SAP’s Strategy for Sustainability Tackled by SEA MD Verena Siow


Aside from supporting enterprises to become future-ready through digital transformation, SAP’s strategy is geared towards accelerating sustainability and promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

SAP recognizes that diversity is essential to achieving its goals, and it is committed to promoting inclusion in all aspects of its business. For the company, Southeast Asia presents an opportunity to work with a wide range of partners and customers to create solutions that have a positive impact on society and the environment.

Verena Siow, President and MD of SAP SEA, recently told the Manila Bulletin that social sustainability is an integral part of sustainability. She believes diversity inclusion is so crucial to a company’s or an individual’s long-term success that it should be implemented system-wide and with a focus on the entire organization.

SAP Diversity and Inclusion Officer Supriya Jha resonates with Siow’s sentiment. She maintains that valuing and promoting diversity and inclusion is no longer merely a moral imperative, but rather a necessity for a company to survive and prosper. Jha further shared:

“Organizations have learned that their people, the ecosystem, and society in general are demanding a higher degree of conscientiousness around diversity and inclusion.”

Addressing Issues on Diversity and Inclusion

Speaking on the advancement of women in the tech industry, Siow noted that SAP has come a long way in the last 20 years since she first entered the workforce. She said that things have changed greatly for women in terms of individuality, respect, and acknowledgment in the professional world.

“I’m very happy to share that in Southeast Asia, 51% of our employee base consists of women. Female statistics in the Philippines are even better at 56% or about 2,500 employees because we also run chat services here. This inclusion aspect helps in addressing the problem of talent shortage in technology companies around the world,” Siow said in the interview.

Unconscious bias can have a negative impact on an individual’s ability to succeed in the workplace. Siow also stated that the enterprise software giant has solutions intended to respond to this issue. She highlighted that the latest technologies can be utilized to make questions in job interviews more gender neutral. This allows for a level playing field so that everyone has an equal opportunity to showcase their skills and abilities.

Strengthening SAP’s Strategy for Sustainability Among Industries

In an effort to reduce inequality and fulfill other Sustainable Development Goals, SAP introduced Chasing Zero which is an initiative designed to bring attention to best practices from the German tech giant’s ecosystem of leading thinkers and academics globally, as well as partners and customers worldwide. The program aims to showcase how businesses can eliminate waste and deliver social value, ultimately leading to a more sustainable future for all.

As sustainability becomes an increasingly pressing business challenge, SAP is working with its partners to explore how they can use today’s technologies to build a more sustainable future. This collaborative effort is essential to addressing the complex challenges of sustainability, which require innovative solutions that draw on the expertise and resources of many different organizations.

According to Siow, SAP is doing a good job at keeping tabs on its initiatives and hopes to reach net zero across all of its supply chains by 2030. The SAP SEA MD emphasized that the company puts its words into action.

“We have launched solutions to help companies become more sustainable. How do you become more sustainable is by getting insights and data, making assessments, and seeing how to make improvements to achieve sustainable goals,” Siow stated.

Finally, Siow advises organizations to undergo transformational projects now to be prepared for the future. Modernizing processes  takes time, she said, and businesses shouldn’t put it off. Siow added that enterprises need to begin transformation immediately in order to be future-ready.

“Getting intelligent insights to make better decisions stands for sustainability. Embedding sustainability is the most pressing challenge we have today and it will become even more difficult in the future,” the SAP Executive said.

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