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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

2015 was a milestone year for sustainability: The UN Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals, were ratified, ambitious targets were set, and a tight timeline was defined: 2030 will be the year in which our lives will run better.

Two weeks ago, July 18-22, the first check point was organized. Where do we stand on the realization of the global goals? 22 countries volunteered to present their findings in the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, a series of conferences that took place in New York City.

Business had a dedicated forum, the SDG Business Forum, in which small and large companies presented some of the projects that were started in this first year to achieve the Global Goals. Among the speakers were Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children, and Jay Collins, Vice Chairman of Corporate and Investment Banking for USCIB, a member of Citigroup Inc.  More information about the existing projects, grouped by goals, can be found here.

Sustainability matters for business. According to a UN Global Compact-Accenture Strategy CEO study, over 90% of CEOs consider sustainability important for the future success of their business, and 80% see sustainability as a route to competitive advantage in their industry.

Since 2014, sustainability has been included in the openSAP portfolio. Two courses have been offered on this topic: Sustainability and Business Innovation and Sustainability Through Digital Transformation. Over 23,000 students from 140+ countries enrolled in total.

The first course ran in 2014 and was repeated in early 2015. The second course started in December 2015 with a short series of podcasts – “Sustainability Snippets” – and ended in May 2016. In this last course, experts from the sustainability team presented a selection of the Global Goals and showcased the role that IT plays in the successful achievement of these goals.

One of the highlights of the course was the discussion forum, which had many active participants and where many interesting questions and points were raised. Some examples of the topics that were covered include: 3D printing avoids global transportation, Gender equality & definition of family, and How cloud computing and hyperconnectivity can reduce resource demands.

In addition, participants shared lots of links to external resources and reading material on the many topics handled in the course. A list of the additional literature can be downloaded from this link.

At the end of the course, a short survey was conducted. Over 97% of the course participants were happy with the course content and about 90% thought that the skills taught in the course would help them in their future work.

The courses mentioned above are still available in self-paced mode, which means that you can still access all the video lectures and slides once you’ve registered for the course.

If you’d like to stay up-to-date with the latest information around sustainability and SAP, you can view the Sustainability page in the SAP News Center. In addition, explore the Web book SAP & UN Global Goals, or download the iPad app from SAP Store to find out more about how IT in general and SAP customers and solutions specifically contribute to each of the 17 UN Global Goals.

If you still think that these topics are too abstract, or that a single person’s actions can’t possibly have an impact, check out “The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World”. You can make a difference, even from your couch!