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Powering the Energy Revolution

February 24, 2015 by Bettina Wunderle, Christine Susanne Mueller 0

Having converted to 100% renewable energy in 2014, SAP plans to go even greener this year.

SAP, IKEA, and Nestlé were among the latest companies to become part the RE100 initiative. The signings were announced at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi on January 19, 2015. The RE100 (RE = renewable energy) campaign was launched in September 2014 by The Climate Group, a non-profit organization whose goal is a prosperous, low carbon future. SAP had already announced its commitment to 100% renewable electricity in its data centers and facilities worldwide at the beginning of 2014.

According to Daniel Schmid, chief sustainability officer at SAP SE, shifting customer systems to SAP’s “green cloud” also effectively neutralizes customers’ CO2 emissions arising from the operation of SAP software in their data centers.

“This [commitment to renewable power] has allowed SAP to expand its competitiveness in the cloud software market while further enhancing its sustainability leadership. We are happy to share our practical experience with global sustainability leaders as well as to discuss challenges and opportunities associated with renewable energy,” he says.

Jonas Dennler, SAP’s global environmental manager, confirms that SAP intends to increase its investment in renewable electricity in 2015. “Firstly, we’re extending that investment across all of our operations, including acquisitions, and in fact, have already been powering Concur with 100% renewable energy since the beginning of the year. Secondly, we’re currently rolling out a program that enables event organizers to run their events with green energy.”

The process is really quite simple and will already be used for CeBIT, as well as for all events at SAP Schweiz in 2015.

Extraordinary measures needed

The decision to invest in green energy goes hand-in-hand with SAP’s sustainability strategy. In concrete terms, the company’s goal is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from its operations to levels of the year 2000 by 2020.

“These are very ambitious goals, which call for extraordinary measures,” Schmid points out. “Investing in renewable energy is one of those measures. Our mobility concept is another, exemplified by the launch of our e-car fleet.”

Participation in the RE100 initiative fits well with the 91% of SAP employees who recently said they want their company to pursue the issue of sustainability seriously.

It’s not just employees who demand this – other stakeholders, especially customers and investors, increasingly ask for proof points of our sustainability performance. Because just as SAP obliges its suppliers to adhere to the Supplier Code of Conduct when it comes to social and environmental aspects, so too are customers working at increasing sustainability in their supply chains. More and more customers have begun checking the efficiency of SAP’s sustainability activities by means of questionnaires and supplier assessments.

Investors are taking an increasingly sharper look as well, because using power from renewable energy sources isn’t just good for business, the economy, and the planet – according to a report published in September 2014 by the University of Oxford and the London-based asset management service Arabesque, it can also boost your performance on the capital markets. Eighty percent of the 200 studies they analyzed show that good sustainability practices positively influence stock prices.

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