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March 3, 2009

SAP boosts green credentials

Appoints first chief sustainability officer

By Steve Evans

ERP firm SAP has announced plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to year 2000 levels by the year 2020. To help it achieve this goal the company has appointed its first ever chief sustainability officer, Dr. Peter Graf.

Dr. Graf will head up a new newly formed cross-functional sustainability organisation, which will oversee all sustainability initiatives at SAP, both internally and externally.

The company claims that its carbon footprint is already smaller than that of most enterprises of similar revenue, but it wants to reduce its footprint even further. SAP is aiming for a 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. This should return the company to year 2000 emissions levels of 250,000t CO2.

SAP will target its own direct emissions as well as emissions generated by indirect factors, such as business travel – said to have contributed 42% of SAP’s 2007 footprint. The company says it will focus on abatement over offsets and will employ new technologies that can accelerate the abatement of carbon.

As well as reducing its own carbon emissions, SAP will also be helping customers to reduce theirs. The company has extended its agreement with Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) management vendor TechniData to enable it to offer a full line of co-created EHS applications under a new name – SAP EHS Management.

The platform enables companies to ensure that EHS requirements and corporate sustainability policies are met across the organisation. It is integrated into SAP Business Suite but is also open to be integrated into non-SAP systems, the company said.

Léo Apotheker, co-CEO, SAP, said: “SAP is in a unique, dual position when it comes to sustainability. We have a moral obligation to start with ourselves and ensure that our business operates in a transparent and accountable manner, leaves a minimal environmental footprint and reaches out to improve the social situation of others.

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“As the leader in business software, we also deliver solutions that help other businesses achieve clarity across their operations and better manage their sustainability performance. This is why we are making a strategic, long-term commitment to operate our company in a sustainable way and to help businesses address social, environmental and governance challenges on a global scale.”

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