It is a Web-based sustainability assessment tool. Its Web-based feature enables all the data used are stored in the server, so that the user can access his/her data all over the world through the Internet and an USB or mobile storage device are not necessary.
Before the evaluation starts, the designer must input material and part’s manufacturing process, use, end of life, and transportation consumption. The progress is similar to that of CES. All the data is based on the database stored in the server and cannot be changed by customers. The results of Sustainable Minds are presented using Okala point which is one single score representing ecological impact of the product. The Okala life-cycle assessment methodology 2007, which is originally proposed in Okala ecological design guide, has been updated to SM 2013 Impact Assessment Methodology, which is a life cycle assessment methodology for evaluating potential ecological and human health impacts from products used in North America. SM 2013 calculates the ecological impacts from the ten impact categories outlined by Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI) (TRACI, 2007). It is designed for the user who is not a LCIA specialist, and the Okala points are presented in the way easy to understand.
Nevertheless, the results may be not detailed enough for further in-depth analysis and the database cannot be modified. The data cannot be assessed if there is not an Internet connection. The Web-based features may make it run slowly in some cases and Internet access is required. Figure 3 shows an example of the user interface of data input and results in Okala points of Sustainable Minds.