PLM goes green?

Jan 21, 2020 | Hot Topics

I believe in science. In the null hypothesis. In finding the root cause. And science says we are not doing nearly enough to reverse the damage already done to our planet by our homes, factories, cars, ships and planes, and to prevent further climate change. So when I got a press release about a PLM-centric initiative to deal with the ecological crisis facing our planet, I had to share.

The PLM Green Global Alliance is in its infancy, currently made up of Richard McFall from PLM Alliances, Jos Voskuil from TacIT, Oleg Shilovitsky from Beyond PLM, and Bjorn Fidjeland from plmPartner and has a

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.

PGGA wants to help the PLM community of developers, users, researchers, and academics to use PLM as intended to make products and processes more efficient (and, presumably, therefore using less power and other inputs). PGGA also intends to promote work on renewable and other sources of energy, power storage and transmission, lowering carbon emissions, and greening manufacturing, among other goals.

Why? Because, as PGGA founder (and ex-CIMdata member) Rich McFall comments,

“We face an urgent challenge to create a more sustainable and green future for our industries, economies, communities, and all life forms on our planet that depend on healthy interdependent ecosystems. In our informal alliance we seek to educate, advocate, and collaborate for greater recognition of the role of PLM to help assess, reduce, mitigate, and adapt to the effects of climate change now being experienced across the globe. There are many examples of how PLM-related technologies are doing just that, but few focused non-politicized platforms where resources and application case studies can be researched, shared, and promoted for the collective good. We plan to change that as our modest contribution.”

And they welcome other members: Joining the PGGA is available to anyone with an interest in the intersection of PLM and Green. There’s no website yet, but you can reach the PGGA at

It’s interesting (and likely not coincidental) that this comes at the same time as major investors like Blackrock are rethinking their strategy, saying they’ll shift away from environmentally risky projects to a greener stance. (They’ve been slammed by some for not doing this whole-heartedly enough, but any change in the right direction is good, in my view. But let’s be careful about green-washing, where misleading information makes something appear more environmentally sound than it really is.)

Climate change will be a huge topic at this week’s Davos World Economic Forum — in fact, Greta Thunberg has already chided the grownups for doing too little. Money talks and Blackrock’s toe-in-the-water makes it look like it’s starting to listen, too. We’ve all seen the impact consumers can have when we decide to ditch disposable plastic straws or use reusable water bottles. If we weight “green” options during product design, and explore less damaging material choices via, for example, simulation and other PLMish technologies, who knows what we can accomplish?

The title image is of smokestacks, photographer unknown. I got it using a Creative Commons license from