In 2022 I delivered vision concept designs with operational sustainability scenarios.

Design Objective

The objective of the Operational Sustainability visioning was to define the strategy, integration, and evolution of the Maximo Application Suite to support a transformation to sustainable operations by identifying corporate and operational sustainability use cases, workflows and data.

“Customers across industries can operationalize sustainability by using Maximo Application Suite to report on environmental impact and manage improvements using their existing asset infrastructure and operational asset management workflows.”

Sustainability Scenarios

Sustainability, Environmental and Operational processes are often to be organized into separate process areas and process owners. 

Operational Sustainability Scenarios

Operations teams are responsible for reporting on their activities with impact on Environmental, Social, and Governance factors. Operations teams are also expected to implement and comply with corporate sustainability and environmental strategies and policies, and take corrective actions to reduce environmental impact. Such activities may be the consumption of energy and material, emissions through combustion and incidents, and waste generated from maintenance. Asset lifecycle presses involve purchasing, supply, transport, storage, usage, and waste management. Operational sustainability data is recorded and managed at a fine-grained resolution through the operational workflows. The tracking of ESG metrics enables environmental performance analytics and resulting corrective actions to be taken by the operational team at the scale of asset instances and asset classes.

Operational Sustainability Data Sources

Operational data is collected from functional locations and assets identified to have an environmental impact. High-resolution operational data is required for analytical insights and actions at the asset level. Organizational roll-up of operational data to business units, sites, and locations is required for corporate-level sustainability reporting. Operational workflows generate operational data. The most important operational sustainability workflows are Incident management, Maintenance management, and Inventory Management. Maintenance management includes Inspections, Conditional and Preventive Maintenance. Operational data may be collected from continuous, fugitive, or count-based data sources, such as Meters, Inspections, Incidents, Items, and Work Orders. Collected data needs to be quantified by material, amount, and unit of measure. Operational data needs to be normalized to a CO2e unit for use in analytics for asset scripting, prioritization, and baselining at actionable an asset level.

Incident management

An Incident is an unplanned operational event. It may result in a fugitive emission, or a near miss, with an environmental impact on air, water, or ground. Incidents have a workflow that depends on regulatory compliance reporting. Incidents may also trigger a larger Health, Safety, and Environmental (HSE) workflow with Investigations, Root-cause Analysis, Corrective Actions, and Management of Change. An Incident workflow is often initiated by an Operator in the control room based on a control system alarm, or by a Technician performing an inspection. Incidents may also be created by workers and managers reporting on an accident.

In the scenario below, the Control Room Operator observes a NOx emission warning on the main boiler plant control panel. The NOx level is at an intermediate warning level and does not exceed regulatory emission limits. An urgent Service Request is submitted, an Incident is reported, and an entry is made in the Operator Log. The Maintenance Manager receives the Service Request from Operations, recognizes the potential for an emission event, and generates a high-priority Inspection of the boiler control system. The Incident, Service Request, and Inspection objects are linked. The Technician receives the inspection Work Order on his mobile device. Having been issued a permit to work from Operations he goes to inspect the control system. The Maintenance Manager reviews the results of the inspection and the near-miss incident updating the Incident Log with the work carried out and referencing the Work Order as a related record to the incident. He then creates an Investigation record from the Incident to analyze the root cause.

Throughout the process, the Incident, Inspection, and Investigation collect emission data attributing the Incident record with sustainability data.

Incident scenario screen flow.

Maintenance management

Asset maintenance is a planned activity that may be periodic, conditional, preventive, or predictive. Maintenance may be performed as inspections where the condition of an asset is inspected and key status and health data are collected. Maintenance workflows are specified in a Job Plan that calls out the asset data to be collected. Technicians performing the inspection may use a mobile device to record data values or take pictures for visual inspections. Post-maintenance reviews or analytics of the inspection data may identify outlier behavior indicating an environmentally bad actor.

In the scenario below, the Technician views the monthly HVAC preventive maintenance work order. A monthly maintenance job plan is specifying the inspection and maintenance steps. The job plan states the parts required for the job, such as the HVAC refrigerant type used. The environmental impact of the CO2e of the refrigerant is defined with the Item. The Technician performs the maintenance, notices the low refrigerant pressure, and refills the HVAC system to the specified operational pressure. The Maintenance manager reviews the HVAC preventive maintenance work order history. An anomaly in the consumption of refrigerants is identified. An investigation is created to assess the HVAC system as a suspect chronic leaker.

Maintenance scenario screen flow.

Consumption management

Operational processes drive resource consumption and resulting emissions to air, water and ground. Installations and Asset maintenance workflows in the Maximo Manage application may include manual steps to collect consumption meter data. The Maximo Monitor application may automate data collection of meter data by device instrumentation or control system integrations. Enterprise sustainability reporting may demand, or utilize, capturing of consumption data for sustainability disclosure reporting. Data collection may be continuous or manual with monthly meter readings. Analytics on high-resolution operational consumption data may discover anomalies and bad actors.

In the scenario below, the Technician performs an inspection and captures gas meter reading as gas consumption data. The maintenance manager is analyzing the environmental profile of the boiler and compares its performance with other boilers.

Consumption scenario screen flow.

Inventory management

Operational asset management workflows define an asset lifecycle across production, delivery, commissioning, storage, use, decommissioning, recycling and waste. Asset maintenance may replace the entire rotating asset or parts of the asset. Operational assets may consume resources that need to be replaced or refilled. All such parts and consumables are managed as Items of an Item Master. The environmental factors of an item are specified as part of the Item Master. Items may be recycled back into the site inventory or returned to a waste inventory. The state of an item may be captured by its condition code.


Data is the currency for sustainability. It’s imperative to enable the collection of quantifiable data from a wide range of operational sustainability workflows and data sources. Operational Sustainability data capture workflows are performed by roles using the Maximo Manage and Maximo Mobile applications to inspect assets, perform maintenance work, or report incidents. Operational Sustainability data needs to be collected and analytics insights generated at the actionable asset level. Operational data needs to be normalized to CO2e for comparable analytics and environmental scoring.