Dec 22, 2011

Singapore-based Noble Group punches above weight in first-time carbon disclosure score

PE’s consulting team has something to celebrate. Thanks to its tailored SoFi Software solution for carbon footprint data collection, analysis and reporting, Singapore-based Noble Group has scored the second highest disclosure score submitted to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in its region for 2011.

The outstanding result was out of 400 Asian companies asked to participate – and this on the company’s maiden outing. Noble is a global supply chain manager of agricultural and energy products, metals and minerals, with more than 100 offices across 40 countries in 5 continents.

With a disclosure score of 92 Noble ranked just two points behind industrial giant Samsung Electronics. In order to help Noble Group achieve this exceptional result the PE consulting team started by analysing and integrating all of the company’s existing  emissions data. These provided the raw data required to kick-start the greenhouse gas management process with SoFi Software; allowing a high quality and verifiable report to be completed on time. As a result Noble Group has now a tailored solution for ongoing carbon management.

 “We are delighted that our team was able to help Noble Group and that their emissions management efforts are recognized by the CDP”, said Johannes Partl, principle consultant at PE. “We helped them simplify and codify a process that many companies find particularly daunting and unwieldy and enabled them to incorporate reliable and ongoing carbon management into their business model.”

It is expected that following their breakthrough success, Noble Group will now be seen as a champion of the emissions management movement in Asia.

Dec 21, 2011

From COP17/CMP17 in Durban

The Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) as part of their International Development Cooperation programme invited Barbara Nebel (Managing Director, PE Australasia) to talk about international standards on the carbon footprint of products.

In particular she addressed how the upcoming ISO standard - in conjunction with existing guidelines and standards - will provide the global market with internationally accepted methodologies, criteria and indicators for quantifying and communicating carbon emissions for products and services. The demand from retailers for suppliers to communicate the carbon footprint of their products across their entire life cycle is only expected to increase.

Commenting on her presentation, Fredric Stany, Programme Manager, International Development Cooperation, SIS noted: “Barbara’s practical experience and involvement in the ISO process are very valuable for our International Development Cooperation programme around Carbon Footprinting”.

More information about the symposium can be found here:

Dec 8, 2011

Sustainability is THE new business imperative

Nearly 200 professionals from throughout Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Latin America participated in what has become one of the best events to learn about using life cycle information to improve both your company’s and your products’ sustainability performance. Building on the first Symposium where the focus was on LCA and carbon footprint, this years symposium illustrated how far the companies have advanced in integrating life cycle information into their core business practices. Below we share the key take away messages from a day full of insightful, candid and inspiring presentations.

Sustainability is THE new business imperative

Almost all of the speakers spoke about how sustainability is no longer just the right thing to do, but how it is THE new business imperative. We heard about the role that institutional purchasing, greener buildings, and retailers are playing to create a pull for both sustainable products and for sustainably managed firms. Les Hayman addressed this in his opening presentation which put sustainability in a global context, showed how business is different today as a result of these developments and ultimately how sustainability is and will continue to be a driver of business effectiveness and competitiveness.

Sustainability is a journey

Sustainability is not a destination where you know when you get there and you are done. Instead sustainability requires a continuous examination of where you interact with the environment and society to identify how best to reduce one’s risks and capture ever changing opportunities. Presentations by Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Disney and many more demonstrated how companies are continually evolving and innovating solutions along their journey regardless of where they are. Further, the success stories of leaders were often tied back to their beginnings emphasizing the importance of ‘starting’.

The triple bottom line is essential but not sufficient

We heard throughout the day from companies like Daimler, Tesco, AkzoNobel, to name a few, that to ensure long term alignment and improvement in their sustainability goals, they must have efforts underway in economic, social and environmental fronts. However, they also spoke to the importance of these operating within a governance/management framework (e.g. senior leadership support, strategy, programs (DfE), tools (GaBi, i-reports, PLM, scorecards), and foundation data). The framework ensures continual improvement, commitment, engagement of a broad set of internal actors and alignment of corporate activities all of which are critical to maximize the success of any sustainability effort.

We are moving beyond understanding to improvement

Throughout the day speakers such as  Siemens, Zumtobel, Puma, etc. spoke to the informed actions that they and their companies were taking. Consistently this involved translating an understanding of life cycle impacts into specific actions and actionable tools to support improved decision making (e.g. material selection, supplier management, marketing, etc.). 

Standards and regulations continue to play a key role

By providing a means of measurement and a level playing field standards and regulations help companies to move along their sustainability journeys; as well as, to provide direction for future efforts. Presentations by WBCSD and The European Alliance to Save Energy showed the power these can hold, the responsibility – and benefit- sustainability leaders have in driving these forward, and the paths to participation. 

There is a growing awareness of use stage and consumer behavior impacts

Sustainability efforts particularly in the environment and human health protection have traditionally focused on upstream manufacturing processes. However there is growing awareness of the relative scale of consumer use impacts in a variety of sectors. Addressing the impacts of one’s customers will require tools and techniques to engage, educate, and include them in reducing impacts across the value chain. Fortunately, there is a growing body of best practice to draw upon from a variety of leaders – many of whom spoke at the symposium. 

Finally to achieve true change requires alignment of many elements of business management

From studies by change management experts  and confirmed by our experience - we have found that effective change requires a vision, skills, incentives, resources, and action plans. Without all of these we often get confusion, anxiety, gradual change, frustration, and false starts (Figure 2). As demonstrated throughout the day these elements are critical in internal efforts and if anything even more so when striving to achieve change across the value chain and its variety of actors.

Symposium 2012, Oct. 23-25

Save the date! We hope to see you there.

Dec 7, 2011

LCA software GaBi powers new SolidWorks 2012 - more sustainably from the start

The SolidWorks 2012 product launch includes an improved user interface with more options available to advanced users, and easy access to the latest material additions.

PE INTERNATIONAL first integrated the power of its GaBi life cycle assessment software into the product design software, SolidWorks in 2008. This sustainability add-in feature allows products to be designed more sustainably from the start.

GaBi powers two sustainability tools for different user groups.

  • The SolidWorks Sustainability Xpress is included in the purchase of SolidWorks and includes real-time feedback on an environmental impact dashboard that provides the user with detailed LCA information on individual parts.
  • SolidWorks Sustainability provides a complete dashboard of LCA information to determine the environmental impacts of part and assemblies.

SolidWorks 2012 - more "what if" secenarios

The SolidWorks 2012 version includes additional support for unique and custom materials, beyond the standard SolidWorks material database, enabling more "what if" scenarios.

Visit for more information.


Your Contact Person

For North America
Susan Fredholm Murphy
Phone:  +1 (617) 247-4477 ext. 106     
E-Mail: s.murphy(at)   
For Europe and Asia
Harald Florin
Phone:  +49 711 341817 30       
E-Mail: h.florin(at) 

Dec 6, 2011

Choosing an artificial or real christmas tree? LCA study gives the answer

The first ISO-compliant third-party peer reviewed Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) comparing the most common artificial Christmas tree sold in the United States to the most common real Christmas tree sold in the United States, found that the choice of either tree has a negligible impact on the environment.

However, the study’s findings show that length of ownership, disposal method and “tree miles” can make a difference on which tree is environmentally preferable.

The study, conducted by PE INTERNATIONAL and peer reviewed by an independent third party panel, took into consideration five key environmental indicators to determine which tree type is environmentally preferable. 

The environmental impact of Christmas trees

The study was sponsored by the American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA) a non-profit organization representing artificial Christmas tree retailers and real Christmas tree retailers, to clear up common misperceptions about the environmental impacts of Christmas trees.

If you purchase an artificial tree, keep it in use for at least nine years

The study also highlights an “Eight Christmas Environmental Payback Period” between the two tree products based on the study’s five environmental indicators. The study found that the environmental impacts of one artificial tree used for more than eight Christmas’ is environmentally friendlier than purchasing eight or more live cut trees over eight years. "ACTA encourages responsible consumerism," said Jami Warner, Executive Director of ACTA. "Consumers should consider the impact on the environment for every item they purchase, not just Christmas trees."

Read the full final report here

Dec 5, 2011

Environmental Product Declarations in Austria hold potential for communication as standardized environmental information label

In Austria, demand for responsible production and use of building and construction materials among conscious suppliers, producers and end users has made Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) gain popularity as means of independent, holistic, verified environmental performance measurements of a product or service for open marketing claims.

As it has been reaffirmed at the EPD workshop in Vienna, major stakeholders and players encouraged by different factors such as; value chain, market constrains and growing demands by consumers, own processes in house knowledge, scarcity and supply risk of resources, profitability etc; believe EPDs in Austria are gaining favor, and will help differentiate environmental performance of products, but without leading the ranking between good or bad.


EPD workshop documentation

Some important examples by Austrian industry representatives were shown at the event that was taking place at Oct. 11, 2011 and can be read and download here.