The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling companies to set science-based emissions reduction. Science-based targets provide companies with a clearly-defined path to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals.
The PLM Green Global Alliance recommends the SBTi website at https://sciencebasedtargets.org/ as an excellent resource for companies that wish to demonstrate leadership in their industry by moving toward a net-zero carbon emissions economy. We celebrate the more than 1,000 businesses around the world that have already done so.
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.
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.
A new generation of orbiting satellites is producing remote sensing data to help visualize and identify sources of Greenhouse Emissions emissions, like those from methane. This example image from a recent BBC article is produced byGHGSat’s Pulse interactive mapping solution
Methane is a more powerful GHG, compared to carbon dioxide, whose composition in the atmosphere is also growing at an alarming rate.
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.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prepares comprehensive Assessment Reports about the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for reducing the rate at which climate change is taking place.
In the IPCC 6th Assessment on Climate Change, “the thirteen chapters of the Working Group I report on “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis” have just been published and provide an assessment of the current evidence on the physical science of climate change, knowledge evaluation gained from observations, reanalyses, paleoclimate archives and climate model simulations, as well as physical, chemical and biological climate processes.”
“The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) provides a high-level summary of the understanding of the current state of the climate, including how it is changing and the role of human influence, and the state of knowledge about possible climate futures, climate information relevant to regions and sectors, and limiting human-induced climate change.”
The full AR6 WG Report on “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis” may be downloaded from the IPCC website HERE.
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.
Climeworks https://climeworks.com/ and Accenture http://www.accenture.com/ are collaborating to use new digital technologies to develop a carbon direct air capture and storage plant in Iceland. The carbon removed from the atmosphere will be sequestered underground where in two years it will turn to stone.
This can certainly help as one component of a larger decarbonization strategy, but how big can carbon capture and storage facilities scale when we are putting 50 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year? As example, it would take 10 million of this size plant that captures 4,000 tons of CO2 per year, to do the job. Read more HERE to understand the role of this technology in decarbonizing the economy to meet the 2050 net-zero GHG emissions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Decarbonizing the economy seems overwhelming, but the KPMG white paper “The Decarbonization Journey” is a valuable resource for companies seeking to assess how to get started in the near term and developing their own long-term strategies.
The contributing author Michael Hayes, KPMG’s Global Climate Change and Decarbonization Leader, writes: “Creating a low-carbon economy over the next 30 years is going to be one of the greatest challenges ever faced by the human race – we will not succeed unless there is a total and complete focus on decarbonization across all economic sectors.”
Learn what the five pillars to net zero are by reading this report available for downloading from KPMG HERE.
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 caused by pollution and greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. The US Government has recently placed new bills before congress geared at funding climate change initiatives and sustainable innovation companies. Such companies can be both new businesses / startups as well as those looking to re-engineer their existing processes to be more environmentally friendly and less polluting (not an easy task by itself). These companies are looking for tools to maintain sustainable innovation. Some of you may have seen the recent videos by Dassault Systèmes explaining their vision and plans to contribute to this environmental-minded transformation.”
“Dassault is providing solutions to track negative environmental footprints, although this is still in the development phases in some respects. This short article will focus on six easy tools/solutions geared to engineering and manufacturing which can be implemented today in 3DEXPERIENCE to improve environmental awareness.”
Learn more about this example of sustainability monitoring tools from a leading PLM solution provider HERE.
The authors write in their introduction that “The number of countries announcing pledges to achieve net-zero emissions over the coming decades continues to grow. But the pledges by governments to date – even if fully achieved – fall well short of what is required to bring global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 and give the world an even chance of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 °C.”
“This special report is the world’s first comprehensive study of how to transition to a net zero energy system by 2050 while ensuring stable and affordable energy supplies, providing universal energy access, and enabling robust economic growth. It sets out a cost-effective and economically productive pathway, resulting in a clean, dynamic and resilient energy economy dominated by renewables like solar and wind instead of fossil fuels. The report also examines key uncertainties, such as the roles of bioenergy, carbon capture and behavioural changes in reaching net zero.”
The whitepaper points out how important it is to consider the carbon footprint already “baked in” during the development and design phase of products to facilitate a successful carbon reduction and a circular economy once it is actually produced. In several examples it describes how system thinking, connecting the dots, and looking at products and processes holistically will help reach new levels of sustainability. It addresses Product Lifecycle Management approaches like the usage of BIM or the realization of digital twins to support transparency across the supply chain. Other examples are focused on the usage of new technologies like robotics and 3D to achieve sustainability goals.
The survey results document that the importance of sustainability goals has increased at the C-level and that they are becoming more relevant company strategies Several reasons for this development are discussed as well as the regional nuances in different geo markets. The survey emphasizes the shift of focus from Scope 1 and 2 emission reporting to the reduction on Scope 3 emission that includes the supply chain challenge. The lack of trustworthy data, IT systems to collect and manage them, and the tracing transparency like Product Passports or track-and-trace solutions are only few of the analyzed issues.
Read more by downloading the paper from Autodesk HERE.
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” by Bill Gates. The panel discussion was moderated by Jos Voskuil with participants Klaus Brettschneider, Lionel Grealou, Patrick Hillberg, Ilan Madjar, and Richard McFall.
Mr. Gates, who admits he is an imperfect messenger, wrote what many of us often feel: “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.” He closed his book with the comment that he hoped it sparked conversations.
We at PGGA believe this call to action is especially relevant for professionals in our industry who use, develop, support, teach, market, research, or write about Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) enabling strategies and supporting technologies that can contribute to a sustainable lower-carbon circular economy.
Listen to what panelists thought about the decarbonization challenges and technologies that Mr. Gates proposes as priorities, including both pro and con comments from the perspectives of representatives from five different nationalities. The recording may be accessed on YouTube HERE.
The Climate Voice initiative provides a wealth of resources for employees, students, and business leaders to help their institutions “go all in” as leaders in climate and sustainability policies. “This is an extraordinary moment of opportunity for climate policy — with rising levels of public concern powering major new policy initiatives at the federal, state and local levels. On Earth Day (April 22), President Biden pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions nearly in half by 2030. We need strong leadership in the United States, and in every other country, to make progress at the speed and scale required to help keep warming below 1.5°C — the goal set by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”
“It’s time for companies to use their influence and lobby for bold climate policies — everywhere they operate and at every level of government. The first step is for business leaders to shift their mindsets about climate from a position of narrow self-interest toward a strategic approach that views climate both as an existential business threat and an enormous opportunity to help build the future.” Read more at https://climatevoice.org/resources/policyguide/.
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.
In this comprehensive New York Times article on “The Science of Climate Change Explained: Facts, Evidence and Proof” the authors write “The science of climate change is more solid and widely agreed upon than you might think. But the scope of the topic, as well as rampant disinformation, can make it hard to separate fact from fiction. Here, we’ve done our best to present you with not only the most accurate scientific information, but also an explanation of how we know it.”
The authors go on to answer the 12 top FAQ’s that both climate change scientists hear from believers and skeptics. These questions include how do we know that climate change is real and not part of the Earth’s natural cycle, as well as how bad the effects of climate change will be if we do nothing.