9.24.2008 - 02:04pm ET
From Cradle to Grave: IBM Consulting Offering Helps Clients Make Products
"Greener" - Cars, Electronics, Consumer Products, Etc.
(CSRwire) ARMONK, NY --
(MARKET WIRE) -- 09/24/08 -- A new IBM (NYSE: IBM) consulting offering can help
clients make their products more eco-friendly from development and
manufacturing through delivery and use to end-of-life reclamation and
Ranging across products as diverse as cars, tractors, televisions, electric
shavers, even food and clothing, the IBM Environmental Product Lifecycle
Management offering assists clients in analyzing every phase of a product's
existence and designing it to be environmentally friendly from the beginning.
This includes considering the materials used to make and package it, the energy
needed to produce it, transport and use it, and designing it to be refurbished
or recycled when it's no longer useable.
"The days of using
inordinate amounts of energy, toxic chemicals and wasteful packaging to create
throwaway products that just get tossed in the landfill are coming to an
end," said Mark Wilterding, IBM's global leader for product lifecycle
"Governments, environmental advocacy groups, and most of all consumers are
demanding that companies do better, and designing a product from the start to
be eco-friendly throughout its lifetime is the most effective way to do
Increasing government regulations require that companies think about the
overall ecological impact of their products or face rising penalties, while
more and more customers are expressing a preference for "greener"
products. Both expect companies to plan for energy efficiency and proper
disposal of products at end of life. In addition, the rising costs of energy
and materials associated with making, packaging and selling any product can
have a significant impact on a company's bottom line.
Companies that take a comprehensive approach to designing environmentally
friendly products can not only avoid penalties and increase efficiency while
lowering costs, but also have the opportunity to increase market share and
revenue. Oftentimes, such "green" products are extensions of a brand
or even support new product innovation.
IBM has extensive experience with many of these design-to-disposal capabilities
within its own operations. The company created its product stewardship program
in 1991, covering design for recycling, use of recycled plastics, product
energy efficiency, and use of environmentally friendly materials and processes.
The company has offered take-back programs for some products since 1989, and
IBM processes more than 49,000 metric tons of products and product waste
annually, with less than 1 percent of it going to landfills.
IBM's Environmental PLM offering is relevant to product and service offerings
across all industries, but in particular to clients in sectors such as
automotive, heavy equipment, electronics, and consumer products ranging from
food to apparel.
The offering provides an overall analysis of a product's lifecycle, taking into
account current environmental concerns, regulations and business issues, and
industry best practices. Based on that analysis, IBM can help the client
understand any gaps in its current practices, develop realistic targets for
reducing the environmental impact of its products and establish a strategic
plan of initiatives to meet those targets.
>From that plan, IBM can help the client build new design-for-environment
capabilities, integrating them into existing processes to improve the
environmental competitiveness of its operations and products.
Through this offering, IBM can help clients develop the following
-- Design for compliance -- ensuring products meet new regulatory requirements
for energy usage, material safety, etc.;
-- Design for end-of-life management -- designing a product so that it is easy
to refurbish and reuse or disassemble and recycle;
-- Lifecycle assessment and carbon footprint reduction -- reducing the
environmental impact of producing the product, shipping it, use by the
consumer, and reclamation and recycling, by evaluating carbon trade-offs
through the manufacturing, distribution and transportation processes;
-- Material selection -- choosing materials that are renewable, recyclable and
-- Packaging design -- designing packaging to minimize waste and make it
lighter and easier to recycle;
-- Project delivery acceleration -- reducing the time it takes to get
eco-friendly products from the drawing board to market.
An IBM global survey on corporate social responsibility with more than 250
c-suite executives showed that most see CSR activities as an opportunity to
gain competitive advantage and grow revenue.
Additionally IBM's biennial global survey of more than 1,100 CEOs showed that
the majority of them plan to increase their investments in CSR by 25 percent
over the next three years.
Environmental PLM joins a growing list of consulting offerings from IBM
designed to help clients address CSR issues throughout their operations,
including the Carbon Trade-off Modeler, the CSR Assessment and Benchmarking
offerings, and Green Sigma(TM).
You can access IBM's global CSR survey at www.ibm.com/gbs/csrstudy.
To read IBM's CEO study, go here:
To learn more about IBM's PLM consulting offerings, go to:
To read IBM's paper on carbon management, go to:
60 29th Street #230