KUALA LUMPUR: With SAP’s purpose of ‘helping the world run better while improving people’s lives’, it comes as no surprise that sustainability is high on the company’s agenda, more so since it is also a key theme within the 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP).
Under the 12MP, the goal is for Malaysia to become carbon-neutral as early as 2050, with carbon pricing and carbon tax to be introduced. A comprehensive National Energy Policy will also be introduced to provide long-term strategic direction to support national aspiration of carbon neutrality.
According to SAP Malaysia managing director Hong Kok Cheong, social, environmental, and economic activities and performance are interrelated, with each aspect impacting the others.
“Our efforts focus on helping to create a sustainable future for Malaysia, our customers, and society at large. For us, it is crucial to be a responsible business that holistically manages our performance and steers our business in an integrated way – connecting financial and non-financial performance,” said Hong.
“SAP addresses sustainability, including climate action, as one of our key focus areas through a dual approach. As an enabler, we aim to provide products and services to our customers to reduce their carbon emissions and pave the way toward a low-carbon future together,” he added.
Last November, SAP had announced the availability of SAP® Responsible Design and Production, a solution for designing products sustainably and transitioning to a circular economy. This is the latest offering in a growing portfolio of sustainability-specific software applications that help businesses increase their measurement and data management capabilities.
As sustainable business regulations are put in place, such as plastic taxes, the SAP Responsible Design and Production solution enables brands to accelerate their transition to circular-economy business practices. The new solution helps companies gain better visibility of material flows through their processes including tracking and complying with rapidly changing regulations, especially those concerning product packaging and plastics. As businesses increasingly develop sustainable products, managing materials and regulatory data is becoming one of the most complex challenges across the consumer industry today.
“The circular economy is based on three principles, driven by design — eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials, and regenerate nature,” said Hong.
“Digital solutions play an important role in the transition to a circular economy. They enable businesses to embed circular practices across their operations, from designing products to help reduce waste from the outset, to tracking the lifecycle of the materials they use.”
With SAP’s new solution, businesses can embed circularity principles into core business processes, helping eliminate waste and unlock new value by designing products to be sustainable from inception. For example, a shampoo brand manager has visibility into the full product lifecycle, including their extended producer responsibility (EPR) obligations and the plastic taxes of different markets. This visibility helps the brand manager make design changes to reduce waste and decisions on how to lower the costs of the downstream re-use and recycling systems.
The SAP Product Footprint Management solution, meanwhile, is part of a new portfolio of sustainability-specific business applications that deliver transparency and measurement capability across the supply chain, allowing companies to move toward lower carbon emissions and more sustainable operations.
By integrating data across solutions that govern production processes with master data from business applications such as SAP S/4HANA®, SAP Product Footprint Management can calculate the environmental impact of various production scenarios.
SAP’s data-driven approach lets businesses embed sustainability comprehensively and gain actionable insights across the value chain to enable companies to transition to low-carbon business processes. Taking a differentiating approach, SAP enables businesses to proactively identify the carbon impact at the beginning of the product lifecycle instead of reactively after a product has been produced.