The EcoValuate alternatives analysis software builds upon the alternatives analysis framework set forth in California’s Safer Consumer Product Regulations, the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) Alternatives Assessment Guide, and other authoritative works. It is customizable and can also be used to conduct any other environmental, economic, and/or social impact assessment.
I. Demo Videos
An overview of the EcoValuate tool
Customize your projects with more advanced features
II. EcoValuate Guide
EcoValuate visually brings out information about alternatives that would otherwise be hidden in lengthy reports and spreadsheets. This guide will help you gain a solid understanding of how you can use the tool to evaluate alternatives. This is known as the alternatives assessment process. EcoValuate turns alternatives assessment into a five-step process.
- 1) Define Project
- 2) Define Alternatives
- 3) Evaluate Alternatives
- 4) Compare Alternatives
- 5) Summary Matrix
1) Define Project
You’ll begin your alternatives analysis by creating a project in My Projects. Name your project, set it’s priority, then define the scope of your project. This can be a product line, or any other topic for which you want to create an environmental, economic and or social impact assessment.
After you have added your new project, expand the project details on the right, and select the “Work on Project” button to begin your project.
2) Define Alternatives
You will be taken to a screen with two sample alternatives, which you should rename by selecting them in the top bar. Use a short name to appear in the navigation menu, and a description or longer name that you can use as a reference. Your first alternative should be the status quo.
Now you can define your alternatives based on their key characteristics. Use any of the default characteristics or create your own characteristics that distinguish your alternatives from one another. Once you create your first alternative, you can add others by selecting the plus icon on the top bar.
You can always come back to this section and refine it later by selecting the “Define” button in the left navigation menu. Select “Evaluate” after you have defined your alternatives.
3) Evaluate Alternatives
This is where you’ll evaluate your alternatives in a variety of categories based on relevant evaluation criteria. Our default evaluation categories and criteria have been gathered from guidance and best practices on greening consumer products and evaluating chemical substitutions. You can customize these categories and criteria to fit your own needs.
To evaluate an alternative for a given criteria, Select the question-mark icons and select a rating that best describes your alternative. You can include a concise explanation for each ranking in the adjacent text box.
Evaluate as many relevant criteria as needed for each alternative. You can archive the rest. Toggle between alternatives and categories on the top menu bar. When you are finished evaluating your alternatives, you can continue to the Compare section.
4) Compare Alternatives
Here you can compare how your alternatives perform in each evaluation category. We populated the software with default categories (such as their economics, hazards, or performance) but you can always create your own.
Toggling the tabs above will let you compare scores in other categories. When you are finished reviewing your alternatives across categories, you can move on to the Summary Matrix.
5) Summary Matrix
The Summary Matrix provides a bird’s eye view of your analysis. The default view is the average rating for each alternative and category. You can also see the lowest rating and highest rating by using the dropdown menu in the upper left.
At any time, you can go back to add or modify prior steps, fill in additional info, or take a closer look at your evaluations.
III. Our AA Default Framework
Users can add/modify/archive any of these categories and criteria as they see fit.
IV. Free AA Data & Resources Available Online
- OECD Alternatives Assessment Toolkit (compendium of tools and databases)
- The Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (clearinghouse of data sources)
- SASB Sustainable Accounting Standards (industry-specific metrics for sustainability)
- Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) Alternatives Assessment Guide
- California’s Safer Consumer Product Regulations (Separate Guidance Doc Forthcoming)
- National Academy of Sciences’ Framework to Guide Selection of Chemical Alternatives
Alternatives Assessment Guidance
- WA Children’s Safe Product Act Reported Data
- Non-Profit Watch Lists (e.g. Environmental Working Group Consumer Guides)
- Household Products Database of the National Library of Medicine
Chemicals of Concern in Common Products
- CA’s Safer Consumer Products Candidate Chemical Database
- TOXNET Hazardous Substances Databank
- Green Screen for Safer Chemicals Method
Hazards Databases & Tools
- NREL US Life Cycle Inventory Database
- EPA Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI)
- EPA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program Data
Materials/Life Cycle Analysis
- US EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) (safer chemical lists & data)
- EU Substitution Support Portal (SUBSPORT) (case studies and data)
- AskNature.org (database of biomimicry strategies and case studies)
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.