Skip to Content

SAP Sustainability Solution – Approaches for Sustainability Reporting – Part 1

Sustainability of an entity, as discussed in my earlier blogs (see reference section), is measured through various frameworks proposed by different agencies; and of all these frameworks, GRI and DJSI are the most popular ones.  SAP has come up with a comprehensive set of Sustainability Solution package, which will be able to answer almost all the sustainability related queries for various industries, for various regulatory compliances, across multiple frameworks.


Refer the following link for the Sustainability Solution Map


For customers using SAP already and looking for a Sustainability Reporting, the new modules, which are already available or in the process of being developed, will be an added advantage, as SAP products are always rich in functionality and integration aspects. But the question is, which module to buy, for what purpose, under what circumstances, from the array of the products available. I will try to answer this question in this blog series from my perspective.


For small and mid-size enterprise under tight budgetary constraint, there is a dilemma as to go for a separate Sustainability Solution or get what ever data is required from the ECC ERP Solution itself, through necessary customization and enhancements. These customers planning to implement SAP, or planning for migration to ECC 6.0 with functional upgrade, can explore the possibility of using ECC itself for many of the KPI through additional enhancements and customization. Let’s see an example.







Automatic Data Collection:


Let’s take a KPI in GRI Framework “Product Responsibility and Stewardship” and see how we can populate it and model it in ECC and BW respectively. The reason for choosing SAP BW is that it comes bundled free with ECC (no additional licensing cost attached to it) and it separates the OLTP (i.e ECC) Process from reporting overhead. Also there is statutory requirement to preserve the historical data used in the sustainability reporting and hence BW, which comes with its own data warehousing layer, is a preferred choice.


Aspect: Customer Health and Safety


PR1 Life cycle stages in which health and safety impacts of products and   services  are assessed for improvement, and percentage of significant products and services categories subject to such procedures.


Just like the Indicator for the dunning process in CUSTOMER master data, which indicates whether the customer comes under dunning process or not, we can have a indicators  – ‘GRI PR1 Compliance’ check box/indicator in PRODUCT master data (and 0SERVICES), to indicate if the product (or service) comes under PR1 compliance procedure.


Correspondingly, the 0PRODUCT infoobject in BW side has to be enhanced to include a navigational attribute “ZGRIPR1” and the data loaded from ECC to BW. A reports run for the 0PRODUCT infoobject will give answer to second part of the KPI “percentage of significant products (and services) categories subject to such procedures”


From BW perspective, to get to the first part, we may need to have attributes, Life cycle division in years (say 2 or 3 years each), Health impact in Life cycle stage 1, Health impact in Life cycle stage 2. Health impact in Life cycle stage 3, Health impact in Life cycle stage 4, Health impact in Life cycle stage 5. The entry in each “Health impact in Life cycle stage” should ideally be a number in the range 0 – 9, with 0 implying no health impact and 9 implying serious health impact. All the attributes has to be time dependent and the time interval may be fixed initially. Corresponding configuration and enhancements needs to be carried out in the ECC side.


Similar thing needs to be done for the Safety impact too. I am suggesting modeling all these aspects as attributes on the premise that the product (0PRODUCT) improvements are not performed every day or even month and the data can ideally be master data.




The key point is that the organization must take into consideration the Sustainability Report also in addition to other reports like financial, inventory, sales reports etc, when planning for new SAP implementation or ECC 6.0 functional upgrade. This will reduce the manual work involved in Sustainability Report preparation and monitoring related KPI’s. Also the sustainability reporting is mandatory in some part of the world and are likely to be made mandatory in many parts of the world soon.


In case of stringent budgetary control, the sustainability reports can also be taken from the ECC, if the no of users and the frequency of reporting is less. But the proper reporting platform recommended is SAP BW.


But another point to consider is, not all the data required for Sustainability reporting can be captured in the ERP system and this necessitates the manual data collection too.


Let’s see where the manual or semi-automatic data collection comes into picture in the next blog.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are purely my personal opinions and has no legal liability on my employer or affiliates or parent organization.


Reference: For my previous blogs please click:

Sustainability – Some Thoughts On Logos/ Symbol..

Sustainability – An Introduction..

Be the first to leave a comment
You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.