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 and Mark Reisig, 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, Consultant, and Blogger at

Mark Reisig, Sustainability and Green Energy Practice Director and Executive Consultant for  CIMdata at

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 for 2024, 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

The Sustainability Thread - The topic of sustainability was high on the agenda of the SAP Product Lifecycle Management Info Days event held this past September in Hershey, PA, just west of SAP America’s HQ outside of Philadelphia. Most SAP customer presentations at the annual event referenced the growing need to provide product data… Continue Reading
Circular Economy of Large Complex Systems from CIMPA - In this article from Patrice Quencez, Director Consultant of CIMPA PLM Services and PLM Green Circular Economy (CE) contributor, discusses the deployment, completion, and reinforcement of PLM capabilities to meet sustainability stakes of complex systems with long lifecycles, such as those found in aviation and aerospace. Patrice writes: "Even if… Continue Reading
PLM and Sustainability Book Preview - From PLM Green Global Alliance's (PGGA) European co-founder Jos Voskuil. During May and June of this year I wrote a guest chapter for John Stark's book Product Lifecycle Management (Volume 2): The Devil is in the Details. The book is considered a standard in academic and professional circles when studying all… Continue Reading
PLM Tools to Design for Sustainability - This month we are pleased to feature a guest blog submitted by PLM Green Global Alliance follower Roger L. Franz. who shares a few things he has learned as a Principal in Engineering Information Technology when beginning to explore the state of PLM tools to Design for Sustainability. Design for… Continue Reading
PLM Green Reports on PTC LiveWorx 2023 - This post was written and first published in May 2023 by PLM Green co-founder Jos Voskuil in his European Virtual Dutchman blog about PLM. Last week I enjoyed visiting LiveWorx 2023 on behalf of the PLM Global Green Alliance. PTC had invited us to understand their sustainability ambitions and meet… Continue Reading
Discussing PLM and Sustainability with CIMdata - Last year the PLM Green Global Alliance was excited to speak with PLM solution providers SAP, Autodesk, Dassault Systems, Sustaira, Aras, and PTC to learn about them and their customers' contributions to sustainability. This year we were equally enthused to meet with CIMdata’s Mark Reisig in a wide-ranging conversation about… Continue Reading
Discussing Sustainability with PTC - The following post was first written by PLM Green co-founder Jos Voskuil where it  appeared in his European PLM Weblog in December 2022. We are excited to close the year with the first round of the PLM Global Green Alliance (PGGA) series of interviews and panel discussions about PLM and… Continue Reading
PLM and Sustainability December 2022 - Welcome to the latest edition of PLM & Sustainability, a news digest from the PLM Green Global Alliance exploring the role of Product Lifecycle Management business strategies and enabling technologies in transitioning to a sustainable, low-carbon, circular economy. In this issue you will find: Looking Back at the Year 2022 PLM Green… Continue Reading
PLM & Sustainability Oct. 2022 - Welcome to the latest edition of PLM & Sustainability, a news digest from the PLM Green Global Alliance chronicling the role of Product Lifecycle Management enabling technologies in helping companies and industries transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon circular economy. In this newsletter you will find a compilation of recent… Continue Reading
Discussing Sustainability with Aras - The PLM Green Global Alliance recently hosted its fifth panel discussion with solution providers to explore how PLM-enabling technologies can support the drive to sustainability. These interviews expand upon a series of earlier articles, available on the PLM Green website and in the PLM Green LinkedIn Group, that examine the… Continue Reading
Discussing Sustainability with Sustaira - The PLM Green Global Alliance recently hosted its fourth interview and panel discussion exploring how PLM-enabling technologies support the sustainability imperative. These interviews expand upon our earlier articles on the Intersection of PLM and Sustainability by examining the progress towards sustainability being made by solution providers, their consulting partners and… Continue Reading
PLM & Sustainability August 2022 - Experienced Product Lifecycle Management professionals, consultants, and solution providers all know that the biggest obstacle to implementing a PLM strategy is not in technology or software, but in business organizational cultures that resist critical self-examination and change, despite being confronted by inconvenient facts which threaten their performance or even survival.… Continue Reading
News on the Intersection of PLM and Sustainability June 2022 - Welcome to the first edition of a monthly news digest from the PLM Green Global Alliance exploring the role of Product Lifecycle Management technologies in transitioning to a low-carbon sustainable circular economy. Our goal is to foster a global network that shares information between professionals who use, develop, research, market,… Continue Reading
Siemens Engineer Innovation for a Sustainable World - (May, 2022) PLM solution provider Siemens Digital Industries Software announces a new edition of Engineer Innovation focused exclusively on sustainability with the publication of "Engineer Innovation for a Sustainable World." The authors write: "Our civilization is quite literally built on oil, coal, and gas. Since the Industrial Revolution humans have… Continue Reading
Sustainability Focused PLM From DeSL - In this new white paper on the role of PLM in creating a more sustainable retail and apparel industry, the digital transformation Fashion PLM experts at DeSL write that sustainability is no loner an option because: "The bitter truth about the fashion industry is that it is one of world’s… Continue Reading
Discussing Sustainability with PLM Solution Provider Dassault Systèmes - The PLM Green Global Alliance recently hosted its third panel discussion to explore how PLM-enabling technologies are supporting the sustainability imperative. These interviews expand upon our earlier article on the Intersection of PLM and Sustainability by examining the progress in sustainability being made by PLM solution providers, their partners and… Continue Reading
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