SAP Responsible Design and Production: Q3 Highlights and Updates
Welcome to the Q3 edition of our quarterly blog series highlighting key new features and functionalities in SAP Responsible Design and Production (RDP).
For the previous blog, with information on Q2 updates, see this link.
- SAP’s Approach to the Circular Economy
- Introduction to SAP Responsible Design and Production
- Features Released in Q3 2023
- Additional Information and Updates
SAP’s Approach to the Circular Economy
SAP aims to transform business and value chains for a circular economy, to enable a future with zero waste. This applies to all processes, from sourcing materials to designing and producing products, to customer delivery, and then post-use return, refill, repair, re-use, or recycle. We build technology to:
- Eliminate waste and pollution
- Circulate materials and keep products in use
- Regenerate natural systems
For more information see this link.
Introduction to SAP Responsible Design and Production
SAP Responsible Design and Production provides intelligence that allows your company to monitor, measure, and act, so you can eliminate waste and circulate materials. The solution can also help your business transition to more sustainable products and packaging for a circular economy, with analytics and data insights. SAP Responsible Design and Production calculates extended producer responsibility (EPR) obligations, plastic taxes, and corporate commitments to optimize material choices, reduce fees, and reduce risks coming from unforeseen regulatory costs and non-compliance. It monitors the quality of data and any inconsistencies or errors, and flags that to the users so they can correct it before submitting their EPR reports or plastic tax return.
For more information on the product, or to request a demo, click here.
Features Released in Q3 2023
1) New UK EPR
The UK Government (Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) updated the packaging EPR scheme in the UK, which affected companies had to report on by 1 October 2023. As such, SAP has updated our EPR reporting capability in SAP Responsible Design and Production to support the enhanced reporting.
Now, organizations need to collect and report packaging data for goods supplied in the UK, imported to the UK or sold on a UK marketplace. Organizations may have to pay fees for waste management and administration, and obtain packaging waste recycling notes (PRNs) or packaging waste export recycling notes (PERNs). SAP’s solution is targeted at organizations classified as large, which means both of the following conditions apply:
- They have an annual turnover of £2 million or more, and
- They are responsible for supplying or importing more than 50 tons packaging per year
The main changes from the previous EPR rules are the addition of new reporting categories, to differentiate between household and non-household packaging, based (partly) on the type of the customer a company will sell to, and the type of packaging. There is also a reporting requirement on branded and unbranded goods sold.
To illustrate the new reporting screens, let’s suppose my company makes a “mocha cappuccino”, sold via retailers to consumers to drink at home. All of my packaging – the glass bottle, aluminium foil top, even the shrink wrap – would be classified as household waste. If I examine the packaging for this product in SAP Responsible Design and Production, I will see the screen below. You may notice that the packaging elements are the same as you have seen before, such as caps and labels, but the basic fractions have been updated with the new UK definitions, such as “Aluminium – Household” or “Plastic – Household”.
Now suppose I have an apple puree product “Happy Apples” that is sold commercially to restaurants or food businesses as a business-to-business transaction. Looking at the analysis of the packaging for this product in SAP Responsible Design and Production, I can see weights and fees for the packaging of my apple puree. You may notice this time that the basic fractions have been updated so we can see “Glass Non-Household” and “Aluminium – Non-Household”.
For reporting, I need to analyse the company level output from all products, and would next go to the “Analyse EPR Data” screens.
Tip: Did you know, you can save your filters and widgets as customised pages, which is set to your user account?
I’ve set up two screens using my own customised filters:
- The first shows delivered packaging for H1 2023 by reporting activity – here I can see products supplied under my own brand (orange bars) and all products packed or filled as unbranded (blue bars) – companies need to report on both categories.
- The second screen is a deep dive into “own brand” and splits the products into packaging type and material (we call it “report fraction” in our software).
Once I have checked the data and am ready to submit the EPR report, I will use the “Run Compliance Report” tab. The screenshot below shows the report output, as expected by the UK Environment Agency, with all the new material types shown.
2) CONAI – EPR for Italy
Adding to our ever-growing roster of national EPR schemes, we now have Italy’s CONAI scheme!
Below are screenshots of the new screens:
- Analysis by Material Fraction as defined in the Italian EPR (CONAI)
- Calculation of fees – again here is our sample product “Happy Apples”, this time showing the Italian definitions and fees
Once I have checked my reports and am ready to submit my return, CONAI requires me to fill out this web-form online, which looks like this:
The output from SAP Responsible Design and Production mirrors this online webform (my version here is shown using the English translation):
3) Integration with Multiple ERP with Non-harmonized Identifiers
What, you may ask, does that mean? First, let me explain the problem affecting many of our customers, and why we built this new capability to address that problem.
Most customers have one or more enterprise software systems that run their material master, production and accounting systems, with a harmonised data model across these systems. Then it is straightforward to replicate this into SAP Responsible Design and Production to provide the EPR and plastic packaging tax calculations. However, some customers (around 5-10% of our customer base) run multiple enterprise systems and have not homogenised their data – for example, the same product ID is used in the different systems for different packaging, or the same packaging ID is used for a particular packaging element, but has different properties in different locations, such as a difference in recycled content. This was always a bit of a challenge, and now we have a solution!
To solve this issue, SAP Responsible Design and Production now provides you with the system grouping functionality to enable you to work with such unharmonized data. It allows you to model your source system setup, so that conflicting entities from different systems belong to different system groups. This means your implementation should be easier, letting you get on with using the system to manage your packaging and EPR faster.
This is a very useful feature, but quite technical to explain how we do this and the nuances of data mapping. If you would like to find out more, please check this link.
Additional Information and Updates
There are many more features and functions which have been released in SAP Responsible Design and Production. For more details, please check the What’s New section in the SAP Help Portal, which is updated with every new software release. For an outlook on upcoming features please consult the RDP Road Map.
To stay up to date on SAP Responsible Design and Production please follow me here in the SAP Community. I will publish regular blog posts providing updates on all the product’s new features and functionalities as well as deep dives into the product capabilities.
I also look forward to engaging with you directly, feel free to leave your feedback in the comment section. For questions, please see the Q&A here in the SAP for Sustainability Community or reach out to me directly.
Product Expert, Circular Economy
- Uwe Kürsten – Chief Product Owner
- Pavel Boev – Product Owner
- Sarah Gillespie – Solutions Management