Intersection of Product Lifecycle Management and Climate Change

Digital Engineering published the following commentary written by Robert Farrell on “The Intersection of Product Lifecycle Management and Climate Change” in the February 2021 issue which featured the PLM Green Global Alliance.

Until recently, initiatives to advance sustainability and combat climate change have primarily focused on improving product performance to minimize energy usage and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is enabling technologies and supporting software applications that are contributing to the greening of our global economy in many ways.

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Climate Change News Digest January 2021

This month’s Climate Change News Digest shared with followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance has much news (both good and not so good), research, and announcements from around the world. The featured image this month is a graph of the average global temperature produced by the U.S. NOAA at https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature.

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How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change

Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change – From the Ellen MacArthur Foundation “Completing the Picture highlights the indispensable role that the circular economy plays in tackling the climate crisis. It aims to demonstrate how circular economy principles and strategies significantly reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.” Read this important paper HERE.

PLM Green Global Alliance

Who are we and what is our Mission?

The PLM Green Global Alliance (PGGA) is a community of professionals who work with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) related technologies and are collaborating together to create a more sustainable, lower carbon circular economy.

The mission of the PLM Green Global Alliance is to develop a global network and coalition between professionals who use, develop, market, or support Product Lifecycle Management enabling technologies and software solutions that have value in addressing the causes and consequences of climate change due to human-generated greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

What is our Motivation?

We are motivated by the opportunities and challenges to create a sustainable circular economy and green future for our industries, communities, nations, and all life forms on the planet Earth that depend on healthy ecosystems.

What are our Goals?

We seek to educate, advocate, and collaborate for greater recognition of the role and value of PLM technologies to help assess, reduce, mitigate, and adapt (when necessary) to the effects of climate change and that contribute to sustainability.

There are many examples of how PLM-related technologies are doing just that, but very few focused platforms and forums where professional resources and application case studies can be collected, shared, discussed, and promoted for the common good.

Who are Members of the Alliance?

The PGGA is a non-commercial organization and as such there is no cost to participate. Our only requirement is that you have a sincere professional interest in the intersection of PLM and one of our theme topics. These themes currently include: Climate Change, Sustainability, Green Energy, Circular Economy and Industry 4.0. If you do, we invite you join our recently formed PLM Green Global Alliance LinkedIn Group where we now have over 200 members from around the world.

Please note that this group is not a forum which will study or debate the environmental sciences of carbon emissions, global warming, or climate change. That function is already covered by many respectable science-based global organizations. These climate experts have concluded that human-generated climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions is happening now and its effects are already becoming severe and may become irreversible as well all devastating if current trends are not arrested.

What PLM Enabling Technologies are Relevant?

Members of our informal alliance are invited to share and collaborate across a global community of professionals working with PLM-related technologies that can help transform our economies to be more energy efficient, carbon neutral, and sustainable.

These technologies include but are not limited to: Product Data Management (PDM), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Simulation & Analysis (SA), Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Digital Twins (DT), Digital Manufacturing (DMfg), Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing (AM/3DP), Product Portfolio Management (PPM), Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE), Visualization (Viz), Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO), Multi-Physics Simulation (MPS), Product Cost Management (PCM), Architectural Engineering Construction/Building Information Management (AEC/BIM), Service Lifecycle Management (SLM), Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM), Configuration Lifecycle Management (CLM), Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), High Performance Computing (HPC) and Enterprise Collaboration & Innovation Management (ECIM).

(For descriptions and additional information about these underlying technologies please visit the PLM Atlas website, an educational offering of PLM Alliances LLC.)

What are Example Applications?

In the PLM Green Global Alliance we invite working professionals, users, researchers, teachers, students, developers, marketers, and followers of these application domains to share example case studies and thought leadership of how PLM-enabling technologies have been used to:

  • make products and processes more efficient and sustainable
  • find and develop new sources of renewable green energy
  • store and transmit alternative energy supplies
  • reduce or sequester human-made carbon emissions
  • capture naturally produced greenhouse and methane gasses
  • pioneer and deploy green manufacturing processes
  • design products and their lifecycles to be environmentally friendly
  • simulate and test global geoengineering technologies as solutions
  • recycle, reuse, or repurpose assets, materials, and natural resources
  • monitor a warming planet, changing weather patterns, and impact of climate change
  • enhance the resiliency and sustainability of infrastructures, communities and economies

Our group has selected overarching “PLM Green Themes” along with sub-topics which we will use to help us prioritize our coverage of application examples.

What’s Next?

In 2021 we will be researching, collecting, discussing, and sharing examples of the above applications along with thought leadership blogs, white papers, success stories, and other useful resources submitted to us from around the globe. Look for these soon on PLM Green Examples and PLM Green ResourcesSend us your examples with a link to reference and credit to info@plmgreenalliance.org.

Participate in our discussion by joining the newly-formed PLM Green Global Alliance LinkedIn Group at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12304531/Register to receive our news by entering your email on the top right of any page on this website.

We very much welcome the contribution of your ideas, experience, topics, and help by contacting our founders Rich McFall in North America at rich@plmalliances.com or Jos Voskuil in Europe at tacit@planet.nl.

Regards – Mit freundlichen Grüßen – בברכה – Cordiali Saluti – नमस्ते – Namaste – Cordialement – 敬具- Saludos – Saudações – 好日子 – Met vriendelijke groet

Climate Change News Digest December 2020

This month’s Climate Change News Digest has much good news, research, and announcements to share from around the world.

In a meeting of world leaders on the fifth anniversary of the Paris Climate accord, and one month after the US officially left it, President-elect Joe Biden restated his pledge for the US to rejoin. Heads of state and government officials from over 70 countries, with the exception of the Trump administration, participated in the virtual event. Biden also called for a climate summit within his first 100 days in office. He then reaffirmed a campaign pledge of setting a target to cut US emissions to net zero no later than 2050. More than 200 countries have pledged to achieve net zero by 2050.

At the virtual event, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres once again asked world leaders to declare a world-wide climate emergency claiming that if we don’t change course the planet is headed to a catastrophic temperature rise of more than 3 degrees Celsius. The good news is that carbon emissions are expected to drop by 7% this year so predicts the Global Carbon project. It reported that emissions dropped a impressive 12% in the US and 11% in Europe, but less than 2% in China. Of course, it was for all the wrong reasons, a global pandemic, that we hope is not repeated for that reason.

At the meeting China’s President Xi Jinping pledged to reduce its carbon intensity by over 65% in the next 10 years as part of a plan to produce a more sustainable, greener economy. China would do so, Xi said, by tripling wind and solar power capacity. This follows China’s previous announcement of its intentions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to net-zero by 2060. China is the largest producer of GHG emissions and has recently taken the lead from the US left open by Trump in multinational leadership to address climate change.

Former Vice President Al Gore marked the 5th anniversary of the Paris Accord with an editorial testifying to where he finds hope during the middle of a pandemic crisis and worsening climate crisis. He cited that the cost of solar energy has fallen by nearly 90% in the past decade and the cost of wind turbines by almost 60%. 90% of all new electricity worldwide this year will come from clean energy. The reduced cost of green energy is driving the retirement of fossil fuel carbon emitting plants faster than had even been hoped. And country after country around the world is announcing their intent to be carbon net zero by mid-century.

Earlier in the month the UN Secretary said bluntly “the state of the planet is broken” and “humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal.”  His comments were made as part of the release of the annual U.N. State of Climate report. The UN stands by its “planetary emergency” declaration that we must reduce emissions by 6% annually through 2030 to have any chance at keep temperatures from rising above 1.5 degree Celsius. The EU responded by upping its goal of reducing total emissions by 55% in the next ten years.

The UN’s recently published annual Emissions Gap Report said that GHG emissions grew by an average of 1.4% from 2010 thru 2019. The report called for nations to use their COVID economic recovery wisely as part to combat climate change and meet their own goals. It also said that the wealthy among us need to reduce their carbon footprint by a factor of 30. The richest 1% of the world’s population are said to be responsible for more than double the emissions from the poorest 50%.  The carbon footprint of the average American was said to be nearly 18 tons of CO2 a year, nearly twice that of a European, and nearly 10 times of an average Indian. In 2019 total global emissions from all man-made sources were said to be 59 billion tons of CO2 equivalent.

European scientists from the Copernicus Climate Change Service said that November was the warmest November of record. They also reported that the extent of early winter Artic sea ice is the second lowest ever since satellites started measuring it. The year of 2020 overall is comparable to the hottest year so far which was 2016.

The European Commission launched a new program this month called the European Climate Pact to motivate climate action that will build a greener Europe.  A primary goal is to involve all Europeans in making more educated decisions about their everyday life choices. This follows as part of the action plan from the launching of the European Green Deal a year ago.

Young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was quoted in a recent New York Times interview saying “The majority of the world’s population won’t be able to adapt. This is being ignored to a degree that is pathetic.” And “We tend to overthink things. Sometimes the simple answer is, it is not sustainable to live like this.” How did a 17-year-old get to be this wise?

After formally winning the electoral college on Dec. 14, President-elect Biden declared later there was “literally no time to waste” on climate change. He then announced remaining members of his administration’s top environmental posts. John Kerry was previously announced as his international emissary on climate change and former EPA chief Gina McCarthy in a new White House Office of Climate Policy. They will be joined by Michael Regan, a Black American, to lead the EPA who unlike Trump’s EPA appointees including coal-industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, actually has relevant experience in protecting the environment and working on environmental  justice issues. Also nominated to head the Dept. of Interior will be Deb Haaland, a Native American, who is a critic of oil and gas leases on public lands and selling them into private hands. Former candidate Pete Buttigieg is to be nominated to head Transportation, making him the first openly gay American to become a cabinet member as well as one of the youngest. He had previously spoken of his support of restoring higher mileage standards, producing electric vehicles, and investing in more mass transit. What a refreshing change this is compared to the last four years as we will have an environmental climate team that actually cares about the environment and climate.

A new report in The Lancet by global health experts warns that climate change is a not a future public health risk, but one that is occurring now.  As example, the increasing frequency of heat waves has contributed to a 50% increase in heat-related deaths among people older than 65 over the past two decades. Additional dangers include the harm of smoke from wildfires and the increasing habitats of tropical infectious diseases.

Climate change is reported to be a contributing factor to more drownings from people falling through ice on bodies of water that in previous years were frozen solid. Thin ice has become more of a threat to the indigenous populations of Canada and Alaska where temperatures are rising much faster than the rest of the planet; as much as 6 degrees F warmer than 73 years ago.

The annual Arctic Report Card by scientists from NOAA and 15 other countries said the region was warming at nearly three times the rate of the rest of the world.  The average temperature of the last year was said to be 3.4 degrees F above its average of the previous three decades. A record-high 100.4 degrees F was set in a Russian artic village this year. The report on the state of health of the Arctic documents alarming changes in the not-so-frozen north that are clearly transforming it in our life time. Record heat is being experienced, permafrost continues to thaw releasing methane into the atmosphere, sea ice is diminishing, ocean and land wildlife are being impacted, wildfires are burning from dried-out vegetation, glaciers are melting, there is more open water and rain, less sunlight is being reflected back into space because of shrinking ice and snow covers, and the coastline villages of indigenous people are eroding. It is clear when looking at the Arctic that climate change is real and happening now, and not some distant time in the future.

Denmark has become the first large oil-producing country, and the largest of the EU, to declare an end of state-supported oil exploration in the North Sea. They hope to phase out of all extraction by 2050. The decision is that much more notable because Denmark’s government, economy, and social benefits have been dependent on oil revenue for decades.

Auto manufacturer General Motors has reversed its support of Trump-era efforts to fight California’s tougher fuel efficiency standards.  It has now shown support for the climate policies of the incoming Biden administration that promote electric cars. CEO Mary Barra urged other car companies to do the same.

Hundreds of fisheries, marine societies, and aquatic scientists have said that urgent action is needed to save the world’s oceans and their ecosystems. They cited thousands of studies that confirmed severe effects on aquatic systems are already being experienced and will become irreversible on the current trajectory. This included floods, storms, marine heatwaves, droughts, melting glaciers, thawing wetlands, clean water availability, snowmelts, destabilization of ice sheets, shifting ocean currents, rising sea levels, acidification, deoxygenation, coral bleaching, loss of biodiversity, changing seasonal migration patterns, declining marine life, and rapidly changing sustainable species habitats.

One of the largest pension funds in the US, the state of New York, joins the growing list of over 1,000 institutional investors that are reducing or divesting themselves of fossil-fuel stocks. This follows oil giant Exxon Mobile writing down its assets by almost $20 billion last month after losing $2.4 billion last year. This month the company, which was recently removed from the Dow Jones, finally announced a plan to reduce its carbon footprint, although many call it too little to late from a company that cannot be trusted, citing their role in financing climate deniers.

The Federal Reserve central bank of the US formally joined the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System. The Fed was only one of two major central banks that had not yet done so. Last month the bank had begun including the risks of climate change into its analysis.

All-time snowfall records were set in Japan this month when portions of the country experienced extreme snowfalls of over 5-7 feet. It was due to an ocean-effect winter storm that carried huge amounts of moisture in it. As the climate and oceans warm scientists warn of more extreme precipitation weather events. Another example is climate change affecting patterns of the northern hemisphere’s winter jet stream, such as a polar vortex bring colder weather further south into northern latitudes.

Despite commitments from countries around the world to go carbon-neutral by 2050, some scientists believe that may not be enough. They argue that global-size geoengineering initiatives will be required to head off a planetary calamity. Blocking or reflecting sunlight back into space, creating more clouds, sucking carbon out of the air, and helping oceans uptake carbon are only a few of the worrisome ideas.

Others like the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance are advocating that we work with nature’s own processes, and not manipulate them in ways that are likely to have unknown or unintended consequences. These solutions include harnessing the capacity of forests, grasslands, peatlands, wetlands, and soil to uptake and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

Hydrogen as a more efficient and cleaner fuel is finally getting more publicity in America as it has in Europe for the past few years. The Bloomberg Green Report claims it is the hottest thing going in alternative energy and that investments worldwide will soon be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And like the early days of solar energy, hydrogen power is attracting a lot of DIY hobbyists and entrepreneurs across the USA. However, there are big obstacles such as avoiding the production of “gray” hydrogen, which requires a lot of electricity, from energy sources that themselves are not green.

In the closing days of a US Congress that got very little done during the last year of the Trump term, both Democrats and Republicans came together to fund $35B on new green energy initiatives as well as limit the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants which are said to have 1,000 times the heat-trapping capacity of carbon. New legislation passed by both houses will now require the US to follow the 2016 Kigali Agreement to phase out use of HFC. The Trump administration had previously refused to ratify the agreement, despite197 other countries that were signatories.

Here’s wishing for a greener and more sustainable next decade that is our last chance to reverse the trajectory we are on before irreversible tipping points are crossed.

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 emissions and environmental pollution as well as intensive use of our world’s precious energy and water resources. With a burgeoning human population on planet Earth, limited natural resources, and endangered species … Continue reading

 

PLM and Climate Change

Summary & Goals

The goal of this PLM Green discussion forum and working group on Climate Change is to promote activities to understand, analyze and reduce human-generated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through PLM-enabling technologies. We hope to help to answer the question of what is the role and value of PLM technologies in addressing the most important challenge facing humankind this century, climate change.

Theme Moderators

Klaus Brettschneider

greenplm.klaus@gmail.com

Richard McFall

rich@plmalliances.com

Focus & Objectives

Product Lifecycle Management strategies and systems allow organizations to manage a product’s lifecycle in all its aspects including structures, components, materials, suppliers, and ingredients. Managing the lifecycle from inception to disposal allows organizations today to optimize manufacturing processes, to document its material or ingrediencies composition and to make sure that products comply with local or international regulations.

We firmly believe that PLM can help organizations to understand and analyze the effect of its product design, methods of production, and supply chain choices on their carbon footprint. Accordingly, we seek to educate, collaborate, and advocate for the role of PLM business strategies, enabling technologies, software solutions, and professionals in addressing climate change due to human-generated greenhouse gas emissions.

This includes how the application of PLM tools, processes, and best practices can help assess, reduce, mitigate, and adapt our industries, communities, and economies to the rapidly-intensifying effects of climate change. As example, candidate topics from which we hope to research and document the use of PLM-enabling technologies include:

  • make products and processes more efficient, sustainable, and green
  • understand the impact on carbon footprint of design and production processes and changes to them
  • find and develop new sources of renewable green energy
  • store and transmit alternative energy supplies
  • reduce or sequester human-made carbon emissions
  • capture naturally produced greenhouse and methane gasses
  • pioneer and deploy green manufacturing processes
  • design products and their lifecycles to be environmentally friendly
  • simulate and test global geoengineering technologies as solutions
  • recycle, reuse, or repurpose assets, materials, and natural resources
  • monitor a warming planet, changing weather patterns, and impact of climate change
  • enhance the resiliency and sustainability of infrastructures, communities and economies

Agenda & Activities

We will be pursuing the stated objectives by an agenda composed of a number of elements including focus groups, published articles and blog posts, recorded interviews, industry surveys, and cooperative events with other organizations. These objectives will be developed in collaboration with members using small discussion groups. Follow our progress, or better yet join us, with an email to info@plmgreenalliance.com.

Announcements & Updates

On Friday, December 4, the PLM Green Global Alliance (PGGA) will host a live moderated discussion among its group members and guests on the report “Exponential Roadmap: Scaling 36 Solutions to Halve Emissions by 2030.”

The report is produced by the Exponential Roadmap international coalition at https://exponentialroadmap.org. It can be viewed or downloaded directly from their site at https://exponentialroadmap.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/ExponentialRoadmap_1.5_20190919_Single-Pages.pdf .

For additional information email info@plmgreenalliance.com.

Invitation to Participate & Collaborate

To participate in our PLM Green theme sub-group we invite you to first join the PLM Green Global Alliance LinkedIn Group at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12304531/ then contact one of our moderators.

References & Resources

Coming soon to this page, 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 climate change. We invite you to send us examples you have come across in your own work or company.

Low Carbon Circular Economy - This Think2030 paper on "A Low Carbon and Circular Economy" looks at the opportunities for the circular economy to reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with three of its most carbon-intensive sectors: the built environment, mobility, and food, and makes recommendations for policies within the 2030 time horizon and beyond. Read more at https://think2030.eu/publications/a-low-carbon-and-circular-industry-for-europe/. Continue Reading
Climate Change News Digest January 2021 - This month's Climate Change News Digest shared with followers of the PLM Green Global Alliance has much news (both good and not so good), research, and announcements from around the world. The featured image this month is a graph of the average global temperature produced by the U.S. NOAA at https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature.   European climate researchers were quick to conclude at… Continue Reading
McKinsey on Climate Change - McKinsey on Climate Change - From McKinsey & Company "This special downloadable collection brings together recent McKinsey research and perspectives on the climate risks the world must confront and actions to reduce emissions." Read more HERE. Continue Reading
How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change - Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change - From the Ellen MacArthur Foundation "Completing the Picture highlights the indispensable role that the circular economy plays in tackling the climate crisis. It aims to demonstrate how circular economy principles and strategies significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions." Read this important paper HERE. 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 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 result of vast amounts of carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse… Continue Reading
Climate Change News Digest December 2020 - This month's Climate Change News Digest has much good news, research, and announcements to share from around the world. In a meeting of world leaders on the fifth anniversary of the Paris Climate accord, and one month after the US officially left it, President-elect Joe Biden restated his pledge for the US to rejoin. Heads of state and government officials… Continue Reading
European Climate Pact Announcement - CliThe European Commission has announced the European Climate Pact which is an EU-wide initiative that invites people, communities and organisations to participate in climate action and build a greener Europe. Visit their multi-language website HERE. 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 emissions and environmental pollution as well as intensive use of… Continue Reading

PLM Green Themes

Members of our new PLM Green Alliance group have begun collaborating to identify and select overarching PLM Green themes and sub-topics which we plan to research, share, discuss, and advocate. So far the following five themes have been recommended.

The role, contribution, and value of PLM-enabling technologies (e.g. PLM, PDM, CAE, CM, 3DP, CAD, DT, HPC, MBSE, AR/VR, PPM, MDO, MPS, etc.) in addressing:

Theme 1  –  PLM and Climate Change

Theme 2  –  PLM and Sustainability

Theme 3  –  PLM and Green Energy

Theme 4  –  PLM and Circular Economy

Theme 5  –  PLM and Industry 4.0

Help us to identify additional themes and select subtopics within each theme by leaving a comment below, sending a note to info@plmgreenalliance.com or joining our LinkedIn Group.

We seek volunteers to help contribute to and curate the collection of resources, and moderate discussions in each of these themes and their subtopics.

Join us to make a difference on what may very well be the most important and valuable contributions of our profession in a lifetime!

PLM Green Global Alliance is Launched

June 2020 (United States, Netherlands, Norway) – The launch of and participation in a new international collaboration, the PLM Green Global Alliance (“PGGA”), has been announced by Richard McFall from PLM Alliances, Jos Voskuil from TacIT, Oleg Shilovitsky from Beyond PLM, and Bjorn Fidjeland from plmPartner.

The coalition was founded with the mission to create a global connection and community between professionals who use, develop, market, or support Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) enabling technologies and software solutions that have value in addressing the causes and consequences of climate change due to human-generated greenhouse gas emissions such that we create a more sustainable circular economy.

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