Technology Blogs by SAP
Learn how to extend and personalize SAP applications. Follow the SAP technology blog for insights into SAP BTP, ABAP, SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP HANA, and more.
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
This blog post continues my quarterly series of highlighting the major new features and functions in SAP Product Footprint Management. This post covers:


SAP Sapphire Showcase

After two years of pandemic SAP Sapphire finally is back with a series of on-site events, the global event took place in Orlando (keynotes being broadcasted virtually) mid of May. This year, Sustainability is one of the leading themes around all sessions. For Product Footprint Management we also prepared a showcase that gives an outlook and prototypes upcoming product features and with Freight Transportation we integrated for the first time one of the modules of BearingPoint’s Emission Calculator. Please note that all those new functionalities are not yet available for customers. They represent lab previews and are therefore subject to change. We are planning to release the features to our customers over time in the upcoming months.

Product Footprint Overview App

This new app provides the user a great overview and cockpit for managing the product footprint calculation:

Product Footprint Overview App (Labs Preview - Subject to Change)

It provides quick links to the particular apps within Product Footprint Management and proposes open activities that the user should complete for gaining accurate footprint results. There is further a direct overview on the performed calculation runs so that actions can be taken directly in case of failures.

For the first time, this app also comes with in-built analytics. Through clear dashboards the users can for example compare the emissions related to the company’s manufactured products and how this overall footprint is broken down into their lifecycle stages. With the release of the footprint calculation for production activities further breakdowns into the particular that are involved in the production process can be possible. Further dashboards show the footprints for the purchased materials as well as the emissions related to inbound transport. All that information provides a very good starting point for identifying emission hotspots within your company’s products and processes. For holistic analytics however, still SAP Analytics Cloud with its pre-built content provides the most extensive possibilities with a lot of customization options for tailoring the analytics to the needs of your business and for managing your product footprints in the best way.

One crucial point for accurate footprint calculation is the use of appropriate emission factors. Nowadays most companies rely on secondary factors coming from LCA databases like ecoinvent and representing industrial averages (learn more about emission factors management in SAP Product Footprint Management in this blog post). However, for being able to really differentiate more precise factors are needed that are coming from primary sources – for your purchased products they should come from your suppliers directly, for production activities they could come from SAP EHS Environment Management. The new Product Footprint Overview App also provides insights on the types of factors you are using and how precise your mapping is between business activity data and emission factors:

Product Footprint Overview App - Emission Factors Insights (Labs Preview - Subject to Change)

Today, the primary emission factors that you receive from your suppliers can already be uploaded into Product Footprint Management manually. Going forward, you can receive those footprints directly via the existing SAP Business Network – including Ariba, Logistics Business Network, Green Token and Catena-X. It is planned that all those networks also provide carbon data exchange functionalities, leveraging the API specification developed as part of World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Partnership for Carbon Transparency (PACT). You will find more information on this partnership below.

Manage Supplier Footprints

When your suppliers are sharing their product footprints via the network with you, you are receiving and can check them in the new Manage Supplier Footprints app. For all your products and suppliers, you find an overview on their provided footprint factors – including the respective category, calculation method and the validity period. It is planned to provide and display also further details so that you are fully able to assess the correctness of the values, which must also be audit-safe according to the standards by WBCSD. As soon as you accept the respective factor, it is used within the footprint calculation run.

Manage Supplier Footprints (Labs Preview - Subject to Change)

Transportation Footprints

The last missing piece for true cradle-to-gate footprint calculation is transportation. I already touched on our new co-development partnership with BearingPoint in my previous blog post – with Freight Transportation we are now integrating the first module of their Emission Calculator as an additional standalone app directly into SAP Product Footprint Management. With this app you can calculate the transport emissions for all your inbound and outbound transports, ensuring full compliance to standards like the one from Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) or DIN EN16258. The input data can be entered into the system via manual Excel uploads or via direct integration to the client interfaces in the available granularity which could reach from very detailed routes and vehicle data to basic shipment data based on the supplier invoice. If no real time route information is available, the system uses the configured standard network for interpolating missing transport legs and for calculating the transport distance. There are also pre-configured business rules and default values available for missing data on vehicle usage and consumption.

Based on the provided data and simulation engine the system calculates the transport emissions. The footprint results can be viewed and analyzed within the application in various bar and line charts, and you also have the possibility to display all your transports on a world map:

Transport Emission Calculator (Labs Preview - Subject to Change)

This nicely visualizes all your company’s and products’ transport routes globally and the related emissions, supported by color-coding. Clicking on a route provides you with all the details on transport mode, leg distance and the weight and associated emissions of this transport. For sure you also have many filter options available as well.

In a next step, it is planned to re-use the capabilities and results of the Transport Emissions Calculator for calculating the product-specific transport emissions and for adding those to the product’s overall carbon footprint across its life cycle. For inbound transports it is planned to leverage the existing Calculation Template for Purchased Products. Within this calculation the required master data and material flows are already replicated from the connected SAP S/4HANA system, and information such as weight and start and delivery location is already available. Missing data like transport modes or the exact transport routes and legs could either be uploaded by the user manually or be estimated by BearingPoint’s routing algorithms and default values. Further, an integration into SAP Transportation Management is planned for next year which can increase the preciseness and automation of the calculation even further.


Calculation of Footprint for Manufactured Products

Since beginning of May, Product Footprint Management is now able to calculate the footprints for products that have been manufactured within your own company. With the current version this includes the emissions related to the materials (purchased goods/ GHG Protocol Scope 3.1) that you have acquired from your suppliers or from other plants within your company. The emissions related to the activities within the production process itself (GHG Protocol Scope 1&2) are not yet considered, this functionality will be added in one of the future releases.

The footprints for manufactured products are calculated by re-using Cost Estimate Results from SAP Product Cost Planning. For each calculated product (finished or intermediate) a quantity structure is extracted, showing all used materials with their needed qty to produce a defined qty /UoM of a manufactured product. This includes the used BOM and Recipes as defined in the cost calculating source system, and it is planned to include Routing, Cost Center & Activity Types and eventually surcharges as well, to calculate Scope 1 and Scope 2 portions on products’ UoM level. To obtain the required cost estimate data the Import Data from S/4HANA application can be used to extract different costing variants and versions based cost estimates from your source system. Further, also a new REST API was developed and published to API Business Hub. All details on the data replication can be found in the SAP Help Portal.

To set up the scope and run the footprint calculation for manufactured products, a new Calculation Template was added to the application in which you define the plants and the (finished and/ or semi-finished) manufactured products that you want to include. Like the Calculation Template for Purchased Products, this is based on the master data that was imported from your connected SAP business system like SAP S/4HANA.

When you now run the calculation, the system is using the replicated costing results to acquire information on the material composition of the manufactured product. Let me illustrate this with an example: You are producing a 1 kg box of cookies, during the calculation run the system is leveraging the costing results to derive the raw materials (cocoa beans, wheat flour, butter, and sugar) and the exact product composition (to simplify we are excluding packaging in this example). As you have run the calculation for your raw materials before, the system also knows and re-uses their individual footprints:

  • Cocoa Beans: 0,1 kg | 12,2 kg CO2e/kg

  • Wheat Flour: 0,2 kg | 1,07 kg CO2e/kg

  • Butter: 0,3 kg | 9,3 kg CO2e/kg

  • Sugar: 0,4 kg | 0,7 kg CO2e/kg

Finally, the footprint of the manufactured cookie box can be calculated:
0,1 kg x 12,2 kg CO2e/kg + 0,2 kg x 1,07 kg CO2e/kg + 0,3 kg x 9,3 kg CO2e/kg + 0,4 kg x 0,7 kg CO2e/kg = 4,5 kg CO2e

Like for purchased products, the produced quantities within a period result in an average inventory footprint. The calculated footprints can then also be retrieved by your analytical applications via our analytical OData API. For sure also the pre-built content package in SAP Analytics Cloud has been updated accordingly and now also includes analytics for Manufactured Products:

SAP Analytics Cloud - Footprint Analytics including Manufactured Products


Carbon Data Exchange

I already touched on the importance of leveraging primary emission data for getting full transparency on the product life cycle and supply chain emissions above. As this issue cannot be solved by one company alone SAP has joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Partnership for Carbon Transparency (PACT.... Within this partnership SAP is deeply engaged to sharpen the calculation and auditing methodology and to contribute to the technology specifications (data structure, API, etc.) for SAP customers’ needs. A first test of the jointly developed API specifications was conducted successfully with various companies.

Carbon Data Exchanged with WBCSD API

As demonstrated in the Sapphire Showcase already, we are planning to use this API for receiving and sharing footprint data, leveraging SAP Business Networks:

  1. Receive supplier footprint data upstream from suppliers and use the data in the calculation of the footprint of the manufactured product, replacing secondary emission factors

  2. Share own product footprint downstream with customers

You find more information on this topic and how it supports the green line as the leading indicator of long-term, sustainable business success in the blog post Extending SAP Cloud for Sustainable Enterprises by Gunther Rothermel and Anita Varshney.


Announcement of Free Trial Version

For all of you who are interested in trying out SAP Product Footprint Management we have great news: The solution is now integrated in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Trial! You can register for free (valid for 14 days, you can re-register as often as you like) and experience Product Footprint Management as well as the integration of footprints into SAP S/4HANA Cloud at no charge. We have also created three guided tours that will put yourself in the shoes of different personas to walk you through the systems and show you:

  • How a Sustainability Specialist can calculate and monitor footprints of the company’s purchased products in SAP Product Footprint Management

  • How an Inventory Analyst can view product footprints of the stock he or she is responsible for in the Manage Stock app in SAP S/4HANA Cloud

  • How a Purchaser can analyze the environmental impact of his or her purchase requisitions using the Monitor Purchase Requisition Items app in SAP S/4HANA Cloud


Additional Information & Updates

There are many more new features and functions which have been released in SAP Product Footprint Management. As always, for an overview please check the What’s New section in the SAP Help Portal which is updated with every new software release.

If you are interested in the integration of product footprints into SAP S/4HANA and want to learn more about the technical details I can highly recommend you the blog post Extending business processes with product footprints using the Key User Extensibility in SAP S/4HANA by Christoph Zeh.

To stay up to date on SAP Product Footprint Management please follow me here in the SAP Community. In regular cadence I will publish blog posts giving you updates on all the product’s new features and functions as well as deep dives into the product capabilities. I’m also looking forward to engaging with you directly, feel free to leave your feedback in the comment section. For questions please see the Q&A here in the SAP for Sustainability Community. For sure you can also reach out to me directly.