As calls for tangible climate action grow louder, India Inc is increasingly working to balance their top line, bottom line, and “green line.” A recent global sustainability study by SAP found that 76% of Indian enterprises believe their stakeholders would be moderately or highly tolerant of reduced profitability in pursuit of their organisation’s sustainability goals – indicating leeway to invest in positive sustainability outcomes. Businesses, large and small, are looking to integrate sustainability objectives into their overall strategy, by measuring it, recognising progress, and rewarding accomplishments to create long-term value.
“Sustainability is the biggest business challenge of our generation. At SAP, we’ve known this for a long time and have been working both as an enabler for our customers and within our own business,” says Sanket Deodhar, vice-president – Unicorn & Digital Natives, SAP India. According to him, organisations have to integrate sustainability into their core business operations. “Sustainability should never be considered separate to other business functions like finance or operations – it should be intrinsic to each of them,” he feels.
Making it happen
“At SAP, we believe that embedding sustainability into core business operations can be empowered by data. This allows businesses to establish a baseline for sustainable operations, understand what’s happening, measure, and improve sustainability outcomes,” stresses Deodhar.
Often, the data needed to operationalise sustainability performance is already available in the systems businesses use to run their business. Companies using SAP S/4HANA or SAP Ariba have a lot of this information already, points out Deodhar. “Sustainability metrics like carbon emissions, materials consumption, waste, and diversity data, can be integrated into core business processes like supply chain, ERP, finance, and procurement processes to embed sustainability across the business”.
SAP offers a wide range of solutions to help customers at every stage of their sustainability journey. “Our data-driven approach lets businesses get actionable insights across the value chain to enable companies to transition to low-carbon, low-waste, and more equal business processes,” says Deodhar. “For instance, last year we launched SAP Sustainability Control Tower to help customers integrate sustainability data not just into reporting, but to steer their businesses holistically towards better profitability and sustainability.”
Steps at ground level
SAP has helped WayCool embrace digital transformation in its sustainability journey through the development and implementation of a new ‘Environmental Dashboard’ based on the SAP Analytics platform. The dashboard consolidates insights from disparate sources, including IoT devices, transactional data from SAP S/4 HANA, and application databases, and converts them into relevant business insights. It provides a comprehensive view of key performance indicators with over 90% accuracy on various parameters including clean energy generation, energy efficiency, water efficiency and treatment, waste management, and a full-fledged greenhouse gas emissions measurement (GHG) to benchmark past and present performance, identify any anomalies and holistically report sustainability performance.
As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, the concept of sustainability is evolving rapidly. IDC estimates suggest that by 2024, 30% of organisations will advance their ESG metrics and data management beyond reporting capabilities to generate sustainably driven cost and competitive advantages. This is a huge opportunity for businesses to make sustainability profitable and profitability sustainable. “At SAP, we’ve got the technology and expertise to help customers at every stage of their sustainability journey and, with our broad industry sector expertise and strong partner ecosystem, we have deep insight into industry-specific sustainability challenges and needs,” summarises Deodhar.
Data-driven insights are critical to value-led sustainability
59% of Indian firms see positive connection between environmental action and profitability
Companies need to integrate sustainability into their core business operations
SAP solutions help transition to low-carbon, low-waste, and more equal business processes