Last year was marked by disruption. But what wasn’t flagged in 2020 was a global commitment to sustainability. Even while facing the hurdles of a global pandemic, progressive corporations released ambitious commitments. For example, Apple announced that it is targeting a carbon neutral supply chain by 2030. At SAP, sustainability has long been a priority.
In 2009, SAP set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions back to the levels of 2000 by the year 2020. It achieved that goal more than two years early, despite increasing its employee base fourfold. In 2017, SAP announced a commitment to making operations carbon neutral by 2025. This target included all direct emissions as well as a selected subset of indirect emissions from supply chains and services. Earlier this year, SAP stepped up its ambitions and confirmed it will become carbon neutral in its own operations by the end of 2023 – two years earlier than previously stated.
Many other firms are also setting ambitious goals. Meanwhile, investors continue to clamor for prioritization of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues – as noted by the Harvard Business Review. A recent Morgan Stanley survey showed that 80% of asset owners are integrating ESG into investment process, up from 70% in 2017.
Beyond its own operations, SAP is committed to helping customers transform into the purpose-driven and resource-sensitive companies these times demand – no matter where they start on their sustainability journey. A new sustainability service package makes this easier than ever before, reimagining business operations and organizational decision-making by applying a sustainability perspective to the value-creation process. Today, consumers are shifting to more sustainable products and services, employees are focusing their career choices on responsible employers, and investors are increasingly considering and integrating environmental risks and social data in their investment decisions. SAP is determined to make it possible for CIOs and the rest of the C-suite to make sustainability a strategic priority smartly and efficiently with this service package.
The service package can support services across SAP products and allow companies to focus on their core business while layering on an invaluable sustainability lens. Through analytics and reporting, the service package works to create a transparent window into important indicators such as carbon footprint and resource consumption. The service package helps drive sustainable product development, works to ensure the safety of workers and the environment, and can apply environmental considerations to business processes for zero-waste resource consumption.
Additionally, compliance is a vital part of almost every company’s sustainability journey, especially as increasingly stringent regulations are adopted across the EU and elsewhere. This service package enables companies to implement parallel accounting of financial and sustainable gains while measuring environmental impact, as well as the provisioning of additional regulatory and tax compliance solutions. And, enterprises can choose to avail themselves of SAP’s trusted sustainability advisory services, co-creating sustainability road maps and implementing eco-relevant functionalities in business systems.
The sustainability service package is part of a larger project to lead the industry toward a greener future. This work is being recognized: SAP recently won the Supply & Demand Chain Executive (SDCE) 2020 Green Supply Chain Award, which recognizes companies that are making green practices or sustainability a core part of their supply chain strategy and are working to achieve measurable sustainability goals within the global supply chain. That’s because customers using SAP solutions for sustainability are already becoming greener, adapting their portfolios to more sustainable sourcing and products, and defining the monetary value of sustainability.
The sustainability service package is the next chapter in the ongoing story of SAP’s support for a greener, more resilient, safer future. By digitalizing the sustainability-related work companies do – and by helping more of them to follow the path to sustainability, including those who are just beginning their journey – SAP is helping to make the ambitious goals of today into tomorrow’s promises kept.
Dr. Stefan Luckert is head of Global Sustainability Content Hub for SAP Services.