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Holistic Approach to REACH Compliance and EH&S

In this 3-minute podcast centered on REACH compliance, Dr. Marko Lange outlines challenges posed at the customer side by the EU directives and how the REACH Compliance application addresses these issues in line with the overall EH&S and Sustainability initiatives and corresponding solution portfolio from SAP.



Podcast Transcipt:

REACH legislation is a crucial consideration for the chemical industry. Deadlines for pre-registration and related activities are only a few months away. REACH Compliance is vital. The alternative could mean commercial catastrophe, due to potential loss of customers and markets. In light of all this, Dr. Marko Lange of IBU Chemicals at SAP joins us for a quick chat, to shed some light on the REACH Compliance solution from SAP. My name is Kieran O’Connor.

Kieran: Marko, can you first outline the customer need and pain point addressed in the central scenario?

Marko: Chemical companies are increasingly being held accountable for the environmental and safety performance of their products. This means product compliance has to become a core business capability. Companies have to address the growth in number, scope and complexity of product-targeted regulations. The EU REACH regulation – REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals – is the most recent example, changing fundamentally the legal implications of chemicals. 

Kieran: What’s the SAP solution and where is the value add?

Marko: In 2009, SAP launches a new product to address product compliance and other safety and environmental related issues called SAP EHS Management. This is a comprehensive and integrated application that enables companies to implement their EHS strategies on a local and global level. With its broad range of capabilities and the ability to scale globally, SAP EHS Management allows companies to overcome the challenges of disconnected systems, regions, and departments. It not only empowers executives to address regulatory compliance and enhance their corporate reputation, but also enables them to reduce costs by taking an integrated approach to operational risk management. SAP EHS Management serves as a foundation for companies to address the needs of their corporate sustainability initiatives.
SAP Product and REACH Compliances as part of SAP EHS Management supports the processes to determine, manage, track, document and communicate properties, registrations  and  uses of materials, products and substances that are subject to global and local regulations like i.e. REACH and RoHS (which covers further EU directives restricting the use of hazardous substances).

Kieran: What’s the competition and how does SAP shape up?

Marko: Without dwelling on competitors, it’s fair to say SAP is the definitive platform for Chemicals. One reason for this strong position is the fact that SAP is the only ERP provider with substantial support of EH&S related issues deeply integrated with respects to business processes and data while EH&S is of high relevance for the chemical industry. With regards to REACH there are no direct competitors in this space covering full REACH support holistically and integrated into SAP.

Kieran: Marko, thanks for putting this in context.


Additional Reference

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  • My first thought is that whether this kind of integration can be attempted for other sectors also for their issues of concern.
    For example for Oil & Gas industry seem to be concerned about addressing the following issues in their zone of influence in order to be sustainable:
    Climate change
    Social responsibility
    Oil spill
    IPIECA is the single global association representing both the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry on key global environmental and social issues. IPIECA’s programme takes full account of international developments in these issues, serving as a forum for discussion and cooperation involving industry and international organisations.

    IPIECA aims to develop and promote scientifically-sound, cost-effective, practical, socially and economically acceptable solutions to global environmental and social issues pertaining to the oil and gas industry. IPIECA is not a lobbying organisation, but provides a forum for encouraging continuous improvement of industry performance.

    In the case of Tourism & Travel Sector a set of criteria is considered for compliance

    The Finance sector – An extract from UNEPFI
    UNEP FI’s strategic work programme is focused on current and emergent issues which are relevant to their signatories. They work collaboratively to find innovative approaches to issues around finance and sustainability.
    Core activities
    Climate Change
    Sustainability Management and Reporting
    Developing the Global Reporting Initiative Financial Services Sector Supplement (Environmental Performance)
    Building the business case for Sustainability Management and Reporting in emerging economies.
    Other Activities
    Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services 
    Finance and Conflict
    Human Rights and Finance
    Water and Finance

    The Electronic Industry
    The Electronic Industry Code of Conduct is a code of best practices adopted and implemented by some of the world’s major electronics brands and their suppliers.
    EICC sets forth performance, compliance, auditing and reporting guidelines across five areas of social responsibility:
    Health and Safety
    Management System

    Similarly we may be able to find out areas of concern to Extractive industries, Pharmaceutical and others.

    Going by what Dr.Marko Lange has mentioned about Integration and by knowing about the Sustainability Initiative of SAP, it appears to be a great opportunity for contribution to the Sustainability attempts of the businesses, worldwide.

    Sam Anbazhagan

    • Sam – once again, you succinctly state the cross-industry impact and approach required to tackle challenges in EH&S issues.

      Thanks again for your insight and clear presentation.

      Not sure whether you’ve already joined the specific forum for REACH (moderated by Marko) in collaboration workspace. If not, then I’m sure he and the rest of the roundtable would benefit from your contribution.