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Hello and welcome to the Digital Supply Chain Green Thursday blog-series. Every Thursday we will together take a closer look at one of the SAP Digital Supply Chain solutions and how they contribute to sustainability in supply chains all over the world. Have fun in following the blog series, we invite you to get in touch and feel free to share the blog posts among your peers.

Is there a better day to start a blog series called “DSC Green Thursday” than the actual Green Thursday being celebrated today? Unfortunately, this year’s celebrations will be a lot different than usually – instead of traveling to our families, this year we might have a ZOOM conference with your families to celebrate Easter together.

In my opinion, the last weeks have been an example on how flexible and innovative all of us are, to overcome challenges even in unpredictable conditions. It is amazing how companies found solutions to enable their employees to work from home office and conduct meetings where usually a day long travel would have been planned. Or how companies are presenting their products and solutions online as big and small trade fairs have been cancelled. It is impressive, how companies have been able to use their manpower and Know-how to invent solutions for this special situation. Also, we as SAP supported our customers on various ways, as with an APP for the German Government to manage travelers return, or free offerings for specific industry requirements to secure short term Supply Chain Planning and a stable logistics network. These experiences and stories give hope and show that there will be a time after the crisis and a light at the end of the tunnel!

When we think about recovering our companies and supply chains after the end of this crisis, there should be one topic in our minds that was extensively discussed just before the start of the COVID-19 crisis. The climate change and global warming are still not stopped – and through the halt of industry and travels it is even more obvious how huge the impact of our everyday life is on the environment!

Right now, we are forced to question our status quo, so why don't we go all the way and take sustainability into account for the future? More than ever, it’s in our hands how we will shape the industry of the future.

Let’s combine the innovative Know-how, the experiences we are living through these days and a sustainable mindset to build up a strong sustainable supply chain!
The discussions and actions following Greta Thunberg’s initiative have shown us how greener and more sustainable products and processes are not only demanded by customers but also by employees, who want to fulfill customer needs without harming the environment or anyone within the supply chain. Also, investors are trying to include the environmental impact of their investments into their decision-making. Last but not least, many companies have set up a Corporate Social Responsibility program, that they are judged by. As you can see, Sustainability will not only be demanded from the official institutions;

Sustainability becomes a competitive advantage on the consumer market, the employee market and the capital market.

Together with SAP every company can successfully master the shift towards a sustainable supply chain and to becoming a green leader within their branch. The transformation into an Intelligent and Sustainable Enterprise relates to common practices and trends within the industries. The customer centricity drives the direction of the transformation by understanding the customer needs and the customer preferences on how those needs should be fulfilled – via customer contact points companies can leverage the customer feedback already during the product design. The basis of every change should be a total visibility -another common goal with smart factories and the digitization of businesses. By knowing if, where and to what extend an impact on people and/or the environment is induced through the supply chain a comprehensive and reliable improvement can be pushed. The total visibility and customer centricity are also basics for business innovations to thrive through new business models and cost-cutting enabled by innovative processes eliminating waste and/or reusing side products in other steps of the supply chain.

The SAP Digital Supply Chain includes SAP solutions covering the whole Design to Operate process. This means the sustainable design, manufacturing, delivery and operation of products while also supporting a sustainable supply and demand planning embedded in a sustainable network with suppliers, customers and other 3rd party stakeholders. For many companies the journey towards sustainability has already begun and many more will follow. SAP offers solutions and abilities to equip and support enterprises to not only match the challenges but moreover to strive through them and use the sustainable supply chain as a competitive advantage.

The world will look very different once we overcome the COVID-19 crisis and still we will have to keep in mind what comes afterwards. We should evaluate our strategies and decide whether to continue the way or whether we on the journey into a new sustainable future.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel – Together, we can turn it into a green future!

Enjoy your very first Easter ZOOM or Skype conference, stay safe and stay healthy!

I hope you found this blog post helpful and interesting. Please make sure you follow me to not miss any future blog posts in this series and stay informed about how a Sustainable Supply Chain is supported by SAP Digital Supply Chain solutions!
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