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Last week SAP released its second Sustainability Report. The report itself contains a great deal of new information about SAP’s impact on the environment, its efforts to manage that impact, and other information about the suite of products SAP is providing to help customers implement their own Sustainability programs. 

The report includes details on a number of indicators besides the carbon footprint and other environmental factors you might expect.  The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) provides guidelines for factors to be included in Sustainability reporting. SAP has followed the GRI’s reporting framework and included their G3 protocols for a number of areas, including Labor, Human Rights and Society) that are particularly of interest for Human Capital Management. 

Among the GRI protocols, the Labor protocols are the most heavily dependent on consolidated workforce data from an HRMS. It includes basic statistics such as total workforce size, breakdowns by age groups and genders.

Turnover Analysis from SAP Sustainability Report














Above: A screenshot from SAP’s Sustainability Report, showing an interactive Turnover Analysis powered by Business Objects Excelsius technology.  

Additional protocols cover information from other areas of HR, including Training and even Talent Management. The G3 protocols particularly require data on training of employees by employee group, whether programs are available for building employee skills, and the percentage of employees receiving regular performance reviews and career development opportunities.

Taken as a whole, the Sustainability report provides a corporate overview that is qualitatively different from the standard financial statements currently required by public companies. The GRI reporting framework is a key section of a complete Sustainability report and is heavily dependent on data from an integrated HCM and reporting platform. I’m encouraged to see this kind of report becoming more of a standard – producing these reports allows companies to focus on getting more value out of their HRMS. It also is useful for investors and other stakeholders to see more of a 360° picture of a company’s operations. I encourage any HR practitioner to review the Sustainability report and look for ways to get HR more involved in your company’s own Sustainability programs and reporting.

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