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?

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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 of sustainability. This includes digital enterprise platform vendors which, like any other organization, are committed to sustainability.

Enterprise platform editors, a.k.a. PLM and ERP vendors, are being more and more open with their position on sustainability, both for themselves in building greener operations and in positioning their solutions to help manufacturers and the wider society in managing sustainability goals. This covers data traceability to sustainable requirements throughout the product lifecycle, meeting associated legislative requirements and tracking compliance and non-compliance implications.

In this article, I highlight how mainstream PLM and ERP editors communicate about their sustainability commitment on their website in context of the United Nations’ 17 goals toward sustainable development, and the recently announced European Green Digital Coalition.”

Read the full article HERE including Lionel’s take on what PLM solution providers are and are not saying about sustainability.

Product Lifecycle Management in Support of Green Manufacturing

The technical paper “Product Lifecycle Management in Support of Green Manufacturing: Addressing the Challenges of Global Climate Change” is one of the earliest publications on the intersection of PLM and climate change. It was first published in the International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management.

The authors Ligia-Varinia Barreto, Hannah Anderson, Alyssa Anglin and Cynthia Tomovic from Purdue University write in the abstract that “The focus of this paper is to investigate why companies practice green manufacturing and how PLM supports environmentally friendly initiatives. The investigated companies are taken from the Global Round Table on Climate Change. In particular, this paper examines how PLM drives green manufacturing to improve environmental performance while meeting financial and long-term sustainability. Mechanisms to increase energy efficiency, de-carbonization, reduction of harmful emissions, and better land management practices such as reducing landfill waste will be studied. This paper also includes a review of interviews and examples from previous studies.”

The researchers examined the use of green manufacturing principles within six companies (Bayer, Dow Chemical, DuPont, FLP, General Electric, and Toyota) to reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances throughout a product’s lifecycle. The elements investigated included: recycling and disposal, energy consumption, water and air management, products and processes, and regulations and policies.

They concluded that “Environmental changes and the implementation of green manufacturing require a company to change its entire processes; from product planning and procurement policies to production and logistics [1]. The PLM model, as described by [12] includes five major categories (plan, design, build, support and dispose) centered by an information core as shown in figure 1. PLM is about product data, information and knowledge combined with people, processes, and technology. PLM can benefit a company practicing green manufacturing.”

Download and read the complete paper HERE.

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 and Digital Transformation of the EU. They have formed a European Green Digital Coalition, committing on behalf of their companies to take action in the following areas:

  • To invest in the development and deployment of greener digital technologies & services that are more energy and material efficient,
  • Develop methods and tools to measure the net impact of green digital technologies on the environment and climate by joining forces with NGOs and relevant expert organisations, and
  • Co-create with representatives of others sectors recommendations and guidelines for green digital transformation of these sectors that benefits environment, society and economy.

The European Green Digital Coalition will help not only the tech sector to become more sustainable, circular and a zero polluter, but also to support sustainability goals of other priority sectors such as energy, transport, agriculture, and construction while contributing to an innovative, inclusive and resilient society. Its members will work closely with the European Commission and others to deliver on their commitments and will report regularly on progress made. In 2022, the first available results and progress reports will be presented. 45 SMEs and startups support the European Green Digital Coalition and many will take the sustainability commitments to join in the near future.”

Learn more why European business leaders think that climate change and environmental degradation represents an existential threat at

Exploring the Intersection of PLM and Industry 4.0

In this insightful article by Lionel Grealou on Exploring the Intersection of PLM and Industry 4.0 “It is often said that product lifecycle management (PLM) is an enabler to Industry 4.0. Enabled digital platforms include PLM, ERP, MES and many other processes, tools and technologies leveraging the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality, simulation, additive manufacturing, automated robotization, and more.”