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Why Cleantech and Sustainability are one and the same

The technology industry can at times be its own worst enemy. Apart from fighting through adoptions barriers and identifying the appropriate business models, it also often confuses the heck out of the business community by failing to show the big picture.

The field of Sustainability includes many areas – all revolving around managing the risks and opportunities created by the new social, economic and environmental conditions. Cleantech has traditionally focused on the technology innovation – be it alternative energy sources or green data centers. In the new world where the environmental crisis triggers economic conditions, the two are already becoming one and the same.

Effectively, many of the capabilities needed for both are also the same – making non-traditional players become viable candidates in the space of Cleantech.

Take SAP as an example, and what SAP did even before Sustainability surfaced. Since 1969 SAP has been defining new strategies and commercialization models for technology-based business innovation, with increasing reach in the respective products and services. 

SAP experience crafting and selling innovative new solutions to organizational problems has proven extremely portable to the Sustainability space. Specifically, SAP (and its ecosystem) core strength resides in determining how to best deliver the business impact of technology-enabled solutions (as opposed to technology only) on companies’ operating models across the value chain – that is, looking from the client’s eyes at creating value by managing holistically economic, social and environmental risk and capturing related opportunities.

Just look at the sustainability map that SAP has used for a while – and you will clearly see why sustainability stems out of companies value chain (from supply chain to human resources to production to managing corporate strategy, risk and finances). This will also clarify why the fields of e.g. energy and green IT are subcomponents of it – sharing some of the fundamental dynamics and challenges.

Let the business community talk one common language – the one of sustainability which comprises Cleantech as an enabler for new business models.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
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