Embedding Sustainability through Technology

SAP SustainabilityThe focus on incorporating sustainable business practices is gaining importance. While many companies desire to become ‘sustainable’, the underlying issues related to data collection, management, analysis and reporting are critical areas where IT can play a significant role.

SAP offers solutions to strengthen sustainability initiatives of companies. On November 3, SAP announced that Atos, an international IT services company, like many of SAP’s sustainability partners, is “walking the walk” with SAP sustainability solutions.

Scott BolickIn light of this, ThinktoSustain.com speaks to Scott Bolick, Vice President, Sustainability Solutions, SAP, to get an insight into how its efforts are helping businesses achieve their sustainability goals.

ThinktoSustain.com: What are the opportunities where IT can play a significant role in addressing sustainability?

Scott Bolick: We see significant opportunities for IT to address sustainability in four key areas:

  1. sustainability reporting and analytics,
  2. energy management,
  3. operational risk management, and
  4. sustainable supply chain and products.

ThinktoSustain.com: How do SAP sustainability solutions enhance capabilities of your customers to address sustainability issues?

Scott Bolick: Our solutions help SAP and non-SAP customers gain better insight into their operations, performance and compliance with sustainability initiatives and regulations. For example, if a manufacturer is committed to becoming more sustainable across its operations, SAP can help that company to monitor, analyze and report on their sustainability performance towards specific goals – as well as proactively identify when to take corrective actions when they are going off track.

SAP can also help all manufacturers – heavy industry, consumer product and discrete manufacturing – ensure product safety and that products do not contain materials banned by regulations like RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) or REACH (Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). We can also help customers “green” their supply chain by evaluating the waste in their supply chain and ensuring that all products and processes are environmentally friendly.

ThinktoSustain.com: What are the key functionality/ features of SAP sustainability solutions?

Scott Bolick:

  • SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management helps organizations more easily set sustainability goals and objectives, measure and communicate performance, and reduce data collection costs and errors.
  • SAP Carbon Impact is an on-demand solution that helps companies accurately measure, mitigate, and monetize greenhouse gas emissions across operations and the supply chain.
  • SAP EHS Management, an application that addresses regulatory compliance and helps companies identify, manage, and mitigate EHS risks cost effectively by taking an integrated approach to all aspects of risk and compliance.
  • SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence allows customers to track and identify opportunities for energy reduction in manufacturing.
  • SAP Smart Meter Analytics, which uses SAP in-memory technology, and helps utility companies turn the “Big Data” generated by smart meters into more sustainable energy use strategies and programs for customers.

ThinktoSustain.com: What has been your team’s experience so far, in terms of key challenges faced (by SAP and Client) during implementation?

Scott Bolick: We are currently in the process of implementing the solution together and are expected to go live in the next few months. It has been going smoothly and on target. There were some technical challenges while staging our existing data but SAP worked closely to get this issue resolved.

ThinktoSustain.com: How do SAP Sustainability solutions help customers integrate sustainability and financial performance?

Scott Bolick: SAP believes that IT helps companies operate both more profitably and more sustainably. We help customers turn sustainability from a risk into a source of value creation. Through our work with customers around the world, we estimate that SAP software helps create safer and healthier lives for 800 million consumers and gives 30 million households the ability to use energy more responsibly. For example, SAP solutions have helped one medical device manufacturer to re-design its products to be more sustainable while enabling the company to more easily comply with RoHS regulations, saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

ThinktoSustain.com: Why did Atos select SAP for its sustainability solution and as a partner?

Scott Bolick: Atos is committed to a future where businesses demonstrate responsibility toward society and the environment. Key to Atos’ ethos corporate responsibility is to be an exemplar and enabler of innovative sustainability solutions by showing how companies can use IT to accelerate the results of sustainability programs. With SAP, Atos can do both – they can provide visibility and accountability to the sustainability goals the company has set for itself, as well as proactively manage those goals. And through its partnership with SAP Atos can offer joint customers services to speed the deployment of SAP sustainability solutions.

ThinktoSustain.com: What benefits does Atos expect after completion of its internal implementation of the SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management?

Scott Bolick: Atos will rely on the SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management application to help achieve its sustainability goals. The solution will help Atos gather data from across the company regarding its sustainability performance, providing insight into how well the company is faring against those goals and enabling them to take corrective action proactively if needed to meet its objectives. The solutions will give Atos a way to quickly create one, trusted version of the information so they will can have more confidence in the analytics and reporting they do on that data.

[Note: The content for this Interview has been compiled by ThinktoSustain Editorial Board in consultation with SAP.]

© 2011 ThinktoSustain.com. All Rights Reserved.