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SAP’s carbon footprint is up 8% in its second quarter compared to the year-ago quarter. And “emissions per employee (or full time equivalent) increased by 3%”. “There was an 18% increase in air travel.” The firm says that ongoing efforts to reduce emissions, including use of renewable energy, fuel efficiency training for drivers, and investments in energy and carbon efficiency projects, kept emissions from increasing even more.

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Business flights and corporate cars account for two-thirds of SAP’s total carbon footprint. Apparently it doesn’t count the emissions from employee cars, as opposed to employees driving company cars. Doesn’t this seem like cheating? Why should it matter who the car belongs to? The driving (for instance commuting) is still required to enable SAP to function. If SAP requires or encourages people to drive to their SAP jobs (for instance by providing big parking lots, or by locating facilities inconveniently for public transport) shouldn’t those emissions be counted as part of SAP’s footprint? [Update: see comment below.]

See details at SAP’s quarterly sustainability report here.

In the second quarter SAP’s revenues increased substantially over the year-ago quarter. That increased revenue was associated with increased activity, especially air travel and driving. Does increased business activity and revenue inevitably cause increased emissions?

The firm says it is “still on track to meet our year-end emissions target of 460 kilotons —  in line with our long-term target to reduce GHG emissions to year-2000  levels by 2020.” So even though business activity and emisssions are increasing, the target to reduce emissions is still achievable. There must be some fine print somewhere. 

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  1. Former Member Post author
    David,
    Thank you for your comment, we do count employee commuting as you can see in our GHG footprint http://www.sapsustainabilityreport.com/greenhouse-gas-footprint and have consistently in the past.

    In fact, in Q2 of 2011, employee commuting was on par with the Q2 2010 at approximately 9 kTons.

    We strive to produce timely and insightful updates but as it happens sometimes in the web real-time, technical issues can occur. Thanks for pointing out the discrepancy.

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  2. Former Member Post author
    Michael, I was just going by the press release and the site at the time. Looks like the whoever created the graph I saw at http://www.sapsustainabilityreport.com/quarterly-update made a mistake. I see it has been corrected now. Was anything else left out?

    It is interesting that employee commuting emissions are only one-third of corporate car emissions. That suggests that SAP has an awful lot of corporate cars, and/or that they really put on a lot of miles. But I guess we can credit those busy salespeople for part of the significant revenue increase.

    SAP has about 12,500 employees just in North America. The average commuter in the U.S. drives about 15 miles to work. At 25mpg that works out to about one gallon per day, or 20lb of CO2. At 240 commuting days per year that’s about 2 tonnes per employee per year, or 27 kTonnes for North America, or 6.7 kTonnes per quarter. Even if some carpool or take public transit (or drive company cars) and the North America commuting emissions are only 5 kTonnes, that doesn’t leave much for the other 40,000 employees. 

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