September 13, 2012 // By: Perry Manross
The theme of the conference was re-inventing capitalism, including developing more sustainable business practices aimed at protecting the “triple bottom line”: people, profits and the planet. Graf talked about his journey as CSO working to steer SAP’s business strategy in a more sustainable direction, and the critical importance of engaging employees throughout the organization.
Graf’s presentation also focused on lessons learned and best practices. For example, how SAP strives to develop its solutions for areas such as utilities, production, and transportation with sustainable practices built-in. “We need to manage water, air, energy, and toxic materials, as well as we manage finances, people, and manufacturing,” he said.
Graf also presented what SAP has done to champion sustainability within the organization – by creating awareness and transparency, setting up tools and processes, introducing incentives, and securing leadership participation. This has helped make the topic more tangible to employees.
He illustrated the results of this model using SAP’s TwoGo software and commuting program, in which one third of employees invited to participate registered, tallying 20,000 carpool rides in 2011. These results equate to 1,500 person-days of carpooling, and as Graf noted, promote “an understanding that there is an impact between the software you use and how you treat this planet.”
Graf also recently presented at the 2012 Global Forum on Climate Change, hosted by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The CDP is an independent not-for-profit organization working to drive greenhouse gas emissions reduction and sustainable water use by business and cities. SAP has had a long-standing partnership with CDP, providing analytic software that enables members to conduct benchmarking using the organization’s global climate change data. As Graf noted, “If we can manage resources like money and people, we can also manage other resources like water and carbon.”
At the event, Graf explained the connection between increased energy efficiency and improved financial performance and talked about best practices for building a long-term sustainable business model within a resource-constrained world.
Learn more about the Carbon Disclosure Project: