About the importance of Green IT reporting – You can’t manage what you don’t measure!
At SAP we believe that sustainability is part of the fundamental formula of business success in today’s global economy.Taking action is our way of becoming a role model for sustainability.
As a software company, the highest potential for SAP to save energy lies within our data center. However, we can also significantly increase our savings by managing our workplaces more efficiently, implementing changes to reduce energy, managing e-waste and encouraging dematerialization.
SAP employs more than 69,000 people around the world. By instituting green IT practices for our large employee base, we have and can continue to make, significant progress toward SAP’s sustainability goals. Since 2008 we have continually implemented new initiatives that have reduced the quantity of our IT equipment and its CO2 consumption (more info).
In addition we imbedded Green IT aspects in most of our processes like in the Sustainable IT Asset Lifecycle Management at SAP (more info).
But how do we measure the success of our Green IT goals?
At the beginning of each year, all process owners set goals that incorporate Green IT aspects. These goals are discussed with key stakeholders and management and are aligned with those of other departments.
In order to be able to track the progress of these goals, and to extrapolate possible successes and achievements, as well as improvement potential, we define measurable Green IT KPIs. Those KPIs then become the Green IT quarterly results that are included in SAPs Sustainability reporting.
Our current IT Infrastructure Green IT key topics are: Printing Optimization, Asset Optimization, Virtual Collaboration and Energy (Data Center and End-user workplace energy consumption). To measure these, we defined approximately 40 indicators, for example the server virtualization rate, and the number of the pages printed globally.
Over 3000 data points are prepared by the end of each quarter, and used to build not only on a regional or local level, but also by location within a site. The results are reviewed and discussed with key stakeholders, process owners and management representatives on a quarterly basis, and help to identify the impact of our Green IT initiatives on SAPs overall sustainability goals.
Scorecards are used in the reporting to provide a quick overview of the status of each KPI:
Detailed information, including charts (see screenshot) and an executive summary, is available behind each score. Several reports are available on a regional, country or location level with the option to select the time period (monthly and quarterly view):
Technologically, the reporting is based on manual and automated transfers of prepared source data into SAP information Business Warehouse. From there, it’s extracted and presented using SAP Business Intelligence (BI) tools.
Highlights of the report are circulated to key stakeholders and to all SAP employees, and include helpful tips on how we can further reduce our carbon impact.
Additional reports are also published for specific topics, like the printing tracker dashboard, designed to increase awareness of paper usage among SAP employees. The tracker demonstrates in dashboard format, the company’s progress toward reducing its paper consumption on global, regional, and country levels.
How do you measure the success of your Green IT goals? Contact me to share your experiences.