SAP Labs India promotes community action on World Environment Day

Employees from Bangalore and Gurgaon locations plant saplings on a large scale and organize drawing competitions for underprivileged children

BangaloreOn the occasion of World Environment Day, SAP Labs India initiated constructive efforts towards conserving the environment and increasing awareness on the subject. In line with SAP’s global corporate social responsibility charter ‘Clear Purpose’ and to steer forward the ‘Root Cause’ campaign, a local sustainability campaign launched in early 2009, SAP Labs India partnered with non-governmental organizations to action a series of unique initiatives in Bangalore and New Delhi respectively.

In Bangalore, SAP Labs India partnered with Eco-Watch, an NGO spearheaded by Karnataka’s renowned environmentalist Suresh Heblikar and planted saplings to help establish a Bio Park at Hoskote. More than five hundred SAP Labs India employees from Bangalore, accompanied by Kush Desai, Managing Director, SAP Labs India and Suresh Heblikar, participated in the activity by planting 1000 saplings at the land owned by All India Radio and being developed and converted by Eco-Watch into the Bio Park proposed by the Government of Karnataka. SAP Labs India has also committed to fund the maintenance of the saplings for three years, a crucial time span that ensures the sustainability of the saplings.

In another proactive effort, around 200 school children, from the 10 Government schools in Bangalore that have a partnership with SAP Labs India, were invited to participate in a painting competition based on the theme ‘environment’ and were given a free hand to express their imagination on the existing environmental problems as well as possible solutions.

Speaking on the occasion, Kush Desai, Managing Director, SAP Labs India said, “The World Environment Day celebrations served as a platform to demonstrate SAP’s commitment to promoting environmental sustainability within the community we operate in. Employees’ support and enthusiasm helped us propagate the message of environmental conservation to a broader audience effectively. Our long-term vision is to maintain focus on this subject and act as a catalyst for a positive change and impact in varied spheres, including corporate and communities.”

Suresh Heblikar mentioned, “In our endeavor to increase awareness on green issues in and around the city of Bangalore, we are pleased to partner with SAP Labs India. In our age and times, it has become critical to address the needs of the environment through collective action. Involving employees and building awareness among the youth is one of the surest ways to achieve this.”

In New Delhi, SAP Labs India Gurgaon partnered with Shikhar Organization for Social Development (SOSD), an NGO, for a diverse set of initiatives. Under SAP’s global corporate social responsibility umbrella ‘Clear Purpose’, SAP Labs India gifted fifteen computers to SOSD’s Computer Centre in Jamia Nagar, which will equip girls from neighboring areas with computer proficiency as well as employability.

V.R. Ferose, Managing Director, SAP Labs India mentioned, “SAP Labs India believes that every company has a responsibility to improve its own operations and become more sustainable. While it is important to spread the benefits of economic development, as a responsible corporate citizen, SAP Labs India also strives to make a difference to its communities at the grass-roots level.”

More than 200 school children were also invited for a drawing competition, on the theme of Environment, to Jamia Milia Islamia University’s New Delhi campus and the winners were awarded. This was followed by a sapling plantation drive at the University’s campus, where approximately fifty employees from SAP Labs India accompanied V.R. Ferose and the school children in planting 150 saplings.

Furthering the organization’s efforts in improving sustainability, employees in Gurgaon have also concurred in replacing paper cups with personalized porcelain mugs at SAP Labs India’s Gurgaon office, with effect from today. Employees also have the option to purchase additional porcelain mugs, the proceeds of which would be directed towards ‘Clear Purpose’ program.

SAP Labs India’s sustainability initiatives
In December 2008, SAP Labs India launched a green campaign, namely ‘Planet Green’ to reiterate its commitment towards environmental and business sustainability by planting saplings at the company’s campus. ‘Planet Green’ is a program that ensures conformity of business operations to eco-friendly practices.

As the second largest development and support location for SAP, SAP Labs India has tapped the talent of its employees to develop simple but effective software solutions like a car pooling application, which allow employees to pool vehicles in their commute to and from office and thus reduce the number of fuel-guzzling vehicles on the roads. Conversion of in-house magazines to e-magazines and tuning of printers to enable printing on both sides of the papers are other steps taken by SAP Labs India. SAP Labs India also encourages its employees to cycle to work and has not only created a dedicated cycle parking lot within the campus, but has also enabled purchasing bicycles and cycling gear at a nominal rate and facilitated shower amenities for employees. Cycling, being an eco-friendly commuting option, eliminates fuel consumption and also reduces clogging of roads. Other green practices include rainwater harvesting and recycling waste water and channeling it back for campus landscaping. SAP Labs India is also working to use paper efficiently and to reduce paper consumption, the non-confidential discarded sheets of paper are sent to Khadi & V. I. Commission who recycle it and send it back as recycled letterheads, envelops and other stationary for organizational usage.

Employee support has played an important role making these initiatives a success. SAP Labs India will continue to strive to contribute significantly to SAP’s global target of reducing 51-percent carbon footprint by the year 2020.

With a view to support long-term sustainability within the company, SAP Labs India had introduced a tree plantation initiative, namely ‘rootcause’. Employees were invited to bid for saplings that were planted at the campus, with the starting amount as Rs. 5,000 and the bids thereon, in multiples of Rs. 500 each. The top five bids contributed to a total of Rs. 83,000. The proceeds resulting from this auction will be used for future sustainability initiatives.

SAP’s global vision on sustainability
At a global level, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) has announced a long-term strategic focus on sustainability, covering its internal operations (an exemplar) as well as the solutions it builds for customers (an enabler) for more sustainable business practices. SAP believes that every company has a responsibility to improve its own operations and become more sustainable, and the company itself is committed to doing that. SAP also believes that IT-led innovation is a critical strategic enabler to help companies respond to the urgent challenge of global sustainability in a manner that enables them to adapt and succeed in a rapidly changing social, economic and environmental context.

Even though SAP’s carbon footprint is lower than that of organizations in other industries with comparable revenues, the company is striving for significant reductions. After analyzing its global environmental footprint, SAP announced its commitment to a 51-percent reduction of its total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by year 2020 from its year-2007 published baseline levels. This will return SAP to its approximate year-2000 emissions level of 250,000t CO2. SAP initiated its first global GHG inventory in 2008 and will report performance and progress towards the target in its annual sustainability report. Using its own software solutions to monitor and manage its sustainability targets, SAP will achieve this reduction through significant abatement across all scopes of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the most widely used international carbon accounting tool.

In the global economy, new business opportunities exist but require increased effort to ensure corporate accountability and responsibility – not only for customers’ own businesses, but also for their supply chain. SAP continues to develop solutions, including those in the software area of GRC (governance, risk, and compliance) that enable companies to engage with their entire business networks of partners and suppliers to create a more sustainable extended enterprise.

Addressing the growing need for EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) management solutions, SAP and TechniData AG, the leading providers of EHS solutions, announced an agreement to expand their existing relationship. As a result, SAP will own and sell a full line of co-created EHS applications to be offered under a single name, SAP® Environment, Health, and Safety Management (SAP EHS Management). The SAP EHS Management application helps customers ensure that EHS requirements and corporate sustainability policies are met proactively and automatically across business operations. SAP EHS Management is open to work with non-SAP solutions and yet, it is integrated into SAP Business Suite, a next-generation software suite that helps businesses optimize their performance and reduce IT cost, helping eliminate data inaccuracies and providing companies with the ability to manage business processes across multiple departments.

In March 2009, SAP announced a new cross-functional sustainability organization to drive and coordinate all aspects of its internal and external sustainability efforts. The organization forms a matrix with SAP’s existing corporate functions and thus ensures consistent execution of all sustainability programs. It is led by Peter Graf, SAP’s first chief sustainability officer and executive vice president of Sustainability Solutions, who will report directly to SAP Executive Board member Jim Hagemann Snabe. Peter Graf, a 13-year SAP veteran, leads a global team that oversees all sustainability-related initiatives – from the creation of solutions that enable sustainable business processes for customers to SAP’s own sustainability operations, including key social, economic and environmental programs. The new sustainability organization and SAP’s increased strategic focus on sustainability is fully supported by the CEO Léo Apotheker as well as the entire Executive Board of SAP AG.

About SAP Labs India
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 approximately 82,000 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 Labs India is the second largest research and development and global services and support center within SAP. Started in 1998, the center established itself across SAP’s full value chain very quickly. Contributing to over 20% of global R&D and services and support, over 4000 employees of SAP Labs India are engaged in collaborative software engineering that facilitates the delivery of innovative business solutions. An extensive employee learning system, management excellence and world class infrastructure make SAP Labs India one of the sought after employers in the Indian IT industry. SAP Labs India currently operates out of Bangalore and Gurgaon. (For more information, visit http://www.saplabs.co.in)
*SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications.

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