Underwriters Laboratories have introduced a search engine called Prospector, which allows companies to look up materials they can use for product development, and helps them identify which ones are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
via Triple Pundit:
UL’s search engine Prospector allows engineers and designers to look up materials they might want to use to create new products or reformulate existing ones – like developing a shampoo that rinses faster or a toothpaste that also whitens teeth. But, in addition to searching for ingredients that change the abilities or characteristics of a product, engineers can also identify materials that are more sustainable – ingredients that are free of certain chemicals, have received an environmental certification or comply with environmental regulations.
“Our grand vision [with Prospector] is to help people make healthier, safer products,” said Mathieu Guerville, director of strategy and business development at UL Information & Insights.
The Prospector database is especially suited for chemical-containing products at this time, he said, including personal care products, household and industrial cleaners, lubricants, and sealing and binding agents. But in the future, Guerville said that the company will be adding a platform for conflict materials and a search engine for materials used to make electronics and appliances.
The second component of UL’s tool set is PurView, a new cloud-based software that allows manufacturers and retailers to choose products based on sustainability criteria that is important to their company – if the product was tested on animals, if it contains a certain chemical or if it was made with fair labor practices, for example. PurView works for businesses much in the way the GoodGuide works for consumers – and that’s because the data platform is powered by the guide.