SAP Sustainability Control Tower (SCT) is based on SAP BTP and is a SaaS solution designed to help businesses monitor and manage their sustainability performance. It enables organizations to track, analyze, and optimize their sustainability initiatives, including environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics. The solution has come a long way and is still evolving.
Few customers have implemented SCT, but in my company (Sopra Steria) we are early adopters and heavily focused on sustainability. New regulations from the EU require all larger companies and all listed companies (except listed micro-enterprises) to disclose information on what they see as the risks and opportunities arising from social and environmental issues. This means the demand for reporting solutions as SCT will increase, but then, we already have a demo ready to showcase to our customers and help them implement this.
In this blog post, I am going to share some of my experiences setting up SCT. I will go through the steps from uploading the demo data from CSV files, both actuals and targets, to displaying the data in the Fiori-tiles.
Data upload from flat files
I will in this section go through all the steps from uploading the demo data to a given sustainability metric, to displaying this data in the Fiori-tiles. Let’s take Total GHG Emissions as an example, which is an environmental metric.
1. In the app Sustainability Metrics Catalog there are 39 available sustainability metrics distributed between areas such as environmental, social, governance, and economic.
2. I have already provided data for my metrics, which is why it shows ‘Data provided’ in green. I will go through these steps again. In the ‘Upload Data’ button, you find Total GHG Emissions and choose this. First, you must choose a metric and then upload the data related to this.
3. Choose Total GHG Emissions in the Sustainability Metric Selection.
4. In the Sustainability Metrics Review, SCT tells you which other metrics are being affected when you choose Total GHG Emissions. In this case, GHG Emissions Scope 1, 2, and 3 will automatically be added, which means data will also be provided for these. (This is not guaranteed for a customer who does not have data for e.g., scope 3. In this case it does since it is demo data). SCT gives a good overview of which measures and dimensions you need for the affected metrics you now have.
5. The next step is Manual Data Upload – Relevant DPIs (Data Provider Interfaces). This can be confusing because the previous step gave information about the required measures and dimensions. This step only gives suggestions for which measures and dimensions you should have in the DPIs. If some dimensions are not fulfilled or missed in your dataset it should not be a problem. An easier way to think about DPIs is just how the dataset is visualized inside SCT.
The GHG Emissions metrics only support manual data upload. It is only possible to integrate and acquire data from S/4HANA for economic metrics. This is not something I will be covering in this blog. I hope that SAP will develop solutions for integrating all sustainability metrics with S/4HANA in the future.
6. When selecting Manuel Data Upload, it will enter into the CPE (Calculation and Process Engine) environment in a new window. When opening the palette on the left-hand's side, simply drag and drop the relevant steps needed for the metric. In this case, you only want the actuals and the target data (this data is provided for you when configuring and setting up SCT), so choose ‘Data upload and validation – Actuals’ and ‘Data upload and validation – Targets’.
7. Next, you start with the first one ‘Data upload and validation – Actuals’. Click on this and change the Process State from ‘Open’ to ‘Deployed’ and save. Do this in the same way in the ‘Data upload and validation – Targets’. It is not important where in the timeline the processes stand.
8. When double-clicking on the ‘Data upload and validation – Actuals’ bar, the process steps will open. The data should be uploaded inside the bars under ‘1. Data upload’. For the GHG Emissions metrics, data for Emissions must be uploaded. Click on ‘Show’ to open the DPI environment and import the file for the Emissions. The files for both Actuals and Targets are called period-specific data and can be found inside the .zip file when setting up SCT inside the SCT Installation and Configuration app. The path in the .zip file is SCT templates and demo -> SCT Demo Data -> Period Specific Data -> Actuals -> Emissions – demo data.csv. The measures and dimensions inside the file are the same as described in Section 5. The data will now be saved automatically inside the DPI environment. Go back to the CPE environment and mark this step as ‘Completed’.
9. The next step is data validation to check if the data have any errors or duplicates. If there are, it is possible to either fix the data inside the DPI environment or do necessary changes in the CSV files. The Review of results should be empty, which means there are no errors in the data. Run the rest of the green steps, but be careful with the last step Clean-up. This step will delete the data inside the DPI environment, so it is easier to upload new data if needed. The data is still in the database but will not be showing. It is not recommended to run this step in my opinion. Remember to set the Activity State to ‘Completed’.
10. Repeat the same steps for all processes in ‘Data upload and validation – Targets’. Notice that it is only possible to upload data in one place here. Upload the Emissions TARGET.csv file in the data upload process and save. The other files in the demo data for targets can be uploaded later but in the same data upload process. If they have the same measures and dimensions, they can be merged inside the DPI environment.
11. If the data has duplicates or errors, it is possible to delete this data from the database. It is not enough to erase the data from the DPI environment, then it will just delete the data from the table, but not the database. A tip is to navigate to the Modeling area and delete the data from here and upload the file directly to the database. Remember to mark the Targets process before clicking on Modeling.
12. Navigate back to the home page of SCT. The data should now be seen in the Fiori-tiles. Total GHG Emissions show data for both the actuals and targets. By clicking on the tile, it is possible to see more details.
13. Inside the ‘Our Ambitions’ app, there is a good overview of the metrics which have an ambition. I have set an ambition of 5.0K tons of Total GHG Emissions by 2025 (random guess). The Ambition is the long-term goal your company has set, while the targets are the short-term goal which is measured against the actuals. It is possible to drill down in the hierarchy for the business locations to see which places that are on track and off track and change the time granularity.
14. If the data should not be showing in the Fiori-tiles, there are two possible reasons for this:
The leading hierarchy in the metric is wrong. By changing this, navigate to the Sustainability Metric Catalog, find the metric (e.g., Total GHG Emissions), choose this, and click on Configure. Under Performance Tracking, it is possible to change this.
The newest version of SCT (version 5) comes with some new functionalities. Among them are Outbound APIs that transfer data from SCT to other applications. An example could be to transfer the data to SAP Analytics Cloud to do more complex drill-downs or use the predictive analysis for future trends to see how a metric will behave. The other functionality is inside the Sustainability Metric Catalog, where it is now possible to create your own sustainability metric, not only choose from the 39 defaults SCT contains.
SAP SCT has become one of the leading solutions for ESG reporting. One of the biggest challenges for businesses is the collection of accurate data for sustainability reporting. SCT guides you through the process of what data you need for your sustainability metrics. It can be integrated with S/4HANA Cloud and now comes with outbound APIs which makes it more flexible. SCT is the answer when it comes to the EU Taxonomy which is quite complex. In the next blog, I will talk about how SCT is covering the process for the EU Taxonomy and its preview content.
Thank you for your reading and feel free to contact me if you have any questions!