Climate Change News Digest April 2022

The latest Climate Change News Digest for April 2022, prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance, summarizes in one place the most important monthly news from around the world about the changing climate and progress in decarbonizing the global economy. Our good news question of the month: what petroleum organization agreed that a price or tax on carbon was a good idea? Read on to find out and learn what you might have missed during a month with a lot of news, much of it good.

👍 In excellent news, for the first time ever wind and solar energy was reported to have generated more than 10% of total global electricity in 2021. Over 50 countries now get more than 10% of their electricity from solar and wind sources, which grew 23% and 14% respectively last year. Unfortunately, power from burning coal also rose last year by an alarming 9%. Continue reading

Discussing Sustainability with Autodesk

The PLM Green Global Alliance recently hosted its second panel discussion exploring sustainability topics with PLM-enabling technology and solution software providers. These forums expand upon our recent article on the Intersection of PLM and Sustainability by examining the progress in sustainability being made by solution providers, their partners, and customers.

This time, PLM Green co-founders Jos Voskuil and Klaus Brettschneider spoke with representatives from Autodesk, a well known leader of software solutions for the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Manufacturing industries. Their interview was with Zoé Bezpalko, Autodesk’s Sustainability Strategy Manager for Design & Manufacturing Industries, and Jon den Hartog, Product Manager for Autodesk’s PDM and PLM solutions.

Continue reading

Climate Change News Digest March 2022

The latest Climate Change News Digest for March 2022, prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance, summarizes recent news about the changing climate and efforts to decarbonize the global economy. While GHG emissions and climate trends remain alarming, as evidenced in the latest IPCC assessment, there is encouraging progress being made in green technologies, public awareness, and most importantly the political will to act. Our good news question of the month: what political body agreed to impose cross-border carbon tariffs on trade? Read on to find out.

In the latest report from the UN, the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) warns that humanity has a brief and rapidly closing window to avoid an unbearably hotter and deadlier climate. The planet will face increasing floods, heat waves, droughts, rising sea levels, storms, melting glaciers and permafrost, wildfires, loss of biodiversity, population migrations, tropical illnesses, water conflicts, hunger, and human suffering. Huge portions of the globe may eventually become inhabitable. The good news is that we still have time to arrest the most catastrophic consequences if we move faster in transforming to a low-carbon economy.

Continue reading

Discussing Sustainability with PLM Solution Provider SAP

The PLM Green Global Alliance recently hosted its first in a series of panel discussions and interviews that will explore sustainability topics with enterprise PLM solution providers. These forums will extend our recent article on the Intersection of PLM and Sustainability where we next hope to learn about examples of progress in sustainability being made by solution providers, their partners and customers.

Our inaugural interview was with Darren West, Product Manager Lead for SAP’s Circular Economy Solutions, who is based in the United Kingdom. We were excited to speak with SAP after reading their numerous recent announcements about the importance of sustainability and hear how they “walk the talk.”

Continue reading

The Intersection of PLM and Sustainability


First, A Few Misconceptions about PLM and Sustainability

After writing my recent post The Road to Model-Based and Connected PLM, the topic that emerged to interest me the most is the contribution that “Real Product Lifecycle Management” can have to global sustainability. But first, allow me to address two widely held misconceptions about PLM and Sustainability.

For myself, as well as most PLM consultants and market analysts, real PLM is a business strategy that envelops the whole product lifecycle through requirements, ideation, development, manufacturing, logistics, quality, usage, service, and even decommissioning. So I use the term “real PLM”, to refute the common misconception that PLM is an engineering technology, software product, or enterprise IT system.

Continue reading

Climate Change News Digest January 2022

The latest Climate Change News Digest for January 2022, prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance, summarizes recent news about the changing climate, including preliminary data from calendar year 2021. While many of the atmospheric climate trends are still negative, it does not diminish the recent progress in business, social, and political trends where the imperative to address sustainability, climate change, and decarbonization continue to gain momentum. I find much hope in this, as well as recently reading Jane Goodall’s new book “The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times” written with Douglas Abrams.

Cover Image Courtesy of Celadon Books at https://celadonbooks.com

The UK-based Climate Brief organization and website issued their climate data for 2021. It confirmed another year of record ocean heat content, rising surface temperatures, extreme weather events, sea level rise, declining sea ice, and rising levels of CO2 and methane in the atmosphere.

Continue reading

Speed & Scale Climate Action Plan – Book Discussion

The PLM Green Global Alliance invites current and future followers to participate in a review and discussion of the new book from esteemed venture capitalist John Doerr, “Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now.” Learn more about this very timely book and what others have to say about it at https://speedandscale.com/.

In the book’s opening pages the author warns that the world is not doing nearly enough to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. He is not hesitant to say it is indeed time to panic if that’s what it takes to speed up investments in innovative technologies that can scale to help decarbonize the global economy of over 50 gigatons of emissions each year.

Continue reading

Climate Change News Digest November 2021

The latest Climate Change News Digest, prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance, summarizes considerable good news from the UN COP26 conference on the growing urgency of world leaders and business leader to move faster to decarbonize the global economy. The  good news question of the month: how many countries have now joined the global pledge to reduce methane emissions? Read on to find out.

👍 As part of COP26 UN Climate Summit, more than three dozen countries announced they would phase out the use of coal for power generation. Nearly two dozen nations added their names with new pledges. Unfortunately, the largest coal users and exporters, China, US, and Australia, were not part of the agreement. Scientists warn that to limit global warming, industrialized countries would need to replace nearly all of their coal, oil, and natural gas power plants with renewables by 2035.

Continue reading

Achieving Sustainable Manufacturing Through PLM and CLM

Sustainability in manufacturing is a hot topic. Customers, shareholders and regulatory agencies are increasingly demanding manufacturing companies provide sustainable, carbon-neutral options for the products they design, manufacture, sell, and service.

For many of these companies, most of the tools they need to do this are already available in their enterprise tech stack. These solutions include PLM and CLM. But how and where should they begin?

Continue reading

Climate Change News Digest for October 2021

The latest Climate Change News Digest prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance summarizes a significant number of news items from October 2021 on the climate crisis and the growing movement to decarbonize the global economy. The good news question of the month: which country announced its intent that all electricity generation will be fossil fuel free by 2035?  Read on to find out.

👍 A global trio of climate research scientists have won the Nobel Prize in Physics this year. The most notable is Dr. Syukuro Manabe who as far back as 1967 developed a model of the link between CO2 in the atmosphere and warming. Yes, we have now had over 50 years of warning from scientists that we failed to take seriously.

Continue reading

The Role of PLM in Tracking Carbon Footprint

In Part 1 of this series of posts from the PLM Green Global Alliance on the Role of PLM in Slowing Climate Change we identified four primary opportunities to employ Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) in reducing, mitigating, or adapting to climate change from human-generated Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, most importantly CO2. These four areas for using PLM strategies and solutions are in: developing Green Products, generating Green Energy, reducing Carbon Footprints, and adapting to Climate Change.

In this new Part 2 we will begin to examine one of those in more detail; the use of PLM-enabling technologies to collect, calculate, track, report, and most importantly reduce the carbon footprint of products and processes. This capability then enables a full and accurate accounting for the carbon footprint of individual companies, entire industries, and national economies that supply, produce or consume these products or services. It may very well prove to be the most important contribution of PLM by helping to lower emissions and slow climate change for the benefit of future generations to come.

Continue reading

Climate Change News Digest September 2021

This month’s Climate Change News Digest prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance summarizes the latest news not just about the changing climate but the growing momentum to decarbonize the global economy. Our good news question of the month: how many international companies have now joined The Carbon Pledge to reduce their GHG emissions to net-zero by 2040? Read on to find out.

The emissions of another powerful greenhouse gas, methane, is getting more visibility from space. Interactive maps made from satellite images clearly show where most of the methane emissions are coming from, especially in Asia and China. The composition of methane in the atmosphere is rising rapidly, but unlike CO2 emissions, its sources have historically been more difficult to identify.

👍 The Biden Administration continues to raise the importance of combating climate change with the announcement of a new pledge to reduce methane gases. In cooperation with the EU the US will work to lower methane emissions by 30% by the end of this decade.

Continue reading

Climate Change News Digest August 2021

The month’s Climate Change News Digest prepared for busy followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance summarizes the latest news from the end of summer while many of us were out on vacation. It was not a good month for the planet due to the record heat, droughts, and wildfires along with other new research findings. Yet, there was hopeful progress as more nations, communities, NGOs, and industries around the world agree that climate change is happening now and must be dealt with a greater sense of urgency. Our good news question of the month: what country reported that in 2020 it produced more energy from all types of renewable sources than from coal? Bonus question: what is the difference between green hydrogen and blue hydrogen? Read on to find out.

Continue reading

Climate Change News Digest July 2021

Climate Change Digest good news question of the month: Along what country’s coast is the world’s largest tidal energy turbine being installed? Read on to find the answer in the latest Climate Change News Digest prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance.

The previous month of June 2021 had now been deemed to be the hottest June on record for the United States. Numerous all-time records for any month and date were set at several locations. Temperatures were an astonishing 4.2 degrees F above their 20th century average.

The extreme temperatures in the Pacific Northwest of the US last month were so far off the charts that scientists suggested global warming may be triggering non-linear climate responses. An estimated 800 people died as a result of the heat that reached as high as 121 degrees F in Lytton, Canada.

Continue reading

The Role of PLM in Slowing Climate Change – Part 1

This new series of posts by Klaus Brettschneider and Richard McFall, contributing members of the PLM Green Global Alliance (PGGA), will explore how Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) can be used to slow climate change by reducing human-generated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide and methane are the two most damaging GHG which are commonly reported on as CO2 equivalents, or CO2e, and are measured in billions of tons or gigatons. Carbon continues to build in the atmosphere due to human activities on the ground where it has now surpassed 410 ppm, nearly double that prior to the start of the industrial age. Since CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, a consensus is urgently building among climate scientists, elected officials, and NGOs like the International Energy Agency that the global economy must attain net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. This starts with a very challenging reduction of 50% by 2030, less than ten years away.

Image credit of NOAA at https://research.noaa.gov/

We begin our series by outlining the different roles and use cases that PLM can have in minimizing the carbon footprint – or “decarbonizing” – products, businesses, industries, and even entire economies. But first a brief level set on what PLM is and is not.

Continue reading

Climate Change News Digest June 2021

Climate Change Digest good news question of the month: What European country announced a technology breakthrough in producing reduced-carbon iron? Read on to find the answer in this month’s Climate Change News Digest prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance.

NOAA reported that in May the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded the highest levels of CO2 in the atmosphere at 419 parts per million.  CO2 levels have now surpassed a staggering 50% higher level than in pre-industrial times. The drop in emissions last year due to the pandemic and a near worldwide shutdown of travel and industry was short lived having fallen only about 6%. It is sober testimony to how difficult it will be to slow GHG emissions with a growing population and roaring economy based on the ethos of perpetual consumption and growth.  Humans put about 50 billion metric tons of CO2 into the air each year that will last in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. There is little time left to meet 2030 GHG emission goals, and now may be the time to panic if that is what it takes to incite action.

Continue reading

Climate Change News Digest May 2021

Climate change good news question of the month: What country’s federal court was the latest to rule that their government has a responsibility to protect young people from harm and injury due to the climate crisis? Read on to find the answer in this month’s Climate Change News Digest prepared for followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance.

New studies have shown the urgency of drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) starting now and limiting temperature increases to avoid massive melting of ice on land and sea. Over the coming years scientists predict that the melting of land-based ice, like that in Antarctica and Greenland, will be responsible for about half of the predicted rise in sea-level. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that sea level rise by 2100 will be from 1 to 3 feet. Other scientists worry that an irreversible tipping point, like “ice cliff instability”, could be reached that accelerates Antarctica melting, resulting in rapid sea level rise of dozens if not hundreds of feet.

Continue reading

Sustainable Innovation for a Sustainable World

Sustainable innovation is at the forefront of many business strategies today as environmental concerns rise globally and calls for saving our planet with reduced use of resources grow day by day. Sustainable product innovation and development is no longer an option but a necessity for creating a more sustainable world built upon a circular economy. The drive to sustainability, and subsequent investments to decarbonize the global economy, may prove to be the largest business opportunity that entire industries, individual companies, and PLM professionals will ever experience.

Continue reading

Solutions to Avoid a Climate Disaster – Part 1

International members of the PLM Green Global Alliance (PGGA) met recently to discuss the timely new book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need.” The panel discussion was moderated by PGGA co-founder Jos Voskuil with participants Klaus Brettschneider, Lionel Grealou, Patrick Hillberg, Ilan Madjar, and Richard McFall.

That author Bill Gates, who admits upfront in the book that he is an imperfect messenger, wrote what many of us often think about the climate crisis:

“It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of a problem as big as climate change. But you’re not powerless. And you don’t have to be a politician or a philanthropist to make a difference. You have influence as a citizen, a consumer, and an employee or employer.”

Continue reading

Climate Change News Digest April 2021

The latest Climate Change News Digest offers PLM Green Global Alliance followers a compendium of news and research about climate change from around the world during April 2021. With the recent virtual Climate Summit a remarkable sense of urgency continues to build from world leaders, businesses, industry associations, financial institutions, and NGOs that this is the decade we must reverse GHG emissions.  The PLM Green Alliance is excited to be a small part of this big transition to decarbonize industries through the use of PLM-enabling strategies and digital transformation technologies that our profession has pioneered.

At the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, CO2 levels have for the first time exceeded 420 parts per million. When carbon was first measured in the atmosphere in the 1950s it was 100 ppm lower, at 315. It is now higher than any time in the last 800,000 years based on glacial ice core samples. The world is now more than halfway to a doubling of carbon by the year 2060. Climate scientists warn at this rate the resulting temperature changes would be 4-8 degrees Fahrenheit higher, which could be double that agreed to in the Paris Climate Accords.

Continue reading