From Cloud to Carbon: Revolutionizing Product Development with PTC Arena, ProGlove, Yook

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In a recent CleanTech Talk episode, I talked with Markus Fleckenstein, Director of Solution Consulting for Arena, a PTC Business; Varena Junge, co-founder of Yook; and Tim Klenner, Supply Chain Manager at ProGlove; about a partnership between these companies to cut supply chain emissions. By integrating Arena’s cloud-based PLM system with ProGlove’s solutions and also leveraging Yook’s carbon footprint analysis platform, the collaboration optimizes a company’s product lifecycle development. Confused? Listen to the podcast and read on.

Before we get deeper into the partnership, though, let’s get clear on some of the abbreviations, vocabulary and basics of what they are doing, courtesy of Varena. “PLM — product lifecycle management — is a software solution by PTC Arena, and it helps product teams and engineers to have a single source of truth for all product-related data,” she says. “We, at Yook, we are in the field of PCF — so that’s product carbon footprinting. So we use product information as an input, but we enrich it with so called emission factors, so with carbon environmental insights, to understand the environmental burden of a product throughout its lifecycle, and provide this data to customers.”

There are some obvious reasons carbon footprint analysis is getting more popular — we need to cut emissions to save our planet from global heating, and more companies are stepping up to the challenge. But it’s not all altruistic roses and volunteering — sometimes you need to be pushed by the government to do what’s necessary, and we are getting more and more of that as well. “There [are] a lot of regulatory requirements that are coming into place,” Varena notes. “In the US we have California, the climate disclosure law. … [In] Europe we have very specific upcoming regulatory tools, or laws, that are targeting products actually. So there is one that is called the Green Claims Directive, which is saying you can’t make any sustainability claims if you don’t have the data to back them up.”

Getting a little further into how PTC Arena got into providing product lifecycle management and product development services that include a strong carbon footprint element, Markus states, “There are two levels from a kind of PTC and PTC Arena perspective. One, as mentioned, like every organization, we’re taking care of our own carbon footprint as a whole company — 7,000 employees at the moment — as a global company, we are looking clearly how we can make an impact there, but also how we can help our customers to make an impact and how to improve their carbon footprint. And with a software solution that helps customers to build innovative products, this is definitely a very good starting point early on to define the product in a way that hopefully will have a very small environmental footprint in the end, and that’s kind of where it started as early as possible.

“And specifically, like at Arena, where we have a very broad set of customers, and a lot of them are in the greentech space already — like with e-mobility and EV charging and so on — so, that means they are already building products that help us reduce our carbon impact. And I can make a big impact already with their product, but also now helping them to develop their own products in a way that they are more sustainable — I think this is kind of where PLM came into play.”

In the podcast, the three of them also discuss the example of deeply evaluating the carbon footprint of ProGlove products, and how that led to some surprises in how little some parts of the business and its products — including the electronics and the batteries — contributed to their carbon footprint, while also showing where they can work to cut carbon emissions much more. As with many things in life, be careful with assumptions, and if you can, conduct a full, objective analysis in order to determine the truth of the matter and to determine what actually needs to be changed.

For much more, listen to the full podcast!


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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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