The Sustain® Story

Article Post Date: 2012

The Journey of a Breakthrough Product

Guided by the environmental stewardship embedded in PMI’s corporate strategy, an internal PMI task force was formed to create a breakthrough product that would enable consumers to reduce their environmental footprint. Starting as a system concept, the cup known today as Sustain® was launched in 2012.

PMI performed an internal Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the Sustain® 16 oz. cup with the support of Quantis software. The LCA found that, after 30 uses, the Sustain® cup has 50% less environmental impact than 30 equivalent single-use paper cups.

The graph below shows the environmental impact of a Sustain® 16 oz. cup relative to a single use 16 oz. paper cup. Carbon footprint, human health, ecosystem quality, resources, and water use are all measured across each product’s lifecycle, from cradle-to-grave. Results show that the more times a Sustain® cup is used, the impact, relative to a paper cup, decreases. The environmental break-even point occurs at around 10 uses of the Sustain® 16 oz. cup, enabling consumers to easily and significantly reduce their impact.