Leveraging the use of semantic engineering information to improve interoperability of IT systems in sustainable manufacturing is the focus of this paper. It proposes an ontology-driven approach to formalization and representation of engineering semantics to support meaningful communication and interoperation in sustainable manufacturing and service systems. The paper argues that the development of ontology implementation mechanisms will allow these systems to effectively share the meaning of engineering data on the basis of ontology. Semantic objects, their neutral encodings, and semantic annotations are described as such mechanisms in the paper. This view is validated through a case study discussed in the paper.