PLM and Sustainability

Summary & Goals

The goal of the PLM Green Global Alliance discussion forum and working group on the intersection of PLM and Sustainability, led by Jos Voskuil, is to promote activities that positively contribute to the seventeen United Nations Sustainability Development Goals. In particular, we will focus on those topics where PLM-enabling technologies have a role to make a difference; relevant for the SDGs 7-8-9-11 and 12.

The general subject of Sustainability is a very wide and diverse topic that is globally covered by many organizations. Our alliance will focus on the application and value of PLM-related strategies, technologies, software solutions and consulting services to contribute to a more Sustainable future. This is a subject matter that no other professional PLM organization have taken up as a priority, though more industrial users and solution providers are increasingly interested.

Theme Moderators

Jos Voskuil, PLM Coach and Consultant at

Ilan Madjar, Co-founder xLM Solutions

Focus & Objectives

The goals and challenges of Product Lifecycle Management and Sustainability share much in common and should be considered synergistic. Where in theory, PLM is the strategy to manage a product along its whole lifecycle, Sustainability is concerned not only with the product’s lifecycle but should also address sustainability of the users, industries, economies, environment and entire planet in which the products operate.

The most significant difference between PLM and Sustainability is in the traditional lifecycle of products. Manufacturers often do not take their products’ full lifecycle footprint and costs into account. Reducing products and processes that create waste and are a negative impact on the planet’s lifecycle have only recently become more important and are still not a priority in many industries.

Like modern PLM practices, Sustainability also requires systems thinking. Solving one of the 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) can positively or negatively influence the other Sustainability Development Goals. In the same manner, developing a product should also be performed through the lens of system thinking. The product lifecycle starts from choosing its solution concept (i.e., which materials and what environmental impact) through its manufacturing process, then usage and finally its recycling or repurposing. The goal is to avoid a landfill.

We passionately believe that implementing data-driven, end-to-end PLM practices can help organizations to understand, measure, and analyze the consequences of their product design, methods of production, and supply chain choices on the planet’s lifecycle. Investigating, documenting, and minimizing this impact with examples is a key objective of the PLM and Sustainability discussion group.

Specific topics we wish to discuss further in this forum include how PLM can be used to:

  • Make products and processes more efficient and green
  • Understand and measure the impact on the carbon footprint of design decisions and production processes, along with changes to them
  • Develop, distribute, and use new sources of renewable green energy
  • Design products and their lifecycles to be sustainable
  • Recycle, reuse, or repurpose assets, materials, and natural resources
  • Enhance the resiliency and Sustainability of infrastructures, communities and economies

We invite others to nominate additional topics important to their businesses and then help us to prioritize our efforts going forward.

Agenda & Activities

We will be pursuing our objectives by a plan selected from several elements which may include: topical focus groups, virtual roundtables, articles and blog posts, book reviews, recorded interviews, industry surveys, conference presentations, webinars, and cooperation with other organizations and alliances. This plan will be developed in collaboration with members using small discussion groups. Follow our progress or better yet join us by sending an email to

Announcements & Updates

Check back soon as we announce our activities in 2022, or register HERE to receive our news updates.

Invitation to Participate & Collaborate

To participate in our PLM and Sustainability group, we invite you to first join the PLM Green Global Alliance LinkedIn Group at then contact our moderator Jos Voskuil.

References & Resources

Here we have started creating a curated list of featured white papers, blog posts, presentations, case studies, webinars, and recorded interviews on the role of PLM-enabling technologies in addressing sustainability. We invite you to send us examples you have come across in your own work, company, industry, or

Sustaira Announces Beta Version of Enterprise Sustainability Application - (April, 2022) Just months after formalizing partnerships with Siemens Digital Industries Software and low-code application platform Mendix, Sustaira proudly announces the launch of the beta version of the Sustaira Sustainability and ESG Application Platform. Among the first customers of Sustaira are organizations of all sizes, in different regions, and within… 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.… Continue Reading
Dassault Systèmes Introduces Life Cycle Assessment Solution - VELIZY-VILLACOUBLAY, France — February 24, 2022 — Dassault Systèmes (Euronext Paris: FR0014003TT8, DSY.PA) today announced the launch of “Sustainable Innovation Intelligence,” its life cycle assessment solution that enables companies to minimize the environmental impacts of the products, materials and processes they create and help drive the circular economy. Fully embedded in… 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… Continue Reading
The Balancing Act of Sustainability from Digital Engineering - The January / February 2022 issue of Digital Engineering is a theme issue focused on the contributions of digital engineering technologies, like PLM and CAE, to addressing sustainability and climate change. In the article "The Balancing Act of Sustainability" the author Tom Kevan writes about the role of PLM in… 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… Continue Reading
Sustainable Product Configuration from Configit - This timely post from Configit explores the role of Configuration Lifecycle Management solutions in creating a more sustainable future where customers will have the product data necessary to make low-carbon choices. The authors write: "In a Configuration Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution, the software parameters are set as the customer makes selections… Continue Reading
Digital Twins Enable Sustainability from Addnode Group - The Addnode Group of European companies has keen focus on the use of PLM-enabling technologies, like Digital Twins, to address the challenge of sustainability. They reference numerous examples in a new report that explores the role of Digital Twins in sustainability. In the report, the authors write: "Digital Twins are… 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… Continue Reading
Designing for Sustainability with CAE Simulation from NAFEMS - This timely article in NAFEMS Benchmark, authored by MSC Software Vice President Keith Hanna, explores the role of CAE simulation in the conceptualization, design, prototyping, operational use, and recycling of greener products that contribute to a more sustainable economy and planet. Specific examples of the use of simulation referenced in… Continue Reading
Green and Digital Transformation - In the recent article "Green and Digital Transformation: PLM, ERP, Industry 4.0 toward Sustainable Innovation" PLM Green Global Alliance participant Lionel Grealou examines how enterprise platforms can contribute to sustainability goals. "Sustainability is on the agenda of every organization. Most OEMs and their supply chains have embraced the mantra… Continue Reading
Sustainable Aviation Requirements from ADSE - Aviation is reported to be responsible for up to 2% of all human-generated CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Reducing emissions from regional aircraft is especially important because they spend more of their flight time during short legs in less-efficient ascending power. As part of the EU's Horizon 2020 program, the… Continue Reading
An Approach to Sustainable Product Lifecycle Management (Green PLM) - The paper "An Approach to Sustainable Product Lifecycle Management (Green PLM)" is one of the earliest references to the concept of Green PLM. The paper was first presented at the 2015 Manufacturing Engineering Society International Conference (MESIC) and subsequently published in the journal Procedia Engineering. The authors C. Vila, J.V.… Continue Reading
Six Ways to Monitor Environmental Footprint from XLM Solutions - In this post the author and PLM Green Global Alliance contributor Ilan Madjar from XLM Solutions writes: "Today, the topic of climate change and environmental awareness is at the forefront of society’s thoughts and actions as well as affecting governmental policies. Every day there is growing awareness of the problems… Continue Reading
Digital Sustainability: The Path to Net Zero from Autodesk - The whitepaper "Digital Sustainability: The Path to Net Zero for Design & Manufacturing and Architectural Engineering & Construction Industries" explores the growing importance of sustainability goals for companies in AEC and MFG markets across Europe. Frost & Sullivan in partnership with Autodesk published this whitepaper with results of a quantitative… Continue Reading
Design for Sustainability from MSC - Hexagon MSC Software addresses the use of CAE software in the Design for Sustainability - "Manufacturing processes today span everything from aerospace to automotive, chemical processing to oil & gas, and electronics to shipbuilding. Yet, all these contribute to CO2 emissions and environmental pollution as well as intensive use of… Continue Reading
European Green Digital Coalition Launched - Members of the new European Green Digital Coalition (EGDC) are committing to establish science-based targets for reducing GHG by 2030 and to become climate neutral or net-zero no later than 2040. Announced by the European Commission: "The CEOs of 26 European companies have signed a Declaration to support the Green… Continue Reading
Virtual Twins and Sustainability - A report from Dassault Systemes and Accenture on the role of virtual twins in accelerating sustainability advocates the transformation of industry that will be needed to achieve sustainability goals by 2030 by developing new ways of managing products and services over their entire lifecycle using virtual digital twins. The paper examines… Continue Reading
PLM and Product Design for a Circular Economy from Infosys - In this whitepaper on "PLM and Product Design for a Circular Economy" from Infosys the authors write: "In order to achieve the building blocks of a circular economy, there are two broad initiatives that equipment suppliers should adopt for product development in its evolution to match industry needs. Product Lifecycle… Continue Reading
Cummins Planet 2050 - This Digital Engineering article describes the Cummins PLANET 2050 sustainability initiative to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 while reducing consumption of natural resources. Continue Reading
Responsible Value Chains Help Reach Sustainability - Responsible Value Chains Help Reach Sustainability - "This CIMdata commentary highlights the global need for drastic improvements in sustainability. Accenture, a leading global system integrator, has expansive goals for their own sustainability efforts and is transforming its Industry X practice to help their customers make equally impressive gains." Learn more… Continue Reading
Are virtual twins key to achieving world’s sustainability goals? - "Disruptive innovations are needed to deliver the UN Sustainability Goals by 2030. Virtual twin technology could enable the radical action needed by stakeholders. Pioneering study highlights potential for this technology to help address climate crisis." Learn more in this World Economic Forum article from the Davos Agenda. Continue Reading
PLM for Sustainable Manufacturing - PLM and Sustainable Manufacturing - PLM Green Alliance theme moderator Lionel Grealou introduces the connection between PLM and Sustainable Manufacturing in his recent blog post. Continue Reading
PLM and Global Warming - In this blog post about PLM and Global Warming, Jos Voskuil writes "Climate change has always been there if we look at the history of our planet. We started to talk about Global Warming when scientist indicated that this time the climate change is caused by human intervention. As a… Continue Reading
How Can PLM Make Sustainable Fashion Attainable from WhichPLM - In this blog post on "How Can PLM Make Sustainable Fashion Attainable" from WhichPLM the authors write "Long-term sustainability can create a stable environment for the employees and the business itself while preserving the planet and causing the least damage possible...This is where PLM comes into play." Read more HERE. Continue Reading
Sustainable Development Goals - The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) provide a number of objectives that address climate change which also indicate where the application of PLM-enabling technologies may be most valuable. Continue Reading
You Can Save The Planet - This whitepaper “You Can Save The Planet With Design and Engineering Simulation” is from Keith Hanna, Vice President of Marketing at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, who writes "Manufacturing processes today span everything from aerospace to automotive, energy generation to oil & gas, and electronics to shipbuilding. Yet, all these contribute to… Continue Reading