Climate Change News Digest March 2021

This latest Climate Change News Digest offers busy PLM Green Global Alliance followers in one source a compendium of news, research, and announcements about climate change from around the world. While some climate news may be equally distressing and motivating, there is increasingly more good news from recent months. A remarkable consensus and urgency is emerging from political leaders, industry associations, tech leaders, financial institutions, businesses, and communities – and not just climate scientists – that this is THE decade to reverse trends, invest, and innovate. We within the PLM Green Alliance are excited and motivated be a small part of this growing movement to help decarbonize our industries using PLM-enabling strategies and digital transformation technologies.

The featured image and quote this month is from young European climate activist Greta Thunberg who motivated this much older industry veteran, Richard McFall, to take action within my own profession by starting the PLM Green Global Alliance with European co-founder Jos Voskuil.

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The Circular Economy Can Help Save The Planet

From a recent World Economic Forum article “The circular economy can help save the planet if we start innovating now – Transitioning to a holistic circular economic model is critical to reducing environmental degradation and prioritizing biodiversity and nature, while also delivering on future competitiveness. In a circular economy, waste is designed out, and products are instead looped back into the production system at end of use. Consequently, growth is decoupled from the consumption of scarce resources, and materials are kept within productive use for as long as possible.”

“The circular economy presents a unique market opportunity upwards of $4.5 trillion by 2030. Accelerating this transition relies on the uptake of innovative new business models and disruptive technological innovation. Alongside prioritization of new business models, which now account for roughly 30% of M&A investment according to Accenture analysis, adopting new digital, physical and biological technologies can drive new opportunities and deliver on organizations’ triple bottom line.”

Read the complete story at https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/02/the-circulars-accelerator-circular-economy-zero-waste.

Circular Economy Crucial to Achieving Paris Climate Goals

From a World Circular Economy Forum + Climate press release: “The circular economy is crucial to achieving the Paris climate goals – If we are to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, the world needs to transition to a circular economy.

A circular economy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 20 per cent and should thus be an integral part of the agreements made in the Paris Climate Agreement. The World Circular Economy Forum + Climate is the online conference to draw attention to the importance of a circular economy in reaching the climate goals.”

Learn more about WCEF and the conference at https://www.wcefplusclimate.com/.

Technologies and Policies to Decarbonize Global Industry

The comprehensive paper “Technologies and policies to decarbonize global industry: Review and assessment of mitigation drivers through 2070” is a recommended read and resource for members of the PLM Green Global Alliance.

One of the most surprising findings from the paper was how a few industries like iron, steel and cement making are responsible for so much of the industrial sector’s GHG emissions. The paper, first printed in the journal Applied Energy, is available for downloading directly at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306261920303603.

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 https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/companies-take-action-support-green-and-digital-transformation-eu.

Climate Action Benchmark Report

“Climate Action 100+, the world’s largest investor engagement initiative on climate change, has released its first-ever benchmark evaluating the corporate ambition and action of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters and other companies with significant opportunity to drive the net zero transition.

The Climate Action 100+ Net-Zero Company Benchmark offers the first detailed, comparative assessments of individual focus company performance against the initiative’s three high-level commitment goals: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving governance, and strengthening climate-related financial disclosures.”

Read more and download the report at https://www.climateaction100.org/progress/net-zero-company-benchmark/.

Global CO2 Emissions from Aviation

This Our World In Data article on Climate Change and Flying reports that global aviation, before the pandemic, was responsible for only 2.5% of CO2 emissions.

At first appearance that seems like a small number that may not justify all the investments in new technologies, or in reduction of travel, to have much of an impact in arresting climate change. But the challenge with decarbonizing the global economy is that most sources of GHG by industry are in the single digits!

So we have to make progress in each and every sector; no small change is too small as they will all add up.

Learn more at https://ourworldindata.org/co2-emissions-from-aviation.

Digital Twin of the Earth

From the World Economic Forum post on “Scientists are developing a digital twin of the Earth to fight climate change” the author Simone Ulmer writes “To become climate neutral by 2050, the European Union launched two ambitious programmes: “Green Deal” and “Digital Strategy”. As a key component of their successful implementation, climate scientists and computer scientists launched the “Destination Earth” initiative, which will start in mid-​2021 and is expected to run for up to ten years. During this period, a highly accurate digital model of the Earth is to be created, a digital twin of the Earth, to map climate development and extreme events as accurately as possible in space and time.” Read the complete article HERE.

Resourcing the Energy Transition

PLM Green Alliance moderator Bjorn Fidjeland recommends reading the KPMG report on “Resourcing the energy transition: making the world go round” which explores the transition to renewable energy, a growing dependence on natural resources other than oil, and the crucial link to the circular economy.

From the KPMG website “A net-zero world is dependent upon renewable energies to replace traditional power sources…. But there is a threat to supplies of the mined mineral and metals that drive these green technologies. In our latest report, Resourcing the energy transition: Making the world go round, we explain how the circular economy can help address these challenges. Reusing, recycling and repurposing metals and materials can contribute to surety of supply, and potentially reduce waste, pollution and carbon emissions by minimizing the need for extraction.”

The graph below, produced by KPMG in the report, on the supply country of origin and  uses of rare earth minerals for green energy capture, distribution and storage is especially informative if not somewhat worrisome.

Read more and download the report from KPMG HERE.

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 Management (PLM) is the workflow platform on which these changes can be implemented.” Read more HERE

Exploring the Intersection of PLM and Industry 4.0

In this insightful Engineering.com 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.”

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/.

CIMdata PLM is Green

The PLM consulting firm CIMdata writes in their commentary PLM is Green: “The Critical Role of PLM – In complying with the increasing number and complexity of green regulations and requirements, too much is at stake to rely on manual operations and analyses performed late in development. For a growing number of companies, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) enabling technologies and processes are becoming indispensable in optimizing a product’s greenness.” Read more HERE.

From Linear to Circular

From Linear to Circular is one of Ellen MacArthur Foundations’ flagship learning programmes aimed at postgraduate students and professionals at the start of their circular economy career. It is a fantastic opportunity if you want to bring greater purpose to your work or research and want to become a circular economy advocate and catalyst within your organisation. Learn more HERE.

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.

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 HERE.