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Michael_Mulder
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
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If you think about the question, "Does product compliance really have anything to do with sustainability?", perhaps practical examples are not so easy to find. SAP S/4HANA for product compliance has close ties with many pieces of the sustainability puzzle. Whether it comes to production, sourcing and marketplace, design or logistics and transport; product compliance plays an important role. We are going to look at 3 different links between sustainability and product compliance.

When thinking about responsible design and production, a part of circular economy, packaging data from product compliance is a point of overlap and influence. The reuse and recovery of packaging materials, to cut down on waste is both financially and environmentally prudent. If we know how packaging was used, then it should be possible to know which recycling options are available. In a recent seminar it was said that less than 10% of the material taken out of the earth every year and  put into products is reused or recycled in some capacity later. The possibilities for many companies for improvement, and to save money, in this specific area are huge.

For more than 20 years, product compliance and environment, health and safety have been sharing chemical data. Naturally, this will continue in the future to promote better warehousing conditions, improve workers safety, and protect the environment. Whether something specific like NFPA ratings in the USA or worldwide standards like the GHS classification, the outputs on labels for handling chemicals is always improving to make storage and transport as safe as possible. Accidents happen and every company and their employees need to know how to react when industrial chemicals are involved. Proper labeling and safety data sheets are critical in responding quickly and correctly.

Product compliance will be providing key performance indicators (KPIs) into the main reporting functionality for sustainability as well. This is where companies can check overall emissions, waste data and a host of other categories. While the previous 2 topics are also included in this reporting, there are so many other possibilities based on the information produced. Just within the transportation data, you have amounts shipped, where the products were shipped, and the modes of transportation used. With this data it is possible to ascertain additional data such as amount of CO2 produced in transport and to compare how differing modes of transport affect release of pollutants, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Hope you found this short post informational and interesting.

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