SAP commits to sustainable value creation

SAP’s first Integrated Report Represents a Milestone in the Company’s Journey from Having a Sustainable Strategy to Making its Entire Corporate Strategy More Sustainable.

April 15, 2013

SAP’s first Integrated Report Represents a Milestone in the Company’s Journey from Having a Sustainable Strategy to Making its Entire Corporate Strategy More Sustainable.

Sustainability and economic growth are synonymous with achieving business transformation as highlighted in SAP’s first integrated report, which brings together the information previously shared in an annual report with the details contained in a sustainability report. Combining these reports into a single online document allows SAP to highlight the connections between the company’s financial and non-financial performance. The integrated report is a milestone in the company’s journey from having a sustainability strategy, to making its entire corporate strategy more sustainable.

SAP’s new integrated report supports a framework to approach problems differently and create software solutions that move beyond improving efficiency, supporting transformational change by increasing transparency into performance, providing new insights for customers, greater reporting efficiencies for investors and stakeholders as well as thought leadership.

According to its integrated report, SAP reduced its global carbon emissions by 485 kilotons in 2012, compared to 490 kilotons in 2011, which is an achievement given SAP’s significant growth resulting from multiple acquisitions including SuccessFactors and Ariba and the addition of 5 000 employees, as well as a 17% increase in software revenue. Since the beginning of 2008, SAP’s carbon footprint worldwide has enabled the organisation to save €220 million.

One example of this holistic approach is the impact of a ‘lift-scheme’ application that SAP developed to be used internally by employees. Within just one year, SAP employees in Germany generated more than 22,500 lift-schemes, avoided more than 500,000 kilometers of driving, created an additional 1,400 days of networking and saved 47 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. SAP has estimated the value through cost savings in company fleet and travel, networking and emission reduction generated by the solution during the first year at €2.3 million.

While the world is emerging from the recession, Africa is going through dramatic shifts in the economy, technology innovations, society and the environment at large. Organisations are struggling not only to keep up with these rapid changes but with fully understanding the short and long-term business impact of those changes. To help its customers effectively do this, SAP has made a commitment to Africa develop innovative technology solutions that take a more holistic and sustainable approach to performance and furthering customer success.

“The African business landscape is changing significantly and with these changes it becomes imperative for business to respond to some of the continent’s biggest sustainability challenges,” said SAP Africa CEO, Pfungwa Serima. “It’s clear that Africa, with its ever increasing economic potential, can teach the world about innovation and to do so successfully requires sustainable business practice.”

The integrated report highlights how SAP is working to address its emissions across the organisation’s entire value chain, as well as helping customers to save energy and reduce the size and cost of their IT environment. Key to this is how SAP’s in-memory flagship, SAP® HANA, vastly increases computing speed and helps customers create a much leaner operation by combining analytic and transactional data into one real-time, in-memory platform.

Ultimately, SAP seeks to create and report on a positive net benefit, so that the company’s total footprint, globally and locally, will be eclipsed by the carbon avoidance SAP creates through its solutions. SAP sees enormous potential to achieve this goal by working with customers to help them improve their efficiency and bring about their own transformation.

“The lack of stability demonstrated by the financial crisis, allied to the need for more sustainable practices, has led to a crisis of confidence by investors of business,” said Paul Druckman, chief executive officer, International Integrated Reporting Council. “These events show we need a wider, more complete picture of corporate performance, rather than only the financials, focused on an organisation’s strategy, prospects, governance and value creation. SAP is one of the leading members of our Pilot Programme that has made substantial progress in their journey to drive truly integrated thinking in their decision-making process at the highest levels.”