Each day, the city of Bangalore produces around 3,500 tons of waste and spends a great deal of money disposing of it. This causes pollution of groundwater and the environment. Just a small change in the thought process would not only reduce costs, but also the size of the piles of waste that are needlessly transported to waste management facilities outside the city. SAP Labs India is leading by example.
Turning waste into manure
About 6,000 people work at the SAP Campus in Bangalore. At mealtimes, they produce approximately 400 kg (880 pounds) of waste each day. This used to be transported on a daily basis to waste disposal sites outside the city in an expensive and laborious process. An effective and sustainable solution was urgently required, so in 2011, Global Facility Management (GFM) at SAP Labs India Bangalore launched the “Organic Waste Converter” (OWC) project.
Today, all organic waste from the cafeterias, office buildings, and gardens is collected and deposited in the OWC. In just 15 minutes, a series of biomechanical processes converts the waste into homogenized, odor-free output, which is stored for seven days in moist, ventilated conditions. After another seven days of further treatment, the result is dry, ready-to-use fertilizer. This sustainable conversion process produces 80 kg of fertilizer from 400 kg of waste in just two weeks. To put this in perspective: the conventional composting process takes about three times longer.
Next page: SAP Campus goes even further
The end product of the organic composting process is used to fertilize the SAP Campus garden and landscape, or offered to SAP employees free of charge to use in their own gardens. Employees can look online to see how much manure is left and drop by the OWC building on their way home to collect it. Thanks to the new solution, SAP is significantly reducing its expenditure on waste disposal. Non-degradable waste that cannot be converted into compost is provided to NGOs or returned to suppliers for recycling. So, overall, as well as reaping the benefits of waste-reduction, SAP is also making an important contribution to controlling pollution and global warming. At the first Bengaluru Recycling Habba 2011, SAP Labs India was named “Best Organic Waste Recycling Champion” in recognition of the OWC project.
An extensive sustainability program
The OWC scheme is just one part of a comprehensive sustainability strategy at the site. SAP Bangalore operates about 40 e-cars as well as an extensive childcare program to help working mothers. The campus is also a bird sanctuary and home to a variety of bird species, which enthusiastic employees observe and catalog. In the “Leaders’ Gallery,” SAP managers can immortalize themselves by planting a tree. Thanks to its resource-saving projects, SAP Bangalore has now been able to cut both its energy and its water consumption by 30% respectively.