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1. Uniting Product Development and Sustainability: Green Product Development

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Uniting Product Development and Sustainability
New Practices for Driving Green Innovation 


Sue Burek, Manager, Research and Partnerships, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, Ingersoll Rand Corporation

Phil Metz, Senior Research Partner, Product Sustainability and Innovation, AltaTerra Research

Don Bray, President, AltaTerra Research


Sustainability has become a priority for most large organizations, and related mandates from customers have become increasingly common. But how can companies go about profitably improving the environmental and social impacts of their product and service portfolios? And what role do sustainable products and services play in the bigger picture of sustainability across the enterprise?

For established companies, these are challenging questions - especially those with broad product offerings, and complex or resource-intensive supply chains. Fortunately, new practices incorporating sustainability into the product innovation process are emerging – enabling companies to move beyond compliance to cost reduction, competitive advantage, increased profitability, and even new market opportunities.

Presenting in this independent online conference are Sue Burek, Manager of Research and Partnerships at Ingersoll Rand’s Center for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability (CEES), and Phil Metz, Senior Research Partner with AltaTerra Research, focused on Product Sustainability and Innovation. They will discuss how sustainable innovation is being systematically envisioned, organized and implemented in practice to deliver new/improved products and services.

Sue will draw from her experiences at Ingersoll Rand, a $14 billion manufacturer of diversified products serving customers in global commercial, industrial and residential markets. In April of 2010 Ingersoll Rand established its Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, bringing together a global group of experts dedicated to integrating best practices for the long-term use of energy and other resources. Recent product announcements, such as Trane’s EarthWiseTM Systems and ThermoKing’s Cryogenic powered cooling and heating units, have leveraged new concepts and approaches advanced by the Center.

Sue will zero in on the product innovation process at Ingersoll Rand, and how it is employed to move beyond compliance to make sustainability a competitive advantage. Starting from a customer vantage point, she will outline how Ingersoll Rand has embedded sustainability into its design processes to identify opportunities for differentiation:

  • The process and customer-centric criteria used to define "green”
  • Operationalizing the portfolio criteria through the New Product Development (NPD) process
  • Driving the NPD process to product-level sustainability assessments and decisions
  • Market rollout and the "Sustainability Readiness Checklist”
  • The ‘Customer Connection’: meeting customer needs and exploiting untapped opportunities

Phil will introduce sustainable product innovation and its ingredients – sustainable product strategy and rapid product development – and describe the objectives, elements and implementation of each process.

In this online conference, the following questions will be addressed:

  • What is the value of sustainable product / service innovation and how do we achieve it?
  • How can sustainable product / service innovation be transformed from a compliance chore to a source of competitive advantage and profit?
  • What are the specific processes and approaches for envisioning and implementing sustainable product / service innovation?
  • What are the critical first steps? And what are advanced practices?
  • What are the tools for measuring achievement and impacts on customers and across the enterprise?

The briefing will be introduced and moderated by Don Bray, president of AltaTerra Research. Don will provide a brief overview of sustainability and its impacts across the enterprise, and the increasingly important role sustainability is playing in products and markets.

Time will be reserved at the end of the session for questions and moderated discussion.

Who Should Attend 

Professionals in:
  • Corporate Sustainability
  • Product / Service Development
  • Product Design / Certification and Environmental Live Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • Product Stewardship
  • Environmental Product and Marketing Standards
  • Marketing and Customer / Market Engagement
  • Sustainable Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management
  • Sustainable Packaging and Distribution

      Reference Materials

      After purchasing, you will receive on-demand access to an event recording.

      About the Presenters

      Sue Burek brings 20+ years of in-depth experience in product development and commercialization. At Ingersoll Rand’s Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, Sue is responsible for identifying, developing, assessing, negotiating and managing the open innovation process and external alliances with CEES partners, as well as incorporating sustainability as part of the innovation processes throughout Ingersoll Rand. She also currently serves as Southern Region Director of the Product Development and Management Association, and leads a PDMA special interest group focused on sustainable product development. Prior to Ingersoll Rand, she held product commercialization and compliance-related roles at Kodak’s Consumer Digital Imaging group, and at Clariant Corporation. Sue earned her BS Chemistry and MS Product Development from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

      At AltaTerra, Phil Metz helps guide the Sustainable Innovation practice, providing thought leadership and contributing to the development and delivery of AltaTerra events, reports and consulting in sustainable innovation. Phil is also founder and Top Dog at Singing Dog LLC, an independent consultancy focused on sustainable product development and business model innovation. Previously, Phil was Director of Business Development and Sales for SolFocus, a leader in the Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) industry. In this role Dr. Metz established strategic partnerships and drove sales with selected industrial and utility-scale solar developers. Before joining SolFocus he was Vice President, Market Planning and Sales Support, and subsequently Vice President Self-Service Automation at Solectron, a $12B+ electrons manufacturing services leader. Dr. Metz’ background includes 12 years of consulting in innovation management, energy, strategy, and marketing, 10 years of renewable energy R&D, and a PhD in physics from Rutgers University.

      Don Bray is cofounder and president of AltaTerra Research. He has led a broad range of market research and consulting engagements in corporate sustainability, green IT, carbon management, and renewable energy systems. He is a frequent author, speaker, and discussion moderator on emerging solutions for energy efficiency and corporate sustainability. Prior to AltaTerra, Don served as a managing partner for Accenture. He continues to be actively involved in energy and environment related initiatives with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Don earned a master’s degree in engineering management from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California at Davis.



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      About AltaTerra Research Briefings

      AltaTerra Research Briefings are designed to provide independent professional education on critical market developments in efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable business. Recognized experts from the business community, institutions, and government share information and insights in an accessible conference session format that is interactive and non-sponsored (unless otherwise specified). Briefings typically begin with an overview, then move into greater detail, and close with a moderated audience question-and-answer (Q&A) period. After the live briefing, on-demand access to the recording, including audio and presentations, is provided to registrants and available for sale.

      About AltaTerra Research

      AltaTerra Research is an independent market research and education firm focused on high-value solutions for resource efficiency, clean energy, and sustainable business. We help forward-looking organizations leverage the latest marketplace developments, to achieve real operational savings and capitalize on new growth opportunities. More information is available at

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