials and Intro to LCA for advanced graduate students.
The Ecology of Building Materials seminar gives students the opportunity to actually see products being made and to talk to the manufacturers.  The seminar addresses concerns over the short life span of current buildings and the large amount of waste produced by the building industry, primarily through the disposal of materials.   Students are prepped to "re-think the lifecycle of construction materials to account for the embodied energy, embodied water, and ecological and human health impacts of their production, use, and disposal (or re-use)".
The final seminar, Intro to LCA, being introduced this spring for advanced graduate students was built in response to requests from students in the previous seminar.  The class will allow hands on practice using three LCA tools; BEES, Athena's Impact Estimator and SimaPro.
Moore believes that LCA is in an important concept for architecture students to understand for two main reasons; so that in the future they can easily evaluate and make better design decisions as well as be able to competently work and discuss analyses with LCA consultants.
If you are attending the LCA X conference this year and interested in learning more about this subject don't miss Erin Moore's presentation on the Ecology of Building Materials: LCA in Architectural Design Education on Wednesday at 10:30am.

 LCA Summit

Join us in Miami, October 26th & 27th and discover the strategies and tools corporations are using to educate non-sustainability experts on Life Cycle Thinking and the effective use of LCA in the design process. See a demo of our new PackageSmart and our French Partner EVEA's e-DEA software. 

Would you like a free pass to the Greenbuild Expo?
EarthShift along with our Partner, Shelter Analytics, will be exhibiting at the Greenbuild conference this year in Chicago, IL on Nov. 16-18.  If you are interested in attending we can provide you with a free pass to come and visit with us. 
It's a great opportunity for you to get a one-on-one demo of the SimaPro software and to discuss training opportunities to further your sustainable building practices including our Beyond Building Green and  LCA for the Building Industry Courses. 
Just contact us and let us know!

Impact Assessment Methods- learn to build your own 

Learn how to build a custom Impact Assessment Method for your organization's use.  This 3 hour online course will examine how impact assessments are built in SimaPro and explore making your own including shortcuts for combining categories from various impact assessment methods and using characterization factors already in Excel. 

Join our Creating Impact Assessment Methods online course on October 26. 
Parameters- October 13
Not sure of the exact distance your raw materials are being transported? Does the efficiency of your equipment vary? Would you like to automate a repetitive calculation or link a change in the density of your product to many processes automatically?  How about linking to an Excel spreadsheet or database?  These tasks become quick and easy once you understand the power of parameters. Come take this course and learn how to parameterize your models and quickly compare results under different scenarios!
Attention SimaPro Users!

By way of helping one of our clients with tech support we have discovered that there is an error in the waste scenario Waste USA in the Ecoinvent 2.2 library. If you go under Waste USA/Packaging waste scenario/US U and open the process you will see that the cardboard recycling process is included twice. This error, if not corrected, can result in errors in results. Essentially the duplication results in all cardboard going to recycling (cut-off) rather than 59%, as specified.


To correct this error, simply open the Ecoinvent Unit Processes library and delete one of the cardboard recycling processes. PRe will also address this error in the next SimaPro update.
In This Issue
Integrating LCA into Design Education
LCA Sustainable Product Design Summit
FREE Greenbuild Expo Passes
Build Your Own Impact Assessment Methods
Parameters Online Course
A Glitch in Ecoinvent Data
New PackageSmart Software
New PackageSmart Software
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Watch this video to find out about a tool specifically built for packaging designers to be able to easily evaluate the impacts of multiple packaging options.
SimaPro LCA software

SimaPro is a  tool to collect, analyze and monitor the environmental performance of products and services.
Drill down and get to the source with SimaPro

  • Transparent Unit Process Data
  • Process, Input/Output and Hybrid LCA's
  • Complete Networks
  • Hotspot Analysis 
Custom Tool Development
Get your own environmental impact calculator with:

  • Easy to use & Simplified Interface
  • Comprehensive Data & Calculation ability
  • ISO Compliant Reporting Features 
Upcoming Conferences
Quick Links
Upcoming Training Courses...  

LCA for the Building Industry- contact us for dates
3hr course to introduce the steps of an LCA, how it applies to the building industry and how to use three tools, SimaPro, Athena's Eco-calculator and Athena's Impact Estimator.  
1 Day on-site course covering USEtox the impact assessment method for toxicity.
Parameters- October 13
2 hr course on building parametrized models in SimaPro to quickly compare results under different scenarios.
Applied LCA in SimaPro- October 21 & 22
Online course to introduce Life Cycle Assessment Methodology and the SimaPro LCA software.
Creating Impact Assessment Methods- October 26
3hr online course on creating your own IAM.
Impact Assessment Methods- November 30
3 hr course on the major IAM's in SimaPro and how to choose the best method.
*Intro to LCA in SimaPro onsite
- December 2 & 3 
Our classic two-day in-depth introduction to LCA and SimaPro. 

*indicates on-site class (all others are online)
Contact Us!!
802  434-3326