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Verdantix Says Product Lifecycle Assessment Software Will Accelerate Sustainable Supply Chain Innovation In 2012

London, UK. March 28, 2011. A flood of new product life cycle assessment (LCA) software offerings will help firms to analyse supply chain data to enhance sustainability performance, and the market will pick up in 2012, according to a new report from independent analyst firm Verdantix. Based on a global market assessment, Verdantix identified 18 smart innovators who offer product LCA software, ranging from specialists such as PE International, PRé Consultants and SolidWorks, to consulting firms like Bureau Veritas, PwC and WSP Environment & Energy.

“In the last two years more than a dozen suppliers have rushed into the product LCA software market” said Emilie Beauchamp, Verdantix analyst and author of the report. “In 2010 investors committed more than $20 million to fund new ventures and accelerate growth plans for existing players. So far demand for product LCA software has been patchy, price points for new online applications are as low as $85per month and the market lacks direction. But in 2012 demand will pick up due to a growing focus on green procurement, new regulations that require reporting of Scope 3 emissions and evidence of business value delivered by LCA projects.”

The Verdantix report, Smart Innovators Product LCA Software, names 18 firms active in the market and identifies three adoption drivers.

New and existing regulations for environmental reporting underpin demand for environmental product compliance software and the innovations product LCA software. Europe leads the world in setting standards for product sustainability with regulations like REACH and the French government’s Bilan Carbone which requires Scope 3 emissions data reporting by the end of 2012. France will become the leading market for LCA software adoption worldwide.

Supply chain power players like global food retailers and public procurement agencies aim to improve the sustainability credentials – and simultaneously cut costs – of their purchase decisions. Brand name suppliers like Unilever seek to get ahead of the curve by performing product LCA studies on margarine, tea and ice cream. Investments in LCA project shape and respond to retailers’ sustainability strategies and flow upstream into sustainable agriculture practices.

Potential for differentiation lifts demand for LCA software as firms upgrade environmental design product strategies. French tyre manufacturer, Michelin used product LCA software to support the design of its Green X tyres which reduce fuel consumption. Flooring manufacturer Shaw Industries also drew upon product LCA studies to design its Shaw Nylon 6 products, which can be recycled into new carpets and area rugs after use.

“For the last two years an influx of new product LCA software and services suppliers have tried to stimulate market demand” commented Verdantix Director, Rodolphe d’Arjuzon. “The green shoots of demand for product LCA solutions are just starting to poke through a muddy patch in the market. Growth will continue to evolve slowly in 2011 until more powerful market drivers boost demand in 2012. Our research suggests that product LCA software will remain a niche market.”

Firms named as Smart Innovators in this Verdantix report are: Bluehorse Associates, Bureau Veritas, CleanMetrics, e3 Solutions, EcoMundo, Granta Design, ifu Hamburg, National Institute of Standards and Technology, PE International, Pré Consultants, PTC, PwC, Quantis, SAP, Sinum, SolidWorks, Sustainable Minds and WSP Environment & Energy.

The report, Smart Innovators Product LCA Software, is available to download by Verdantix clients at www.verdantix.com.

About Verdantix
Verdantix is the fastest-growing, independent, analyst firm focused on sustainable business strategies and market opportunities.
For more information visit: www.verdantix.com.

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