Life Cycle Management

The purpose of a life cycle management is to identify the sustainability of products and services to be able to identify 'long term value creation. This is established by integrating the data retrieved from utilizing tools in the 'Product Sustainability Toolbox' below.

Product Sustainability Toolbox
Applications Tools
Environmental Material, Process and Product Comparison EMS, Integrated Management Systems, GAP and SWOT Analysis
Investment Decision Support for Strategic Planning SD Assessment
Marketing, Customer and Regulatory Supply Chain Management.
Compliance Dialogue Energy and Substance Flow Analysis, Assessment and Dissemination
Weak Point Analysis for Environmental and Economic Improvements
LCI and LCIA Databases

Product and Services Benchmarking
Life Cycle Costing/Process Cost, Total Cost of Ownership, Value Creation Assessment
  Simulation of Material and Energy Flows.

Source: United Nations Environment Programme

Why is LCM required?

A world-wide expanding market, diminishing resources, raising standards and climate change threatening mankind, has led to a dynamic market with resources supplied from anywhere. With this in mind, it is possible to investigate upstream and downstream operations of a company, identify areas where processes can change, thereby allowing greater cost effectiveness and lead to sustainability.
New sustainable business models have allowed businesses (all sizes and types) to gain an edge over their competitors by being able to 'target, organize, analyze & manage product-related information' on a continuous basis to enable continuity in improvements.

Case Studies:

Examples of companies who have successfully incorporated sustainability into every aspect of their business include Dow Chemical Company with 46,000 employees worldwide and $58 billion turnover. Dow stated:
"Sustainability requires making every decision with the future in mind. It is our relationship with the world around us, creating economic prosperity and social value while contributing to the preservation of our planet."

Investors who refuse to come to grips with environmental & social aspects are likely to become increasingly marginalized. It is now evident that the tried and tested investments methods for the last twenty years have failed and are simply inadequate to cope with the complexities, subtleties and competitive turbulence of today. Contrary to popular belief, issues such as climate change, environment and social factors such as access to medicine do indeed matter to businesses.

Example: Toyotas runaway success of Toyota Prius compared with Detroit's big 3 car companies. Although sustainability is not a panacea for corporate competitiveness, it has allowed them to gain market share; innovative and creative with new products; encourage recruitment of talented staff, and retain them; enhance customer loyalty; reduce energy and reduce risk.
Some companies use life cycle in product development, (Ford & Alcam packaging), others use it to decide on technology investment (Veolia), whilst others use it for determining investment opportunities (Eskom) however all of them state that in reference to the bottom line, life cycle management is a way that determines long term profitability and some are stating that they are having short-term returns as well.