Dow Jones Sustainability Indices: SAP Retains Title of Most Sustainable Software Company

SAP again leads the software industry category of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

Established in 1999 by investment management firm RobecoSAM, the Index is a leading benchmark for investors who factor sustainability issues into their portfolios, and SAP has been listed since the beginning.

Setting Ambitious Targets for the Environment

In the environmental dimension, SAP scored 80 percent in the Environmental Policies and Management Systems category (+14pp compared to 2018 and +65pp compared to industry average) of the DJSI. In 2018, SAP fulfilled its target to adopt an environmental management system (EMS) for 70 percent of its employees through a rollout to 15,700 employees in Walldorf and Rot on top of more than 55 other EMS sites worldwide.

For climate protection, SAP also continued working toward becoming carbon neutral by 2025. To achieve this goal, among other measures, SAP has used 100 percent green electricity for all data centers, buildings, and e-car charging stations since 2014 and puts an internal price on carbon for business flights. SAP also recently stepped up its climate ambitions by setting 1.5°C science-based emissions reduction targets aligned with a net-zero future.

This year, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of SAP’s sustainability journey, SAP introduced a new environmental policy, which for the first time includes a target on phasing out single-use plastics by the end of 2020. All of these measures are part of the portfolio of actions that have helped SAP become an environmental industry leader.

Creating Transparency Holistically

SAP communicates its sustainability efforts annually in the SAP Integrated Report. Each quarter, when financial results are reported, the company also discloses its social and environmental performance concurrently, based on the firm belief that all three factors are interrelated and impact one another. Internally, a sustainability dashboard allows leaders and employees to review team performance for key social and environmental indicators broken down geographically and by line of business.

Acknowledging the importance transparency in how a business like SAP creates impact — not just in financial terms but also in environmental and social terms — SAP has joined the Value Balancing Alliance e.V. (VBA), a nonprofit organization addressing the need to rethink the value contribution of business as it pertains to different types of capital. Its objective is to create a standard for measuring and disclosing the environmental, human, social, and financial value companies provide to society.

Industry-Leading Scores on the DJSI

With a total score of 69 percent, SAP achieved the best results in its industry in the environmental and social dimensions.

  • Economic: 61 percent (-2pp compared to 2018); industry average is 29 percent
  • Environmental: 83 percent (-3pp compared to 2018, continues to be industry-leading score); industry average is 22 percent
  • Social: 73 percent (the same as in 2018, continues to be industry-leading score); industry average is 20 percent

RobecoSAM’s criteria for these sustainability indices are becoming more sophisticated each year. Nonetheless, SAP managed to earn industry-leading scores in five of the 20 key dimensions, scoring near 100 percent on several.

Other Ratings Reward SAP for Sustainability Performance

Beyond SAP’s strong score in the DJSI, other ratings also recognize the constant improvements being made: The FTSE4Good has again certified and included SAP in its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rating. Since its inception in 2001, the FTSE4Good Index Series, which is a market-leading sustainability tool for investors, has only included companies that reflect strong ESG practices.

More Work Ahead

This year marks the 10th anniversary of SAP’s sustainability journey. While it is a major milestone, it is by no means the final step.

“We have made significant progress as enabler and exemplar for sustainability and we thank everyone for their contributions. More work lies ahead of us,” reflected Luka Mucic, chief financial officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, and primary sponsor of sustainability. “We remain committed to our people and developing technology that makes a difference – for ourselves, our children, and future generations.”

Customers, investors, partners, and other external stakeholders were invited to SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, on September 10, 2019, to provide outside-in input for the continued journey. More than 100 experts from across different sectors helped to review lessons learned of the past 10 years, discuss areas of focus moving forward, and jointly shape SAP’s sustainability roadmap for the next decade.