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Trash Talk, Butt Bags, Worm Poop and SAP

….these were among the topics at the recent last week (the biggest yet in terms of attendees). As always, it was inspiring to see what entrepreneurial spirits and companies big and small come up with. One of my favorite examples is the Landfill Harmonic, a youth orchestra in Paraguay where all instruments are made out of trash. Terracycle showed their ‘Butt Bag’ idea (a project conducted with the tobacco industry to collect and recycle cigarette butts), and Alex and Nikhil are very entertaining when they talk about their mushroom kit and aquaponics kickstarter.  

Among all this SAP played a prominent role as well. Not only is SAP represented in the  advisory board of Sustainable Brands, we also sponsored this year’s ‘Manufacturing  & Supply Chain’ conference track; and we made additional headlines being  announced as new corporate member together with the likes of BASF, Disney, Del Monte, and others. We had two presentation slots at the event, where we discussed Employee Engagement and our latest Integrated Report as well as SAP HANA as one of the ‘13 Hot Sustainable Products To Follow in 2013’.

One of the highlights of the conference was the keynote of William (Bill)  McDonough, author of Upcycle and member of the SAP CEO Sustainability advisory panel. Bill talked about the fact that humans will run short on easily accessible, clean biological and technical materials from which to build and create a beneficial civilization. But he also provides a visionary roadmap how to break this cycle, namely through the described goal of upcycle. I highly recommend the book, it is a worthy read. 

Wood Turner from our customer Stonyfield talked about our joint product footprinting project, and Kara Hurst (CEO of The Sustainability Consortium(TSC)) discussed the collaboration between TSC and SAP where we integrate key performance indicators produced by the consortium for a variety of product categories into SAP Business Networks. While SAP was not part of the ‘Sustainable Procurement’ panel, Eric Olson from BSR Business for a Better World (SAP is a BSR member) highlighted how important the involvement of SAP is in the context of The Center for Sustainable Procurement, since only through integration into mainstream enterprise solutions can this initiative be scaled. 

SAP will host the next corporate membership meeting of Sustainable Brands in its SAP America headquarters on September, 26th.

Sustainable Brands has always been and still is my favorite conference. Not only because the morning starts with a stand-up-paddleboard yoga class on the water, and not only because the conference is aiming to be a zero waste, carbon neutral, water neutral, ISO certified, 100% local food and 100% wind powered event. (SAPPHIRE’14 anybody?) Mainly because it’s also a great mix of thought-provoking, inspiring and motivating people, and it’s great to see how more and more attendees point to SAP when the implications of this year’s headline ‘from Revolution to Renaissance’ are discussed and companies are encouraged to push boundaries for a better future.  

If you have a free minute, sit back, relax and enjoy some of the inspiring webcasts from the conference.

“It is the only conference I went to in my entire life where I felt happy! You could feel the energy, the hope and hear about innovative ideas that will have an impact on the world. ”

—Marc Gobe – Emotional Branding

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