The trade with emission certificates is an environmental policy measure aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. The certificates stipulate the emission levels permitted for certain companies and industries. If, for example, an energy provider invests in new filter technologies and consequently reduces its emissions of carbon dioxide, it can sell unused emission certificates to companies that exceed the permitted emission levels. The scheme therefore creates an incentive to reduce pollution.
With the help of emission trading, the signatory states of the Kyoto Protocol want to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to at least 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. Trading with emission certificates between industrialized countries across the world is to be possible as of 2008.
Effective forecasting, analysis, and documentation are called for
All companies in energy-intensive industries, such as power stations, chemical companies, cement and paper factories, are faced with new tasks relating to the documentation, analysis, and forecasting of their emissions data. In order to provide information on which pollutants their production plants emit, and at what levels, they need a wide range of information, for example on the source of the emissions, the raw materials and other materials processed, energy consumption, and products and their contents and ingredients. Data that is consistent and can be accessed quickly does not just support emission trading. It is also a key requirement for effective business planning, for controlling and risk management, life cycle assessment and various administrative processes such as the approval procedures for new production plants. However, in heterogeneous IT landscapes in which this type of information is maintained in different applications, such as plant maintenance, product development or production planning applications, users have only restricted access to the data.
SAP xEM provides impetus for the information flow
This is precisely where SAP xApp Emissions Management (SAP xEM) comes into its own. It is a composite application (xApp), which SAP developed in collaboration with TechniData, a leading provider of environmental management solutions. SAP xApps are based on the concept of Enterprise Service Architecture (ESA), which regards IT functionalities as services and makes them available across system boundaries. xApps use Web services technology for this. With the help of Web services, SAP xEM bundles all the functions required for emissions management in heterogeneous IT landscapes, so that relevant data is available quickly for various business and production processes.
The solution also offers tools that can be used to analyze, monitor, and manage emissions data. This includes a formula editor for calculating emissions. These tools enable companies to monitor and control their factory emissions and to record the degree to which these meet targets. To this end, fulfillment statuses indicate the amounts of pollutants released over a particular unit of time. In addition, this means that performance benchmarks can be used for comparisons with similar companies. The solution’s reporting features enable communication with internal and external interested parties, which include shareholders, investors, and the general public.
SAP xApp Emissions Management provides preconfigured processes for evaluating legal security, or analyzing and documenting emissions, for example. These processes bundle all the required data, therefore improve the information flow in the company, and make it easier to control environment-related measures.
The technological basis of SAP xEM is the application and integration platform SAP NetWeaver. The solution uses functionality from mySAP Enterprise Portal, SAP Knowledge Management (SAP KM), SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) and SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP XI). It also contains newly developed functions which are used, among other things, to integrate applications and tools from external providers – for example, a solution for the online capture of measurement data or a legal database. Because SAP xEM was developed on the basis of SAP NetWeaver, and supports internet standards such as Java or HTML, the solution can be easily integrated in existing company portals.
Scenarios for calculating non-measurable emissions
The user interface of SAP xEM is based on the mySAP Enterprise Portal technology, and provides users with central access to all business applications and information. The portal contains functions for user administration and analysis functions from SAP BW and SAP KM. It also contains integrated screens and dialog boxes that were developed with the help of the Web Dynpro programming model. These make it easier for users to model their own emission scenarios. This ensures effective data maintenance, because companies are also able to calculate emissions that cannot be measured directly. One example of this is the emission of greenhouse gases; these levels can be determined on the basis of a number of parameters such as energy consumption.
For effective emissions management, it is essential for a company to have data integration across different systems. In SAP xEM, this integration is achieved by means of BAPIs, plug-ins, or via the SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP XI). In this way, the composite application provides a solid base for calculating pollutant emissions, for example.
The data entered and managed in SAP xEM can be transported to SAP BW using extractors. This enables users to carry out analyses and create reports. With the help of iViews, reports can be integrated in the portal interface, and can therefore be accessed quickly by all the employees who need them. SAP Knowledge Management supports the documentation and archiving of emissions-relevant information.
As a cross-application solution, SAP xEM supports teams in collaborating within a project or with team members from another project by using roles. As a result, the pollution officers in a company, for example, who may work in different locations, are able to exchange data on emissions, plants, and relevant environmental guidelines with each other. This is made possible by standardized interfaces and transfer protocols such as XML. In addition, a multi-user-enabled database provides all those who have the relevant access rights with a uniform view of the information.
Thanks to its predefined processes, SAP xEM can be implemented efficiently in less than four months. This leads to considerable cost savings, while at the same time, scalability ensures that the solution is able to grow with the company.