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As organizations worldwide strive to fight against the mounting global climate crisis, they must adopt effective strategies for reducing their carbon footprints, thus, decarbonization is the key to success and carbon accounting plays a critical role in this journey. The importance of carbon accounting cannot be undermined, if a company does not measure their carbon footprint, they may not be aware of the extent and impact of their greenhouse gas emissions, which can lead to negative consequences that can result in fines and damage to their brand image, as well as reduced competitiveness in the market. Additionally, consumers are increasingly demanding environmentally responsible practices from companies, and failure to measure and reduce their carbon footprint can result in a loss of customers who prioritize sustainability. Carbon Accounting empowers organizations to contribute to a greener future while proactively managing their impact on the environment. By systematically tracking their GHG emissions across operations and supply chains, companies can gain valuable insights and make informed decisions to reduce their carbon footprint.

Carbon accounting is the process of measuring and tracking greenhouse gas emissions. It involves calculating the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are produced by an individual, organization, or product. Carbon accounting considers all the sources of greenhouse gas emissions, including energy use, transportation, and waste. With the help of cutting-edge software solutions like SAP Sustainability Footprint Management, companies can now streamline their carbon accounting processes, gain real-time insights into their emissions data, and make better-informed decisions to drive sustainable growth.

In this blog, we will explore the various features and benefits of SAP Sustainability Footprint Management and delve into how this innovative solution is revolutionizing the world of carbon accounting and climate action.


SAP Sustainability Footprint Management Overview

SAP Sustainability Footprint Management is a cloud-based solution that enables businesses to calculate and manage their carbon footprints across corporate, value chain, and product level. It allows organizations to record, report, and act on their GHG emissions data with unprecedented accuracy and granularity. SAP Sustainability Footprint Management started as a solution to calculate product footprints at scale, and it has rapidly evolved and now is also capable to calculate carbon footprint across the entire value chain as well as corporate level.

SAP Sustainability Footprint Management provides a comprehensive view of the organization's carbon footprint, including products, facilities, transportations, and corporate carbon footprints. This is helpful in identifying areas where emissions can be reduced. It also allows to track progress over time and demonstrates organizations commitment to sustainability.

There are several types of carbon footprints that SAP Sustainability Footprint Management can track, including product, facility, transportation, and corporate carbon footprints. Product carbon footprints measure the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the raw materials and finish products. Facilities carbon footprints measure the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the operation of a facility, including production facilities, production phase, resources, or workstation. Transportation carbon footprints measure the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the transportation of goods. Corporate carbon footprints measure the greenhouse gas emissions associated with an organization's operations, including energy use.

SAP Sustainability Footprint Management offers a wide range of features that support businesses in their quest to reduce their carbon footprints and drive sustainable growth. Some of these key features include:

  • Data Acquisition: This feature enables organizations to reuse ERP data, including master data and transactional activity data, by seamlessly integrating with SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA. Other ERP systems can be connected via Public APIs or file uploads. Some examples of the data that can be collected from SAP S4HANA are material movements, material flows, product costing information, and collecting production documents.


  • Emission Factors Management: The current focus of SAP Sustainability Footprint Management is on carbon emissions, meaning CO2 equivalent. Emissions factors are numerical values that represent the amount of GHG emissions that are produced per unit of activity and can vary depending on the type of activity being measured, such as transportation or energy production. SAP Sustainability Footprint Management allows businesses to import and manage emission factors from primary sources, such as actual data from suppliers, and secondary sources, like lifecycle assessment (LCA) databases. This information is then used to evaluate the environmental impact of the organization's operations and supply chain activities.


  • Footprint Calculation: The solution supports cradle-to-gate footprint calculations, covering upstream emissions from material acquisition, pre-processing, transport, and direct emissions related to production activities. It also calculates organizational footprint inventories, considering GHG Protocol Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, and product footprints, providing insights into a plant's product footprints.


  • Footprint Analytics: SAP Sustainability Footprint Management provides built-in analytics tools that enable businesses to analyse their carbon footprints and gain valuable insights into their emissions data. These tools include various dashboards, charts, tables, and maps, allowing organizations to visualize and understand their emissions data in an easy-to-read format.


  • Footprint Integration: This feature allows organizations to integrate their calculated footprints into end-to-end business processes, providing greater transparency and insights into sustainability metrics for various stakeholders. By integrating footprints into connected SAP S/4HANA Cloud or SAP S/4HANA systems, businesses can ensure that their sustainability data is accessible to users across the organization.


By leveraging the capabilities of SAP Sustainability Footprint Management, companies can enjoy a range of benefits that drive sustainable growth and contribute to climate action. These benefits include:


  • Improved Data Accuracy and Transparency: With the ability to collect and integrate data from multiple sources, including ERP systems, suppliers, and facility energy flows, SAP Sustainability Footprint Management offers a comprehensive view of an organization's carbon footprint. This data is then used to calculate emissions with high granularity, ensuring transparency and auditability.


  • Streamlined Carbon Accounting Processes: By automating data collection and calculations, SAP Sustainability Footprint Management enables companies to dramatically improve the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of their emissions calculations and management processes. This streamlining allows businesses to focus on making informed decisions and taking targeted actions to reduce their carbon footprints.


  • Enhanced Decision-Making: By embedding sustainability data into core business processes through ERP integration, executives can achieve a holistic, enterprise-wide performance capability. This enables them to make better-informed decisions regarding cost efficiency and carbon intensity, ultimately driving optimal financial and sustainability performance.


SAP has an ambitious roadmap in place for SAP Sustainability Footprint Management with plans to constantly introduce new features and enhancements in the coming months and years. Some of these planned innovations include:


  • Integration with SAP Sustainability Control Tower for holistic steering and reporting of emissions data


  • Integration with EHS Environment Management for incorporating GHG Scope 1 & 2 emissions data


  • Automated mapping of emission factors to business data


  • Expansion of the product and value chain calculations to cover the entire product lifecycle (from cradle to grave)


For more information on SAP Sustainability Footprint Management visit the following links:

SAP Sustainability Footprint Management Help Documentation

SAP News Center