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SAP Employees Spur Sustainable Change

November 5, 2015 by Christine Susanne Mueller 16

Water conservation in Silicon Valley, attracting young talent, and closing deals are just some of the ways SAP’s sustainable offices impact business.

Why did Fabiano Hennemann put a lot of yellow sticky notes all over the SAP Lab in São Leopoldo, Brazil? “Sustainability is part of SAP’s vision, so we decided to be a role model,” he explains. “The yellow stickers are a creative way to make employees and visitors aware of the Lab’s many sustainability achievements.”

SAP’s development facilities in São Leopoldo were built with certified materials and are equipped with an indoor garden that acts as a natural cooling system. This campus was the first SAP Lab location worldwide to receive a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certificate. Like most of SAP’s environmentally certified locations, it is part of SAP’s Environmental Management System (EMS), a program that not only drives wins for the planet but also for people. “Employee engagement matters a lot to us, and ISO 14001 certified sites perform better than the SAP average,” says Fabiano.

Showcasing Results

In the Silicon Valley, the EMS team is demonstrating that creating economic and social impact go hand in hand at SAP. Saving 3.1 million gallons of water, for instance, not only improves people’s lives, but presents a significant business case in drought stricken California where 25% water reduction is mandatory.

Larry Morgan, regional EMS representative for the USA, Canada and Brazil, believes the EMS program is critical to business: “Our stance on sustainability has a direct impact. When we almost lost a big deal four years ago, we realized that ISO 14001 certification improves credibility with our customers. Not only that, but if you want to sell one of our sustainability solutions, it helps if your own location is ISO 14001 certified and if you can highlight our global environmental policy.”

Besides driving business, EMS ensures legal compliance, mitigates SAP’s environmental risk and significant enhances brand recognition. “There is a direct connection between a company’s sustainability record and the attraction and retention of top talent. Studies show that sustainability is a key factor when selecting a company to work for.”

Moving the Needle

“EMS projects are not only about energy efficiency. We want to improve awareness about topics such as environmentally friendly commuting and biodiversity. We also want to reduce  GHG emissions,” says Georgina Drew, ISO audit coordinator and a member of the Green Team at SAP Ireland. (see box 2).

Aiming to keep their ISO 14001 certificates, SAP Ireland’s EMS teams in Dublin and Galway are working hard to reduce CO2 emissions. A survey conducted about the usage of e-cars showed that six employees already have an e-car, and 120 out of the 147 employees considering getting one say that having a charging point at SAP is a decisive factor. This outcome triggered investigation into implementing electric charging stations in Galway and in Dublin by the end of 2015.

With dedicated teams like the ones in Brazil, the U.S. and Ireland, SAP employees truly can impact business and improve people’s lives.

Image via Shutterstock

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