Managing the ‘green line’ to address climate action
SAP’s Daniel Schmid explains how businesses can better understand their carbon footprints in order to make the key changes needed to slow the rate of climate changeShow transcript
As the world responds to the challenges of theCOVID-19 pandemic, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said that the planet’s unfolding environmental crisis is an even deeper emergency. Daniel Schmid is Chief Sustainability Officer for SAP; he explains why radical change is required, and outlines SAP’s solution to help businesses understand and reduce their own environmental impacts.
The New Economy: Daniel, why does SAP believe we need tangible action now to make this our decade of delivery for climate?
Daniel Schmid: Indeed; tangible action is urgently needed, so time is of the essence. And it’s no either/or question; we need to address both: the health crisis and the climate crisis.
And COVID-19 will reduce global emissions in 2020 by almost eight percent. But more is needed for the 1.5 celsius scenario to which SAP also committed. And we have now the unique window of opportunity to build back better. So public policies need to drive sustainable recovery; and businesses, we need to engage too in reshaping a more inclusive, resilient, and circular economy.
The New Economy: Why is it important that businesses address the climate concerns and expectations of diverse stakeholders to accelerate meaningful change on this issue?
Daniel Schmid: You need to understand, and you need to consider the stakeholder expectations. It is so critical for the future success of your company.
Consumers, we love more and more to choose brands taking environmental and social responsibility seriously. Employees love to work for a company that is a thought leader and a front-runner when it comes to sustainability. Governments: the upcoming national and international regulations are likely to require more and more environmental impact information. Finally the investors: environment, social and governance criteria are more and more embedded in the analysis of the mainstream investors.
The New Economy: SAP announced its Climate 21 programme at Sapphire Now in June; how is SAP enabling your customers to act on climate?
Daniel Schmid: Through the Climate 21 programme, SAP supports and enables organisations globally to assemble, assess, and act on their carbon emissions footprint along the entire value chain.
Assembling the CO2 emissions data on all levels of the enterprise means to create the initial transparency you need in order to understand the sources of your CO2 footprints. And the first product we have in place is called SAP Product Carbon Footprint Analytics, doing exactly that. It tracks the carbon emissions on a product level – including production, raw materials, the energy used, and transport.
The second part is assessing the CO2 emissions inputs. So with that SAP aims to enable customers to visualise their emissions inventory, to analyse the trends, conduct benchmarking, and finally to identify focused investments with the greatest opportunity to transition to a more responsible emission management, to bring down the emissions.
And that leads me finally to the third part of our overall programme roadmap: acting in order to reduce the emission inputs. So SAP aims to provide integration tools that help to operationalise the climate plans.