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The SAP Sustainability Day was a virtual event which took place on Oct 28, 2021. The 4 tracks of the event were organized along SAP’s Sustainability Portfolio:

  • Zero Emissions with Climate Actions

  • Zero Waste with Circular Economy

  • Zero Inequality with Social Responsibility

  • Holistic Steering and Reporting

This blog covers Zero Emissions and Zero Waste and my next blog will focus on Zero Inequality and Holistic Steering.

Zero Emissions with Climate Actions

Our decarbonization challenge is nicely summarized in the following pie chart, making it very clear what sectors of our economy contribute most to our global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It’s easy to see here that energy is this big item which needs to be tackled.

Based on advice from the Science Based Targets Initiative, 4 mitigation strategies for reducing emissions were mentioned:

  • Emission reduction

  • Negative emissions

  • Carbon finance

  • Avoided emissions

What can SAP do? SAP is an enabler for businesses to become sustainable in 3 areas:

  • Compliancy (getting the numbers right)

  • Efficiency (reduce emissions in your span of control)

  • Growth (buy and sell low carbon products and services)

SAP products built to enable Zero Emissions:

  • SAP Environment Management

  • SAP Product Footprint Management

  • SAP E-Mobility

  • SAP Landscape Management Cloud

SAP products which support specific aspects of Climate Action:

  • SAP Transportation Management

  • SAP Concur

  • SAP Treasury and Risk Management

The overview of SAP’s portfolio for Climate Action is the following:

SAP pointed out that SAP S/4HANA EHS Environment Management is positioned to measure, calculate, track and report GHG emission inventories to meet corporate goals and the new Product Footprint Management is to calculate product footprints considering the entire product lifecycle. This means these two products have different purposes and as expected, can be combined.

EHS for GHG management offers the following:

  • Leverage prebuilt emission factor library and equations

  • Collect activity data like fuel used, or electricity used

  • Proactively flag data issue with data collection or emission calculations

  • Monitor thresholds of greenhouse gas emissions

  • Report greenhouse gas emissions

Product Footprint Management (PFM) is built on BTP, it acquires data from back-end systems, it can incorporate data from external environmental impact databases, do footprint calculations, based on various methods, then it offers many analytics to track initiatives, footprint scores, dashboards and eventually feeds back the calculated footprint to the business processes.

SAP closed this track by explaining that their mission is to realize the Green-line (next to Top-line and Bottom-line), which is the implementation of sustainability data, e.g. carbon footprint into the processes. SAP works on it with a number of partners. Finally, the SAP customer Döhler underlined that to achieve their sustainability goals, they implemented SAP Product Footprint Management. According to them, calculating total footprint is not difficult, but breaking it down to product level is the challenge and thanks to PFM, this is what they could achieve.

The full Zero Emissions webcast is available here.

Zero Waste with Circular Economy

This part of the event started with some alarming facts:

  • During the 20th century the resource use grew twice faster than the population

  • In North America there are already >10 connected devices per person

  • We are now producing ca. 20 garments each year for every person on Earth

  • From all the resources we use 91% is wasted and only 9% is recycled

  • Ocean plastic waste expected to triple by 2040

SAP describes their Zero Waste offering along the same 3 categories as for Zero Emission (as seen above):

3 priorities:

  • Eliminate (Empower businesses to eliminate waste)

  • Circulate (Stimulate increase in value of materials for re-use)

  • Regenerate (Shift from product consumption to re-use models)

The SAP portfolio for Zero Waste contains the following products:

Taking the example of plastic, which is obviously a huge source of waste globally, this is how SAP Responsible Design and Production, a solution coming still to be released, addresses the requirements of the various business roles.

The demo made it very clear how this solution helps companies to meet the difficult reporting requirements, which differ country by country in the area of Extended Producer Responsibility.

S/4HANA for Product Compliance was presented to enforce compliance in each phase of product lifecycle. The demo showed how the system supports the assessment of supplier materials so that purchasers can use materials which help the company to become compliant.

The full Zero Waste webcast is available here.

Stay tuned for my next blog which will cover Zero Inequality and Holistic Steering.