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SAP Developer Challenge Theme Two: Sustainability/Green IT

Narina Sippy at SAP Developer Challenge 2008The other day someone asked me about innovation at SAP and I had to think about it. Listening to Narina Sippy presenting Green IT at the SAP Developer Challenge, I was really wowed by how much is going on and how nicely the demand from that area plays to our strengths.

Narina Sippy is SVP and Gerneral Manager SAP Solutions for GRC (Governance, Research & Compliance). As Geof Kerr said in his introduction it is an area that has seen tremendous growth within SAP recently.

   Sustainability means a lot of things for may people. SAP focuses on the Triple bottom line: Financial, Social and Environmental.

I scribbled a lot of notes during her presentation, but realized at the end, that a copy of some of her slides will better bring the theme accross.

Here are the stakeholdes, that are getting more and more aware of a company’s sustainability efforts. Which is a good thing. BP recently backed down from a plan to increase the polution of Lake Michigan. The preassure on corporations to take sustainability seriously is rising.   Corporate Sustainability Stakeholders



There is an absolute link between sustainable practices and performance. 87% of business risks are not financial. Social risk is business risk. Business risk translates into financial risk. Most CEOs feel not adequately prepared to manage these risks. 




There is an absolute link between sustainable practices and performance of a corporation. Most companies focus on the cost savings first and only later realize the revenue potential. A company to watch is GE with their Ecomagination initiative that crossed 1 billion dollars in cleantech investment and just raised their revenue target to 25 billion dollars.

Green Trends and their consequences

Wow, Asia-Pacific is leading the pack with 31% of their corporations having a strategy in place for corporate sustainability that includes their supply chain. US 28% and totally surprising to me Europe lags with 26%. I was so convinced, that Europe would be further along, that I even twittered wrongly. Corrected later.



Immediate impact of technology for corporations that want to improve their sustainability. A big one is gathering and handling of the data, including historical data. Hello, BI strengthened by BOBJ anyone?  


SAP Technology in this space

This for me is the eye opening slide. It shows the six sustainability areas and what SAP has to offer or is working on providing to our customers. Integrated financials, well we own that space.

Resource utilization, when I started with SAP in the early 90s it was called RM, then MM as in materials management, that is how long we have tunes that area. To expand that to water, energy, … shouldn’t be too hard.

EH&S module is out for a while now too, not sure how it is doing in the market.

Environment area has a special focus on supply chain. There again something where we are strong. Yes, additional information needs to be captured and send along the supply chain, but there is no reason why we can’t play a dominant role here.

Product safety again has a lot to do with supply chain where we are good and product design, which is as far as I know not a focus area of SAP. What is clear to me, is that a central place is needed to collect and analyze all of that data, to be able to react accordingly and there is not better place than an SAP system to do this.

Narina showed that along the lines of creating a Corporate strategy one should also develop a Risk-Intelligent Strategy for a better alignment of strategy with execution.

Stratgy and Risk alignment


In summary: To improve the Triple Bottom Line is the target:
Environmental Income Statement sample KPIs:
– Energy consumptions
– Water consumptions
– Energy mix  
Social Income statement sample KPIs:
– Year over Year Investment in employee training
– Absentee days
– Diversity among workforce
– Measuring the impact of sustainability practice on the bottom line.

It was a great overview of the large Green IT/Sustainability area. Because it is so big, it doesn’t make it easy for the 7 teams to select a problem that can be tackled via a weekend hack. The result has to wow the crowed on Monday afternoon too. 

We may be able to stream the Demo Jam on Monday afternoon 4:30 PST, I’ll keep you posted about it.

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