LONDON — Digital business network giant SAP Ariba is creating a new marketplace to expand the trade of recycled plastics and plastic alternatives, under the next phase of the Plastics Cloud, a pilot program launched last year to help reduce and ultimately eliminate the waste of single use plastics, SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) announced today.
The first phase of the program focused on collecting existing and live data from across the UK plastics supply chain to spark new ideas for waste reduction. SAP announced the next phase of Plastics Cloud at London Design Festival on September 13.
In this second phase announced today, SAP said it would work with partners to extend SAP Ariba, the world’s largest business-to-business network, to create a new global marketplace for suppliers of recycled plastics and plastic alternatives. The goal is to use the Ariba® Network to connect buyers with new recycled plastics suppliers like Bantam Material Ltd and others certified by organizations such as OceanCycle, a social enterprise focused on creating traceability in plastic supply chains and helping businesses integrate ocean plastics into their products.
Plastics Cloud enabled by the Ariba Network will allow brands to connect more sustainably with new recycled plastics and alternative supply sources via waste picker communities. About 40% of plastic produced globally is used in product packaging, but less than one-fifth of plastic is recycled, creating serious environmental and human health problems according to National Geographic. Some $10 billion worth of packaging annually flows through the Ariba Network.
“Even a small portion of global spend on packaging redirected to pre-certified suppliers of recycled plastics and alternatives can have a tremendous impact, ranging from the livelihood of waste pickers around the world to the environment and quality of the end products,” said Padmini Ranganathan, SAP Ariba Global Vice President of Sustainability and Supplier Risk Solutions. “The Ariba Network together with cloud-based procurement solutions, can help channel recycled plastic to a new recycle market economy. This empowers supply sources to build trusted buyer partnerships while positively impacting the environment and delivering value to brands.”
Raffi Schieir, Bantam Materials Ltd Director, said: “80 to 90 percent of ocean plastic starts on land, hence, incentivizing collection from at risk coastlines around the world will significantly reduce plastic contamination of our oceans. Processing that plastic back into the highest quality materials at industry-required volumes, along with the certified traceability that OceanCycle provides, will drive meaningful impact. This effort also helps our customers achieve their sustainability targets, and provides a true benefit to the environment that consumers will appreciate.”
This development follows the collaborative efforts of SAP with global consumer product brands such as Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Nestle to find solutions to scale recyclable procurement and improve the social and environmental impact of their products via the Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit.
“At the core of the plastic problem is the economic value of plastic waste,” said Jens Amail, SAP UK and Ireland Managing Director. “For long-lasting change to be effective, we need to both innovate into new materials as well as increase the value of our existing plastic waste to divert waste streams away from the natural environment. Being a responsible business is no longer a ‘nice-to-have,’ it’s an imperative. SAP has worked relentlessly in the past 10 years to make its customers and partners run better, greener and ultimately improve people’s lives. I am proud that, with this initiative, the UK is at the forefront of innovation in that field.’’
For the week-long London Design Festival, SAP has also collaborated with architect Sam Jacob to create an art installation in the grand entrance of the Victoria and Albert museum, which explores the role of design and technology in reducing ocean plastics.
This year marks Sustainability @ SAP’s 10th Anniversary, and initiatives such as the Plastics Cloud serve to highlight one of the many ways SAP is working to create a more sustainable world for generations to come.
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Adam Clatworthy, SAP, +44 (0) 7918 372043, adam.clatworthy@SAP.com