When the topic of sustainability came about five or six years ago within SAP, I often wondered what SAP has to do with sustainability? When I began probing, I realized that sustainability was an integral part of our corporate– it was a part of our product portfolio and also embedded in our business processes and policies. So much so, that for eight consecutive years, SAP is the industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices ( DJSI). We talk about  cross-company dialogues in shaping “Sustainability 2020” together. It’s a true testimony to the efforts put in over the past few years.

Our CEO Bill McDermott pointed out some of the remarkable achievements in the area of sustainability which is heralding our leadership in the software industry:

  • We are the market leader in sustainability software with SSRS and consulting revenues greater than Euro 150 million per year.
  • Since 2008, we avoided cost in excess of Euro 260 million by applying more sustainable practices internally.
  • We are thought leaders in sustainability through our integrated reports, our massive open online course on sustainability and business innovation, and our  100% green cloud – which puts sustainability at the core of our growth strategy!
  • An amazing 89% of our employees agree that it is important for SAP to pursue sustainability.

Sustainability is also extremely important when it comes to attracting the best talent to SAP. A company’s performance is best reflected when measured not just by its  financial  growth but also its contribution to non-financial issues like sustainability. Here, one of the factors that helps us measure substantiality is environment. In this my focus is on the environment impact. To me, there are 4 four important attributes that contribute to how the environmental impact in our company’s performance is measured. For a detailed overview, refer to our  integrated reports.

  • Greenhouse Gas Footprint (GHG Footprint: GHG footprint is the sum of all greenhouse gas emissions measured and reported, including renewable energy  and third party reductions
  • Total Energy Consumed: Total energy consumed is the sum of all energy consumed through SAP’s own operations, including energy from renewable sources
  • Data Center Energy: Data center energy is the amount of energy consumed in SAP’s data centers related to the number of employees
  • Renewable Energy:  Renewable energy reflects the shares and types of electricity obtained from renewable sources such as hydro, wind, solar, and biomass.

At SAP Labs India, we contribute to the environmental impact in several ways. For example on energy consumptions, all  our own facilities across India are either certified LEED platinum or gold standard buildings. We have several electric cars that are used by our employees for their daily commute and for airport transfers. We promote carpooling through an in-house created app called “TwoGo”.

As employees we have some direct influence over GHG Footprint and on our energy consumptions.  Our domestic and global travel, adds on to our GHG foot print. While it is important to keep the communication and collaboration channel for higher level of engagement between our customer , employees and partners. It is equally important to enable them to collaborate better, so we have introduced several initiatives using technology like telepresence, lync making the collaboration simple between our various geographies and also resulting in reducing our GHG footprint.

A study conducted by Backhaus et al. (2002) has found that job seekers place considerable importance on a prospective employer’s commitment to sustainability. A lot of our customers want to do business with software partners and service providers who are sustainably responsible and our efforts here pays off.

In the last employee survey 89% of our employees said it’s important to pursue sustainability. This is one of the most encouraging aspects as our contributions to our mission of making the world a better place Starts with ‘US’

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