Sustainability: Beyond the hype, beyond boundaries

| minute read

Often perceived as an all-encompassing yet elusive concept, sustainability defies easy definition. To gain a deeper understanding of this multifaceted topic, we embarked on a journey of exploration, seeking insights from our customers and engaging with leading industry experts. This quest culminated in the "Sustainability in Lifecycle Management" round table, where business leaders, specialists, and industry pioneers convened to discuss sustainability in practice. We would like to thank AirbusThales, Bel and Renault Trucks for their valuable contribution to these debates. 

Through this collaborative effort, we delved into the operational, maintenance, recycling, and retirement phases of a product's lifecycle, uncovering the practical applications of sustainability within the corporate world. The round table provided a firsthand glimpse into the growing significance of sustainability, revealing how businesses are integrating its principles into their operations. 

“If you do not have an authentic approach on sustainability, you will just be disqualified.” 

Bruno Chazalette, Head of Circular Solutions and Aftermarket Offers, Renault Trucks 

Companies can no longer regard sustainability as an optional add-on or a siloed function detached from the core business. Instead, fully integrating sustainability into the heart of their business strategies will unlock innovation, fostering employee engagement, customer loyalty, and supplier reliability. 

"We are ready to embrace new business models that prioritize sustainability, even if it means selling less with better usage. This shift is driven by the growing recognition that traditional business models, which emphasize maximizing sales and profit ONLY, are no longer sustainable in the face of environmental and social challenges.”

Bruno Chazalette, Head of Circular Solutions and Aftermarket Offers, Renault Trucks 

The Digital Product Passport (DPP), an enabler for more sustainable and circular PLM

In today's business landscape, a widespread desire for sustainable purchasing practices is emerging throughout the entire product ecosystem, from manufacturers to end consumers. However, the fragmented nature of supply chain data obscures the true environmental impact of products, making it challenging to make informed choices. This raises the question: how can we make informed decisions that align with sustainability goals? 

The Digital Product Passport (DPP), a groundbreaking concept proposed by the European Commission (EC), offers a potential solution to this conundrum. This innovative tool holds the promise of transparency and circularity by disseminating comprehensive product information throughout the entire value chain. This information would encompass details from raw material extraction to production, recycling, and beyond. This transformative initiative could streamline the complex process of evaluating a product's environmental footprint, making informed decision-making more accessible (dynamic BOM). 

Multiple EU legislative acts and initiatives are driving the adoption of Digital Product Passports (DPPs) in various industries. Batteries and vehicles, textiles, electronics and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), furniture, plastics, construction, and chemicals are among the first industries prioritized for DPP implementation. 

While the final timeline for mandatory DPP adoption is still being finalised, the EU is actively promoting digitalization and the transformation toward a climate-neutral, sustainable economy. This parallel process is referred to as the green and digital twin transition, emphasizing the interconnectedness of environmental and digital advancements. 


“We believe that the Digital Product Passport is an important step forward in promoting transparency and sustainability in the supply chain. We are committed to working with our partners to develop DPP solutions that will meet the needs of businesses and consumers.” 

Christelle Duverger, Sopra RSE & Energy Practice Director and Mahdi Besbes, CIMPA Consulting Manager, Customer Services

Through open dialogue and collaboration, we have shed light on the complexity of sustainability, transforming it from an abstract notion into a tangible reality. Sustainability is no longer a buzzword; it is a driving force shaping the future of business. 
​CIMPA runs several activities in PLM, implementing sustainability fundamentals, including Model-Based System Engineering; Lifecycle assessment, etc.

Implementing data-driven, end-to-end PLM practices can help organisations understand, measure, and analyse the consequences of their product design, methods of production, and supply chain choices on carbon footprint.​