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Spotlight on environmental software influence

On April 15th, a pre-conference webcast was held launching the Environment, Safety and Health Influence Council.  While it might often be abbreviated as the EH&S IC, that doesn’t diminish its importance.  Most of you should be able to recall an environmental disaster or near-disaster, whether close to where you live, work or play, or perhaps not far away.    One of the scariest safety incidents for me was a July 2001 chemical train derailment and fire, in a tunnel beneath Baltimore City.  The railroad tunnel has existed since the 19th century, with the city continuing to grow around it.  The fire burned for days, with side effects lasting for weeks.  The National Transportation Safety Board studied the accident intensely before issuing a report in 2004.  Among other impacts, the fire damaged a 40-inch water main.

(not me in the picture)

Doug North, of Champion Technologies, and Sethu Sethuraman from SAP, led the webcast, outlining a planned pre-conference survey, the Influence Council session at the conference, and a subsequent virtual meeting, as well as the long term road map.

With so many sessions being held, why do I think this one is important?  First, environmental compliance is a responsibility of any company on the planet today, and the  SAP EH&S software module may be one way to improve efficiencies of operating under increased regulation and scrutiny.  Second, the subject might be easy to push to the background, like putting a lid on your trash can, covering waste in a landfill, or incinerating it, but one must face the realities of resource constraints and safety risks.  Third, I think we would all like to leave this world a better place than we found it.

ASUG Influence Councils are a membership benefit, so full participation is reserved for Installation Members, those who run their companies on SAP software, and who agree to confidentiality limits, as future software directions can be strategic data for software vendors.  However, anyone interested in the topic may comment on product direction, but those who sign up for the council will have the most “environmental” impact.  ASUG member companies may appoint 1 or 2 representatives to the council, and we’d suggest someone from IT and someone from the business (the proverbial geeks meet suits).  

You may be an ASUG member if you work at a global company running SAP.  To check, log onto with your company name.  If it is not found, you should consider joining!  This Influence Council needs input from experienced SAP users, so if you have a different background, search the Agenda Builder for Influence Council or Influence Update sessions.  See Mark Finnern’s ASUG NetWeaver Influence Council and Strategy Sessions for more.

From what I heard on the webcast, Enhancement Pack 3 has been released; to activate one must set an “OPS_EHS_CI” switch.  More details on the current EH&S module will be shared at this session:

  • Location: 105A
  • News about SAP EH&S
  • Session Code: 3201
  • Monday, May 5 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Rüdiger Kreuzholz, Product Manager, SAP AG

The Influence Council will meet:

  • Date/Time: Monday, May 5, 2:15 p.m.
  • Location: 221E
  • Session Code:  5501
  • Doug North – EH&S SIG Chair
  • Sethu Sethuraman – SAP Point of Contact

The Influence Council set these goals: 

  1. Provide knowledge around the future direction of the SAP EH&S application
  2. Provide a forum to brainstorm recommendations for corrections and enhancements to the software
  3. Provide SAP with first-hand information around the value and performance of the application from the user community

For those not that familiar with this software, coverage includes Product Safety, report generation for shipping, Global Label management, Hazardous Substance, Dangerous Goods and Waste Management, Industrial Hygiene & Safety and more.

I’m interested because of my background in environmental engineering, and because of increased focus on energy costs.  While this module currently does not encompass carbon offsets or labeling, it may in the future, depending on how the Influence Council progresses.


(me in this picture)image

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  • As someone who lived near a national hazardous waste facility, I really can relate to your personal story, thanks for sharing.  (I’m assuming too that it is you we are seeing in the clickable thumbnail, onsite).  So often we think of environmental safety as being relegated to places removed from us, but as the world gets flatter and as some would have it, smaller, we cannot afford to divorce ourselves from taking an interest in our partners in the ecosystem, their well-being, their impact on our value chain.  It will be interesting to see how the community influences the evolution of this EH&S solution. GRC in general will seems to be garnering more and more attention.
    • Marilyn – I wasn’t in the train wreck picture.  By 2001, I had been working on SAP software for 4 years, been to several ASUG conferences and was planning to speak in October 2001.  For fun, I added a picture of me working on a scrap tire playground from when I was with the MD Department of the Environment.  Thought that was better then the Green Bay wastewater treatment plant shot. Jim