Whatever Type of Business You Work In, Chances Are That We’ve Worked In It, Too
Learn more about how we understand different industries, their environmental concerns, regulations, and stakeholder expectations.
- Building Products
- Chemicals & Plastics
- Consumer Goods
- Environmental Consultants
- Forestry, Lumber & Paper
- Healthcare & Life Services
- Metals, Minerals & Mining
Non-Governmental Organizations need good metrics, and LCA and S-ROI provide outstanding resources for developing them. EarthShift Global acts as a reliable expert and provides training to NGOs, enabling them to do work internally. Our optimized web-based tools can be used for assessment internally, or can be customized into footprint calculators, for example, to help to broaden the reach of the organization. S-ROI can be a powerful tool to show donors how far their money will go to improving the lives of others.
We’ve worked with Clean Air-Cool Planet on a campus food calculator, enabling colleges to assess the sustainability of recipes and weekly purchases. We continue to act as an advisor to the US Green Building Council on PCRs and EPDs for the building industry and have worked as an advisor the CarbonFund when they were first setting up their program.
We are currently working with the World Environment Center (WEC) to assess the sustainability of four projects using S-ROI and our 3Pillars Software.
Clients: CarbonFund, USGBC, Clean Air-Cool Planet, Green Seal, World Wildlife Fund, WEC, LWR
Oil & Gas
EarthShift Global works on highly sensitive issues that affect the oil & gas industry, addressing questions like:
- What are the social risks associated with a procedure or project? How do they affect the bottom line?
- How does a new method of fracturing compare with current methods and traditional extraction techniques from an environmental, social and/or economic perspective?
- Which is the most environmentally sound pollution prevention system for this application?
- What are the risks and opportunities associated with new or alternative energy products?
EarthShift Global has worked in different phases of the oil and gas industry.
When modeling several antipollution devices for an offshore oil drilling process, we found that the equipment used for the decontamination process was a critical factor in choosing the best option—bigger was not necessarily better.
In another study, we found the social risks associated with a refinery flare were large enough to easily justify the cost of the equipment needed to eliminate it, even though it showed a negative return on investment using traditional cost accounting.
By leveraging the use of GREET and SimaPro for Life Cycle Assessment, and 3Pillars Software for Sustainability-ROI, and through the newly developing dynamic and anticipatory LCA fields, EarthShift has a wide range of tools and knowledge to address the many questions surrounding biofuels sustainability, including:
- Does the biofuel meet the GHG standards set by the US DOE for biofuels today?
- Could the biofuel meet the GHG standards set by the US DOE in the future?
- What are the other lifecycle environmental impacts of the biofuels production process and how might they be reduced?
- What economic benefit does the production of biofuels bring to different stakeholders?
- What risks are associated with the production of the biofuels? Could displacement of currently grown crops cause environmental or social problems locally or in other parts of the world?
- Is there an issue with growing crops for fuel instead of food?
EarthShift Global has studied the environmental, social and economic impacts of a wide range of biofuels including biodiesel from rape seed, used cooking oil, algae, etc.; ethanol from corn, sweet potatoes, sugar beets, etc.; methane from digester wastes of various types; ethyl levulinate from cellulosic wastes; as well as the use of wood, both purpose cut and scraps, in a number of different fuel applications.
S-ROI – Papers Presented at the Eco-Balance Conference in Japan
Sustainability Return on Investment: A Scenario-based Multicriteria Assessment Tool for Policy-Making (PDF)
Sustainability Return on Investment (S-ROI) originally developed as an industry MDCA tool, provides more transparency in how weights are defined and how they are applied. It allows for scenario development and associated probabilities. This methodology shows promise in its ability to assess the sustainability of policy from the perspective of the environment and groups affected by the decision.
The Environmental and Social impacts of Biofuels Production: Total Cost Assessment of Biomass Utilization Trials in Japan (PDF)
Pilot biofuels projects in Japan have allowed a better understanding of the actual land use, processing requirements, and economic impacts of biofuels. Through the use of Total Cost Assessment (TCA), this study looks at the costs and benefits of Japanese investments in biofuels production in order to determine whether the projects are sustainable. This study applies the methodology to two projects: one project focuses on fuel from waste bioproducts, such as animal manure, sludge, and food processing residues; the other focuses on fuel production from crops grown specifically for this purpose.
Clients: Maine Bioproducts, LLC
Packaging is in the spotlight of sustainability. To many, it is the low hanging fruit—it is typically immediately discarded upon purchase, having to be recycled or sent to landfill. Yet packaging fulfills a vital role, minimizing product damage and playing a key role in attracting and informing customers. To help packaging engineers navigate between product protection needs and sustainability, EarthShift Global partnered with Rafael Auras of the Michigan State School of Packaging (http://www.packaging.msu.edu/faculty/dr) to develop the Sustainability in Packaging course.
We also developed PackageSmart LCA Software to enable packaging engineers like Dan Robinette, formerly of the Robinette Company, to rapidly assess new and existing package designs. Customizable by application, the tool is simple to learn and optimizes the LCA experience. Our team of consultants has helped companies understand the impacts of their packaging and how it compares to the alternatives. EarthShift Global helped YFY assess its innovative npulp, a pulp packaging made from straw that would otherwise have been burned as waste.
We worked with GE Health Care to compare the impacts of reusable and disposable packages. Packaging has a number of social aspects, too. It can provide messaging to help the user reduce impact during the use of the product or to provide other social benefits. Or it can decompose on the roadside, reducing visual pollution. EarthShift Global can help you assess the options and how they affect your bottom line.
Clients: Mannington, Kohler, Owens Corning, Pella, Stanley, Black & Decker, Steelcase, CarbonCure
With high volumes, large supply chains, and complex tradeoffs between convenience, efficiency, and other market factors, the retail sector affords many opportunities for sustainability improvements. And because of the primary importance of brand and the consumer-store relationship, retail corporations have found strong value in implementing effective green strategies. EarthShift Global can work with retailers to develop LCA tools that will allow them to better understand the sustainability of their supply chains, packaging and distribution networks, and corporate infrastructure and operations.
Clients: Kum & Go
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and its members are working toward more a more sustainable supply chain. To support this effort, EarthShift Global has implemented the impact assessment method identified in the SAC Product Category Rule (PCR) for use with apparel Environmental Product Declarations [EPDs]. EarthShift Global works with apparel companies and their suppliers providing confidential yet meaningful data transfer and robust assessments.
The industry is visibly concerned about social impacts as well. The dialog encouraged by S-ROI helps companies identify where they are at risk, but encourages solutions that result in true positive change. The elimination of a supplier based on a simple metric such as the use of child labor has proven to have disastrous effects, resulting in children out on the street, hustling, in quarries, or trafficked. S-ROI by contrast encourages more constructive change, which improves the lives of stakeholders while improving profitability.
Clients: Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)
As they say, one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. Product end-of-life can be complicated to model, particularly when recycling or reuse is involved. Where does one life end and the other begin? The social aspects of landfill and incinerator location add another dimension to the sustainability of waste management. EarthShift Global has explored many ways of modeling end-of-life and provides clients with a comprehensive understanding of the different perspectives and questions that stakeholders may have:
- What if there is not enough demand for recycled material?
- What if there is too much demand for recycled material?
- What risks and opportunities are there to landfilling? Incineration?
- What can be done to educate the public and minimize the risks around these technologies?
- What is the benefit of a take-back program? Do the transportation impacts outweigh the benefits of reuse/recycling?
We’ve also looked in detail at the different end-of-life options including an in-depth study of the US landfill process that is in the most current release of http://earthshiftsustainability.com/services/software/datasmart-life-cycle-inventory/DataSmart, several pyrolysis studies, gasification, and enzymatic and chemical treatment of waste products to create fuels and other raw materials.
Our LCA Recycling course helps LCA practitioners understand the nuances of modeling recycling and how the model choice drives behavior. We have helped numerous organizations better understand waste management.
Clients: OTR/Green Carbon, SABIC, Flexible Packaging Association, BD