SAP Commits to Net Zero Carbon Footprint by 2023


The newest sustainability goal from SAP is its recent announcement that the company is determined to achieve net-zero carbon footprint targets by the end of 2023, two years earlier than previously stated.

As pressure builds on the public and private sectors to implement climate protection measures, recent months have seen an increasing number of major businesses pledging net-zero carbon footprint targets. The latest of a growing cohort of companies to make an announcement is SAP, coinciding with the publication of SAP Integrated Report 2020.

Mainly due to the travel restrictions and the changes in the way its 100,000 global employees worked during the COVID-19 pandemic, SAP managed to go beyond expectations of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2020. Following the shift to a remote working set-up, carbon emissions caused by office buildings’ operations and the daily commute have nosedived. Not to mention the sharp downturn in business flights contributed significantly to the software giant’s reduced carbon footprint last year.

Consequently, SAP has overachieved its target for net carbon emissions reduction by 43{aa282f308afcc222aaa21b0478c79e01a8fedd01972e2180867097bd93930f22}, generating 135 kilotons (kt) instead of the expected 238 kt. By advancing towards carbon-neutral operations, SAP emphasises its role as a leader in climate protection. Describing the announcement as a ‘nice surprise’, SAP CEO Christian Klein stated in his LinkedIn post:

“Our continued efforts, together with reduced travel and commuting, enabled us to overachieve by 43{aa282f308afcc222aaa21b0478c79e01a8fedd01972e2180867097bd93930f22} on our target for reducing net carbon emissions in 2020.​ Sustainability presents a unique opportunity for us to create a lasting, positive impact for future generations. In addition to pursuing our own goals, we help our customers to achieve their carbon objectives and make responsible business decisions.”

“Because we are convinced that intelligent enterprises can make sustainability profitable and profitability sustainable,” he stressed.

Achieving Net Zero Carbon Emissions Target

For SAP, achieving carbon-neutrality in its operations means taking into account all of its direct and indirect emissions. It also considers selected emissions arising in the supply chain such as those connected to third-party data centres, business travel in rental cars, and business flights. The company aims to avoid generating GHGs through different business practices, such as utilising telecommunication technologies instead of travelling.

Furthermore, the German tech giant leverages innovations like alternative mobility solutions, efficient cooling systems, and energy-efficient lighting in offices if carbon emissions are unavoidable. It also works with partners who meet The Gold Standard Foundation’s quality standards and supports climate projects to offset emissions that cannot be avoided.

At the same time, SAP has been driving new corporate initiatives, such as placing an internal carbon price on business flights. Aiming to contribute to the reduction of global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the company has also been following a science-based climate target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). 

Implementing Climate Protection Measures

Focusing particularly on Climate Action goals, SAP supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations General Assembly. With this, the enterprise software company aims to assist its over 400,000 global customers in implementing climate protection initiatives through programs like the Climate 21 offering.

Talking about the Climate 21 initiative, SAP APJ President Paul Marriott said that the company aims to drive environmental and sustainable measures in APJ. Studies have indicated that the region is the world’s major contributor of carbon emissions footprint, generating approximately 17 billion metric tons per year. He said:

“We aim to onboard the top organisations through 2021 to our Climate 21 initiative in APJ – ‘21 in 21’, to help reduce their carbon footprint.”

On top of this, SAP has been using 100{aa282f308afcc222aaa21b0478c79e01a8fedd01972e2180867097bd93930f22} renewable energy to operate all of its data centres since 2014. It also offers cloud solutions that are carbon-neutral to its customers. The upcoming SAP Sustainability Summit on April 28–29, 2021 will provide more information on solutions related to environmental sustainability, as well as on the circular economy, reporting, and holistic steering.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

scroll to top