What products and services does Sustainable Performance Solutions offer?
SPS offers both off-the-shelf products, like Sole Revolution, a synthetic turf infill, as well as customized solutions based on your unique needs.
Our focus at SPS falls into two highly aligned categories:
- Sole Revolution’s development and distribution of environmentally preferred materials for sport surfaces and similar recycled materials for non-sport applications (such as specifically tailored infill for roofing or flooring).
- Customized and scalable product stewardship solutions that address your needs to manage the entire product lifecycle through recovery and recycling of your material and finished goods waste streams.
What is sustainability?
Not everyone agrees on what “sustainability” means, but the core idea has been around for awhile. Cultures and people long before us have known that they needed to take into account impacts of today’s actions (or inaction) on tomorrow. At the end of the day, we believe a good working definition is: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Report of the Brundtland Commission, “Our Common Future,” 1987)
We also believe that to be truly sustainable, we must consider and satisfy the needs of people, planet and profit – also known as the “triple bottom line.” This means that every step of the way has to make sense – for your budget and business as well as for the earth and end users.
That’s why we believe markets are the most effective and efficient way of creating a sustainable pathway, finding fair and feasible solutions at the micro level while exploring and vetting solutions at the macro level as well. While we acknowledge and support wholeheartedly the role governments can play at setting and enforcing the rules, we believe that consumer choice and competition for those consumers is what will drive the sustainable progress we need – and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this movement.
What is product stewardship?
The EPA defines product stewardship as “a product-centered approach to environmental protection”. Also known as extended product responsibility (EPR), it calls on those in the product lifecycle – designers, manufacturers, retailers, users, and end-of-life managers – to share responsibility for reducing the environmental impacts of products.
Stakeholders in product stewardship include everyone involved in making, selling, using and recycling products. All can play a part in creating more sustainable industries and products. Impactful solutions can arise from improvement in product design to reduction in myriad manufacturing, distribution, sales and use footprints.
The value chain has been the primary framework for business decision-making. However, it is limited to the product lifecycle from design through sale and initial use. What the value chain ignores is what happens after initial use. To fully understand product stewardship the entire lifecycle must be considered. Decisions made along the value chain establish requirements for product stewardship, but actions following product usage are what truly define the product stewardship concept.
The full costs of manufacturing and commerce should include the costs across the entire product lifecycle, but typically they do not. As a result, attention is not paid to post-usage lifecycle phases; when it is, the costs have not been addressed. This oversight has allowed industry to bypass responsibility for product recovery and recycling.
Without product recovery and material recycling, the product lifecycle is not being managed. When the full product lifecycle is managed, a new “circular economy” can be realized, whereby the value chain extends across the entire lifecycle. This circular economy extends value creation opportunities beyond the first steps of the product lifecycle.
For product stewardship to become systemic across an industry, therefore, the entire lifecycle needs to be considered.
How do I know if my company needs a new or improved product stewardship program?
Most products can benefit from product stewardship – not just those with regulated, controlled disposal such as batteries, medical waste and CFLs. Here are just a few of the reasons you might need to consider how you’re managing your products’ lifecycle:
- If the only existing end-of-life option for your products is landfill or incineration, you are simply putting them “into the ground or into the air.” This approach literally hides the issue instead of moving your company and industry to more sustainable production and consumption. It can also raise questions in the minds of consumers and policy makers as to your firm’s motivations and priorities.
- If you want to address the lifecycle of your products through a product stewardship program but don’t know how. You’d like to position your company as a leader in sustainability and feel you are at a competitive disadvantage, as your peers implement zero waste manufacturing, product take-back programs, and environmentally preferred materials sourcing.
- You have “dipped a toe” into product stewardship, but creating a product takeback program for your own products is not cost effective, and recycling your products is proving to be difficult. You have found you can donate defective products to reuse programs, but are still uncomfortable about flooding the market with poor representations of your product or seek to eliminate IP creep as your products get sold through unapproved channels .
Why haven’t I heard of SPS?
In spite of our low profile, we have demonstrated our capabilities by supporting the needs of some of the worlds biggest companies and sustainability leaders.
- We have successfully developed relationships with some of the most recognized worldwide athletic footwear brands through our development of Sole Revolution.
- We have proven capabilities in meeting the highest standards of partner performance and integrity.
- We can bring learning, expertise and experience from other product stewardship and recycling initiatives to your programs, delivering tangible benefits and business results.
How does SPS develop new products?
We’re always developing creative ideas for:
- New applications for existing material streams.
- New material streams that do not have a recycling channel.
- New processes and technologies that will increase the volume, proximity, purity and/or value of the different materials we recover.
What is LEED® Certification?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) was developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED® Certification represents an independent verification, based on an internationally recognized and rigorous system, that a builder is using best practices as they relate to water and energy efficiency, CO2 emissions and resource stewardship.
LEED® expertise and certification is increasingly important for builders, architects, designers and others that seek to demonstrate commitment to the environment.
How can SPS help me attain LEED® certification?
Our emphasis on materials science and benign chemical compositions makes for a natural fit with LEED® objectives. For example, because our product Sole Revolution is made from 100-percent recycled content, and has the characteristics of consumer-grade rubber, it is highly preferred as an environmentally sensitive alternative to partially recycled materials – especially if these materials contain pthalates or heavy metals. Sole Revolution is designed to contribute toward LEED® points in multiple categories, and ultimately can help you earn LEED® certification.
Have something in mind? Contact us.