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SAP Sustainability Solution – Approaches for Sustainability Reporting – Part 3

Please refer to my blogs, part 1 and 2, for continuity:

SAP Sustainability Solution – Approaches for Sustainability Reporting – Part 1

SAP Sustainability Solution – Approaches for Sustainability Reporting – Part 2


In this blog let’s see what SAP SuPM exactly does with the data collected, its features and functionality. The data that is collected, either by automatic method (through Script) or manual method , which is in base unit of measure, is converted to the required unit, by internationally accepted conversion formula.


To understand it better, if the data on electricity consumption is available for different locations, then we can convert it into the equivalent amount of carbon emission through internationally agreed conversion formula, (say “carbon_from_electricity”). These internationally accepted formulae are provided by agencies like Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC), World Resource Institute (WRI) etc.


Here again, based on the source of the electricity the carbon emissions will be different. For electricity produced from Hydro power plants, the carbon emission will be zero, while for thermal power plant it will be very high. If the source of the electric power could not be determined, then the ideal approach will be to identify the percentage of the different sources of power and arrive at the weighted average. This average value for a particular location is available as “reference data” in the catalogue developed by agencies like IPCC, WRI, Carbon Project, etc.


The following diagram, which is based on SAP SuPM library and my own understanding of SAP BW architecture, shows the ideal data flow and reporting structure in the SAP SuPM Module.


The base KPI can automatically collect the data through script from BW Query, or Infoset query, or from web services, and pass the data to the Compound KPI. The compound KPI adds and converts, if necessary, to the same unit and pushes the data to the core KPI. The core KPI consolidates all the data and is attached to the Reporting framework. Only the core KPI can be linked to the Reporting framework and not the base or the compound KPI. All the reports, dashboards, briefing books etc. can be taken on top of the reporting framework. Of course, through the distribution engine the reports can also be send as email attachment, fax  etc.


For analogy, the Base KPI – KPI1 can be electricity consumption from grid and Base KPI 2 can be electricity consumption from diesel generator (say, in case of power outage, the firm uses its own diesel generators), both has its  own conversion formula for “electricity_to_carbon_emission” and has to be added at the level of compound KPI separately. Finally, all the carbon emission due to electricity consumption are passed on to the core KPI and in the Reporting Framework any other source of the carbon emission are added in the form of Core KPI 2, Core KPI 3 etc. and the final carbon emission for the entity is consolidated at the Reporting framework level.


For a better picture click:   SAP SuPM Architecture





The manual data collection process is, of course, prone to human error and this increase as the volume of data increase. The process become more complicated when there is too many persons involved with ambiguous jurisdiction. This also becomes time consuming if one or more persons responsible for providing data fail to deliver it in time.


If and when there is a possibility of this sort of situation, or if it is anticipated in 2 or 3 years later based on the business projections, then it is better to go for selective component/ modules in the Sustainability Solution road map. This will make the Sustainability reporting quick, convenient, reliable and less prone to error, which is what for a SAP Sustainability Solution, the latest addition to the array of the SAP Solutions, is meant for.


For a Big Multination companies, involving in many business, (say ITC for example), the compete set of components in Sustainability Solution roadmap may be a better proposition.




The Ideal approach is, first investigate the feasibility of taking the sustainability report in ECC or ECC+BW combination itself, if possible. When this poses a problem and many of the required data are not captured in the ECC system, then the next best option is to go for SAP SuPM module.


When this also poses a problem, then of course, the selective components of the Sustainability Solution needs to be evaluated and implemented.


The following table summarizes the general approach to be adopted for the Sustainability reporting or monitoring Sustainability related KPI.


Enterprise Size

Complexity of

Data Collection

SAP Modules recommended

Small and medium

Simple to medium

                 ECC or ECC + BW

Small and medium

Medium to complex


Medium and large


ECC + BW + SuPM + Selective components of Sustainability Solution

Large Enterprise, MNC’s

Complex to very complex

ECC + BW + SuPM + Selective components or Complete Sustainability Solution


The final decision depends on many other factors like breakeven cost analysis between customization approach with respect to buying the specific module, how quickly the reports needs to be taken, and is there any risk of being fined for any delay in the submission or mistake in the data. What validation process and checks needs to be carried out and how far this can be automated by the package itself.


The final call, of course, has to taken by the business, taking into account its own budget in IT, the cost saving and the value proposition that is brought in by implementing the SAP Sustainability solution.


Let me finish the blog series with this blog. I will come with some more thoughts on the integration aspects in Sustainability reporting.


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 some of my previous blogs on Sustainability, please click:

Sustainability – Some Thoughts On Logos/ Symbol..

Sustainability – An Introduction..

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