SAP data centres certified for energy efficiency by German standards organisation

JohannesburgTwo SAP (NYSE: SAP) data centres in Germany have been certified as “energy efficient” by TÜV Rheinland, a German group that documents the safety and quality of business and technology systems to establish sustainability in social and industrial development.

To date, only 10 data centres from various companies have received this certification. Out of those, the SAP data centre in St Leon-Rot, Germany, achieved the highest ratings in five of the six evaluation categories, setting new standards for the certificate.

The SAP data centres were specifically recognised for the use of advanced technologies, which in 2009 saved roughly 55 million kilowatt hours/14 000 tons of CO2 emissions, equal to the annual energy consumption of 13 000 households. The SAP centres scored particularly high in the areas of quality assurance, management and climate control.

Lynnette Shaw, Solution Manager Sustainability at SAP Africa, says: “The above achievement is very important to SAP’s strategy as an exemplar in terms of sustainability. As SAP customers account for one sixth of the world’s carbon emissions, it is also important to be an enabler. Through the use the SAP Carbon Impact Solution, SAP was able to quickly determine its 2009 emissions, rebase its carbon footprint and was able to the report on its carbon footprint months earlier than was previously possible. Furthermore, SAP has been named in the Corporate Knights Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations list for the sixth year in a row, and for the third consecutive year has been named as the leader in the software sector of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI), as well as the FTSE4Good index.”

A large proportion of energy consumption in data centres is caused by the cooling of server systems. Using an architectural separation of hot and cold aisles, the SAP data centres control the cool air from outside to achieve an optimal temperature reduction. This helped significantly reduce consumption levels.

The ecologically and financially sustainable operation of the SAP data centres was also enhanced by the consistent use of virtualisation. While conventional data centres have an average server utilisation rate of 10%, the SAP centres strive to use more than 60%. For example, instead of installing 2 500 individual servers, SAP shifted the processing load to 2 500 virtual servers operating on approximately 300 physical servers. In this way, the company was able to reduce the costs for hardware, space and energy consumption by more than 50%.

“With the introduction of the new SAP Business Objects Sustainability Performance Management Solutions, SAP can now more easily set its sustainability goals and objectives, measure and communicate performance and reduce data collection costs and errors,” added Shaw.

The certification by TÜV Rheinland is an important step for SAP toward achieving its sustainability goals. In 2009, SAP announced an aggressive commitment to reduce its total carbon emissions back to the levels of 2000 by 2020, cutting its emissions approximately in half from its year-2007 peak levels.

For more information, visit the Sustainability newsroom on sap.com. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.


SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software (*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 95 000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP”. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning, business intelligence, and related applications.

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