SAP Sustainability Footprint Management: Q3-23 Updates & Highlights
After the successful launch of SAP Sustainability Footprint Management at SAP Sapphire, we continued to further develop the product. In this blog post, I’ll highlight the major new features and functions, as well as other important updates. I’m covering:
- Supplier Footprints
- Footprint Breakdown into GHG Categories
- Corporate Footprint Analytics
- New Transport Apps
- Usability Improvements
- Outlook Q4-23
- openSAP Course & Learning Journey
- Additional Information
One of the central intentions of our SAP Sustainability for climate action solutions is to support you in your journey from calculating emissions as aggregated averages based on secondary lifecycle assessment (LCA) data to acting on actual carbon outputs. This quarter, we made another important step forward by enabling the direct integration of primary supplier footprint data into the footprint calculation: A Push API is now available in SAP Business Accelerator Hub that allows you to push your actual supplier-specific product footprints to SAP Sustainability Footprint Management. This API has been created in compliance with the technical specifications for APIs by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Partnership for Carbon Transparency (PACT 2.0).
Besides this API, it’s now also possible to push supplier footprints via the brand new SAP Sustainability Data Exchange. This product is designed to help achieve carbon-neutral supply chains by facilitating the exchange of carbon data. It allows for collaboration across value chains by enabling the sharing of actual product carbon footprints with improved interoperability and data sovereignty. The platform also standardizes data exchange, simplifying audits with standardized data models and workflows, and ensuring seamless information exchange following industry frameworks and requirements.
In SAP Sustainability Footprint Management, a new application is introduced with this feature: Manage Supplier Footprints. In this app, you can review all the received footprints and release or reject them accordingly. Besides the discussed API and/ or SAP Sustainability Data Exchange, footprints can also be uploaded here manually with a provided template in MS Excel format. If the received footprint data doesn’t already include a plant assignment, you first need to assign one or multiple plants within the app. In the next step, you can choose to release or reject the supplier footprints. Releasing a footprint makes it available for footprint calculations, while rejecting it dismisses it from calculations.
In the Pending Review tab, you can check product and supplier details, including the validity of the entry, the CO2e per unit, the product quantity, and the primary data share. You can even drill into more details, such as the calculation methodology, data quality, as well as the footprint components. Those provide you with insights on the footprint breakdown into biogenic and fossil emissions, as well as the carbon content embodied within the purchased product.
Once a footprint is released or rejected, it moves to the Processed Entries tab. Obsolete footprints can be found there as well. Entries with incorrect product or supplier IDs are found under the Inconsistent tab. After being released, the footprints are used for the calculation of purchased products (GHG Scope 3.1) from the respective suppliers. Further, they’re also visible in the Manage Purchased Products Footprints app, alongside emission factors uploaded or mapped manually to LCA databases. This delivers you an auditable overview on all footprints that are used in the calculation and their respective sources.
For more insights on this new app, see Using the Manage Supplier Footprints Application.
With this new feature, SAP Sustainability Footprint Management now provides three options for importing emission factors for purchased products:
- Upload using a PACT 2.0 standard template: This template, available in the Manage Supplier Footprints app, is used when suppliers provide emission factors following the Pathfinder Framework. Alternatively, the API or SAP Sustainability Data Exchange can be leveraged for this option, as described above.
- Import LCA emission factors and map to purchased products: This process involves two steps. First, the template in the Manage Emission Factors app is used to upload emission factors from Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) databases. Then, the template in the Manage Mappings app is used to assign each LCA emission factor to a purchased product. Fore more information you can also check my blog post Emission Factors Management in SAP Sustainability Footprint Management.
- Upload using the purchased product footprints template: This template is found in the Manage Purchased Product Footprints app, and is used to upload the quantity of CO2e emissions per plant and per product quantity. It can be used for mass uploading of emission factors from an LCA database or from own calculations.
For more details on those options, check Importing Emission Factors for Purchased Products.
Footprint Breakdown into GHG Categories
The Sankey diagram in the Manage Footprint Results app already provided a great overview and visualization on all your emission inflows and outflows within in a defined inventory and period. To improve this even further, we now also added breakdown values, breaking down the calculated emission flows into their respective GHG Protocol scopes and scope categories. Besides the total CO2e values, this feature also visualizes the contribution of the individual scope category and therefore helps you in identifying emission hotspots to act and drive reduction measures. The breakdown values can be found on the Overview tab of the chosen calculation result, in addition to the Input and Output tabs.
Corporate Footprint Analytics
We’re constantly improving the built-in analytics capabilities, such as the Footprint Overview app. For providing better and simplified visualizations to analyze the corporate carbon footprint, we created the new Total Emissions card. This card is a comprehensive feature that not only presents the total CO2e emissions for all GHG scopes combined, but also provides a breakdown of CO2e emissions per scope category. Another chart offers a six-month overview of emissions, so you can directly analyze the trend over time. Additionally, we’ve introduced three new cards, each dedicated to a specific GHG scope. These cards offer detailed views of emissions for each category in the selected period. This allows for a more granular understanding of emissions within each scope, enabling more precise tracking and management of your environmental impact. For more information, see Using the Footprint Overview Application.
New Transport Apps
For enhancing the capabilities to calculate, analyze and report on transport-related emissions, we added two new apps this quarter:
The View Alternative Fuels Usage app is a tool for analyzing the carbon footprints of vehicles using alternative fuels and comparing them to vehicles using conventional fuels. Before using the app, you must set up a Reference Vehicle Class in the Manage Data app to serve as a benchmark. You can then calculate and compare CO2e emissions from both types of vehicles. For analytics purposes, we provide a pre-configured selection of charts that give insights about your usage of alternative fuels. To find out more about the configuration and the available charts, see Using the View Alternative Fuels Usage Application.
The View Shipment Reports app provides a comprehensive analysis of the environmental impact of your shipments at various levels of detail, ranging from fundamental shipment information to detailed data about the vehicle class per package. Those reports are available as tabular view and of course can also be downloaded into MS Excel format. Go to Using the View Shipment Reports Application to find out more.
The newly implemented File Import Wizard provides an intuitive UI flow to upload, map, preview, and import data from MS Excel files. You can trace your progress in this process by using the navigation presented at the top of the wizard. In-dialog progress indicators show how much of the upload has been completed. This new UI implementation improves the user experience by removing stacked dialogs and unnecessary information on the screen.
The file import templates in several apps have been enhanced and now include descriptive texts for each field, providing more details on the values to be entered. Some fields are further enriched with dropdown values, including a value help for the selection. Additionally, a Read Me provides context for each sheet in the template and indicates which sheets are mandatory. Within the next releases, we’ll enhance other templates with those improvements as well.
For getting immediate support when running the application, you can now easily access Built-In Support. You just have to select the respective icon directly on your SAP Fiori Launchpad and you’re there. For comprehensive information on this feature, see the SAP Help page for Built-In Support.
For the remaining quarter of this year, we have many more exciting features and functions on our road map:
Our main focus will be the integration of SAP Sustainability Footprint Management with SAP’s other Climate Action solutions. In SAP EHS Environment Management, GHG regulations can be calculated at the location level to cover production activities, which can then be reused for allocation or bottom-up footprint calculations. The benefits of this approach are increased accuracy in footprint calculations, improved efficiency through the reuse of existing data, and providing a plausibility check for bottom-up calculations. The integration with SAP Sustainability Control Tower will enable holistic steering and reporting of footprints calculated with SAP Sustainability Footprint Management on detailed business activities. This data includes corporate and value chain footprints as per scope 1, 2, and 3, as well as product footprints.
With the GHG Scope 1 calculation in the energy flow model, energy sources can be assigned to various plants and can be associated to fuel-related emission factors, which build the basis for calculating GHG Scope 1 and 3.3. This feature will bring an improved usability and data provenance through the selection of emission factors from LCA databases for fuels, and it empowers you to create a more detailed GHG Scope 1 footprint inventory.
By including market- and location-based energy flow model calculation for GHG Scope 2 and Scope 3.3, granular and precise emissions from purchased electricity can be considered, including factors from energy providers and the residual mix, as well as limits for energy attribute certificates. The benefits include improved usability through the selection of location-based emission factors from lifecycle LCA databases, as well as enhanced data provenance by utilizing LCA datasets for location-based and residual mixes. Moreover, it empowers you to create market- and location-based footprint inventories, thus supporting more accurate and comprehensive sustainability assessments.
Besides the delivered breakdown into GHG scope categories, we plan to enhance the footprint breakdown for product footprints into fossil and biogenic emissions. This will provide even more transparency and understanding of the calculated footprints of the manufactured products. The breakdown will be calculated based on information from suppliers and LCA databases, and incorporated across the production network and energy flow, and included in the calculation of various items. This new feature won’t only deliver new insights but will also provide a solid foundation for the disclosure of product footprints, aligning with standards set by organizations like the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Another major road map theme is enabling users to publish footprints to networks or portals. This can be done individually for individual products or customer channels, or via mass publishing based on certain criteria. This feature will strengthen your customer relationships, optimize workflows through digital data exchange, and enhance the clarity of information shared. As with all our measures to share carbon data, we’re committed to adhering to the PACT standard set by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). It’s also planned to integrate outbound with SAP Sustainability Data Exchange, so that actual emission data can be shared with customers via this channel as well.
For the complete road map, including the plans for next year, check out SAP Road Map Explorer.
openSAP Course & Learning Journey
If you want to learn more about SAP Sustainability Footprint Management, as well as about the challenges of Climate Action and SAP’s solutions in general, I highly recommend you the two eLearning courses that we recently launched and which are free of charge:
In the openSAP course Climate Action with SAP Sustainability Footprint Management, you’ll learn from various SAP Sustainability experts about the significant hurdles businesses face in addressing climate change. The course will also outline SAP’s dual role as a sustainability exemplar and as an enabler. Finally, you’ll hear how SAP Sustainability Footprint Management helps businesses in calculating and managing their carbon footprint, thereby supporting their goals for decarbonization. Although the three-week course and the assignment periods are already over, you can still access all videos and materials and do the course self-paced.
For going into more details of the product, check out our SAP Learning Journey: Taking Action on Climate Change with SAP Sustainability Footprint Management. This eLearning includes three comprehensive courses, each consisting of multiple units. These units will provide you with a general overview and introduction, detailed information on system setup and configuration, and thorough training on all apps used for calculating, monitoring, and analyzing sustainability footprints. The training is interactive, featuring numerous hands-on simulations and exercises. Upon successful completion of the program, you’ll be rewarded with a Record of Achievement and a digital badge.
For in-depth details on SAP Sustainability Footprint Management, including concepts, setup, and the application help, I recommend you browsing through the SAP Help Portal. For an overview of all new features and functions that have been released, check the What’s New section, which is updated with every new software release.
For exploring and experimenting in a live system, register for the free SAP Sustainability Footprint Management Trial. You’ll receive an e-mail with access information within seconds after your registration and can then test the solution at your own convenience within a 30-days trial period. It also includes a wide range of guided tours designed to help users navigate through all the features and functions comprehensively.
To stay up to date on SAP Sustainability Footprint Management, follow me here in the SAP Community. In regular cadence, I’ll publish blog posts giving you updates on all the product’s new features and functions as well as deep dives into the product capabilities. I’m also looking forward to engaging with you directly, feel free to leave your feedback in the comment section.