What is SOLIDWORKS Sustainability?

SOLIDWORKS Sustainability allows users to measure the environmental impact of the products they design in SOLIDWORKS. The SOLIDWORKS Sustainability products are fully integrated into SOLIDWORKS, and provide real-time feedback on the environmental impacts of Carbon Footprint, Total Energy Consumed, Effect on Water, and Effect on Air.

Why did DS SOLIDWORKS develop/decide to offer this product?

We see SOLIDWORKS Sustainability as a timely product. Many countries around the world have made environmental concerns a growing priority, and both individuals and companies are making more buying decisions based on the eco-friendliness of products. As this market need grows, SOLIDWORKS Sustainability enables our customers to build environmentally responsible products that better compete in a variety of markets.

What is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)?

This is a method to quantitatively assess the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire lifecycle, from the procurement of the raw materials through the production, distribution, use, disposal, and recycling of that product. To learn more, visit our LCA page.

What metrics does SolidWorks Sustainability use to report environmental impacts?

  • Air Acidification – Burning fuels creates sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and other acidic air emissions. This causes an increase in the acidity of rainwater, which in turn acidifies lakes and soil. These acids can make the land and water toxic for plants and aquatic life. Acid rain can also slowly dissolve manmade building materials such as concrete. This impact is typically measured in units of kg sulfur dioxide equivalent (SO2).
  • Carbon Footprint – Carbon dioxide and other gasses resulting from burning fossil fuels accumulate in the atmosphere, which in turn increases the earth’s average temperature. Also known as Global Warming Potential (GWP), carbon footprint is measured in units of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Scientists, politicians, and others blame global warming for problems like loss of glaciers, extinction of species, and more extreme weather, among others.
  • Total Energy Consumed – This is a measure of the non-renewable energy sources associated with the part’s lifecycle in units of megajoules (MJ). This impact includes not only the electricity or fuels used during the product’s lifecycle, but also the upstream energy required to obtain and process these fuels, and the embodied energy of materials that would be released if burned. Total energy consumed represents the net calorific value of primary energy demand from non-renewable resources (e.g. petroleum, natural gas, etc.). Efficiencies in energy conversion (e.g. power, heat, steam, etc.) are also factors.
  • Water Eutrophication - Eutrophication occurs when an overabundance of nutrients are added to a water ecosystem. Nitrogen and phosphorous from wastewater and agricultural fertilizers causes an overabundance of algae to bloom, which then depletes the water of oxygen and results in the death of both plant and animal life. This impact is typically measured in either kg phosphate equivalent (PO4) or kg nitrogen (N) equivalent.

Where does the data for the product come from?

The data used by SOLIDWORKS Sustainability is provided by Sphera™ from Germany. They have provided software and consulting services in sustainable design and LCA for almost 20 years. Sphera’s database and its GaBi software are used within SOLIDWORKS Sustainability. To learn more about Sphera, visit their website.

How accurate are the results from this product?

The values in SolidWorks Sustainability are useful to within +/- 20% and should be used as an estimate.  The more accurate way of using the product is to track the relative changes from one version of a design to the next.  It is this relative change between versions that provides an accurate indicator of environmental improvement.

Is the accuracy of SOLIDWORKS SustainabilityXpress and the full version of the SOLIDWORKS Sustainability product the same?

Who should use this product?

Almost any SOLIDWORKS user can use this product, but customers who are interested in sustainable design will benefit most. All SOLIDWORKS users can benefit from the Find Similar Material tool.

How can I get SOLIDWORKS Sustainability?

SOLIDWORKS SustainabilityXpress is included with every seat of SOLIDWORKS Desktop. The full SOLIDWORKS Sustainability is included with a SOLIDWORKS Premium license.

How will the SOLIDWORKS Sustainability products be supported?

Like all SOLIDWORKS products, resellers will provide direct support to customers. Learn more about customer support.

How does SOLIDWORKS Sustainability compare to SustainabilityXpress?

Each product's key offerings are below. View a full product feature matrix.

SOLIDWORKS SustainabilityXpress

  • LCA of individual parts

  • Find Similar Material

  • Environmental Impact dashboard

  • Customizable Sustainability report

SOLIDWORKS Sustainability

  • Same capabilities as SOLIDWORKS SustainabilityXpress plus…

  •  LCA of assemblies

  • Support for Configurations

  • Expanded reporting capabilities for assemblies

  • User inputs for energy consumption and transportation methods

  • Support for the new Assembly Visualization functionality

How much does it cost?

SOLIDWORKS SustainabilityXpress is a free product. For pricing on the full SOLIDWORKS Sustainability product, please contact your local reseller.

Is network licensing available?

Which languages will be available?

SolidWorks Sustainability will be available in 14 languages: English, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Czech, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.