Through topics of transportation, utilities and acquiring a new company, sustainability was clearly on the mind of SAP Co-CEO Jim Snabe on Thursday. He was in China, where he discussed how better planning and cutting-edge technology can help streamline the movement of people, goods and resources, which in turn reduces everyone’s carbon footprint.
“It’s time for a next-generation consumer experience where you don’t have to move the consumers around into physical stores, but [they] get a unique experience in the virtual world,” Snabe told CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia. “We see this [as] a much more sustainable business model.”
Snabe was talking about SAP’s acquisition of Zug, Switzerland-based ecommerce software provider hybris, announced Wednesday. But he was in the city of Chengdu for the Fortune Global Forum, where he participated in a special roundtable discussion Thursday about job creation and — you guessed it — sustainability.
“We see an opportunity to better predict energy demands,” Snabe said of SAP’s contributions to the utilities industry. “With that, we can radically reduce the resources needed to actually deliver the necessary energy.”
Sustainability depends on people and nature existing harmoniously, including the fulfillment of current and future economic needs, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sustainability is also at the core of SAP’s business.
“We can take enormous amounts of data and use this data to optimize these flows of goods,” Snabe said. “There is an opportunity to optimize transportation so that you have less congestion, but also less empty trucks on the street — and of course, with that, less CO2 emissions.”
Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher