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Introducing Business Ecology Management: Carbon Footprint Accounting Made Easy

Sustainability. The topic we all hear about every day, yet no one seems to fully understand. Despite this lack of understanding, the business landscape is continuing to evolve with no intention of slowing down. Governments are cracking down on carbon emissions and consumers are demanding now more than ever that companies transition to more sustainable products and means of production. As someone involved with a small to midsize business, you have a choice. Get a grasp on your supply chain, identify opportunities within to lower your carbon emissions, and execute the necessary changes to do so. I understand, you’re probably just as lost as I am. Where do I start? What does being sustainable really mean? What is business ecology management? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

I recently got on a call with two of my colleagues Jochen Mayerle, a Business Process architect at SAP, and Sandra Thiel, an Agile Expert. Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing their insights on various topics within sustainability and Business Ecology Management, a next-gen cloud application for carbon management.

Why You Should Listen

Jochen, whose home turf is actually in accounting, crafted his first patent at SAP 12 years ago. Utilizing his background in accounting, Jochen created a methodology on how to allocate carbon footprint to each and every product across the value chain across the entire life cycle of the product. This is the thing about Jochen that makes him the perfect man for the job. Despite his intense passion for sustainability and the environment, Jochen’s roots are in accounting. Most SMB’s don’t have the resources to dedicate an entire team to focus on sustainable accounting. These companies need to see the real business value in being sustainable, from a cash and customer perspective and they need it to be easy. Jochen understands that. In a similar way to product costing, Jochen’s methodology allowed companies to assign carbon emissions to every step in the supply chain including direct emissions, energy usage, transportation and every activity involved in the creation and final sale of a product.

For 12 years after this, nothing happened. But now, the world is changing. There’s a demand for companies to control their carbon emissions. Increasing pressure from governments and consumers will continue to grow and the companies that gain control over their carbon emissions now will have a huge advantage over their fellow laggard competitors. Although somewhat biased statement, SAP is at the center of this change and has a responsibility to facilitate other companies through this period. Jochen stated:
“78 percent of the world’s GDP is touching an SAP system. We as SAP have a responsibility. Only SAP can provide such a solution for the global value chains of this world. This is what gets me up in the morning actually.”

Sandra on the other hand focuses more on the go to market perspective. Sandra’s goal is to make people aware about this topic and make her impact by getting as many companies on board with BEM as early as possible. Being directly involved with nature herself, Sandra is an Icelandic horse coach (Fun Fact: Icelandic horses are the only breed in the world that can perform 5 gaits or ways of walking, while most can only perform 3 or 4). Look forward to hearing more from Sandra in the next few weeks about how SAP plans to bring BEM to market!

What’s Next?

Over the next few months, you’ll be hearing a lot more from Jochen and Sandra about sustainability and Business Ecology Management. Specifically in the next week, look out for my next post on this topic which will be about how easy it actually is to calculate carbon footprint for products with BEM.

I’d appreciate if you shared your feedback on which topics you want to hear about in regard to sustainability and BEM. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything you’d like me to ask and write about!

If you’re someone who’s interested in learning more or you have a specific question about your own business, I’d recommend dropping it here. You’ll be able to find answers from other people involved in SMBs just like yourself.

Make sure to follow the small to midsize business tag here to keep up to date with everything SMB!


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