New SAP(R) Solution Helps Companies Deliver on Their Sustainability Promises
Although the business priority given to improving sustainability performance is at an alltime high, many organizations have found it difficult to manage accountability and transparency of sustainability initiatives across their businesses. With the new SAP® BusinessObjects(TM) Sustainability Performance Management application announced today by SAP AG (NYSE: SAP), every business can now more easily set sustainability goals and objectives, measure and communicate performance, and reduce data collection costs and errors.
Building on the success of the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio, the new application helps organizations focus on improving economic, social and environmental performance rather than spending time on data collection and report compilation. The software provides a holistic view of an organization's sustainability indicators and features an easytouse interface that streamlines internal and external reporting. It helps turn data into actionable insight that can be cascaded and executed on throughout an organization, making it easier to track compliance with sustainability strategies across the business. The application features a library of key sustainability performance indicators and is the first solution to be certified by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Certified Software and Tools Program. Like all SAP BusinessObjects solutions, the software is designed to integrate with a range of SAP and non-SAP solutions. It can also be used as a standalone solution.
"Sustainability is increasingly missioncritical across the corporate world," said Dr. Stephen Stokes, vice president of Sustainability and Green Technologies, AMR Research. "It is becoming a key element of business strategy, with the potential to deliver new levels of efficiency and operational performance, innovation and organizational transformation. Managing and reporting an organization's sustainable performance via transparent and high quality data collation, analysis, optimization and modeling is a new basis for defining and communicating operational excellence."
A Robust Solution for Communicating and Improving Sustainability Performance
As stakeholders increasingly expect businesses to move from basic reporting of sustainability metrics to being accountable for their improvement, organizations are finding that meeting these demands can be complex, slow and costly. But accountability does not necessarily drive performance improvement and profitability; it must be aligned to corporate objectives and strategy, and ultimately, execution of those objectives. The new SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management application helps make voluntary reporting easier while also applying a performance management framework to sustainability information to help drive improvement and profitability across the enterprise.
"At Lexmark we strive to promote sustainability in our business practices," said John Gagel, manager, Sustainable Practices - Environmental, Health and Safety at Lexmark. "But, as a global company, it can be challenging to track sustainability metrics across our business. As a coinnovation partner with SAP during development of the sustainability performance management application, we were able to define our sustainability needs and ensure they were addressed in the software. The application will help us streamline how we monitor and manage our sustainability performance and reduce the cost and complexity of our many sustainability disclosure obligations. Most importantly, it will enable us to move beyond measuring and reporting to incorporating sustainability in a more strategic way within our business."
Flexible Data Collection
A key feature of SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management is its ability to automatically collect key performance indicator (KPI) data from a variety of sources, allowing customers to move beyond tedious and errorprone manual data collection and spreadsheetbased recording. With a powerful range of functionality, the application leverages SAP's worldleading analytical tools and complements the successful roster of existing SAP sustainability products, including the enterprise resource planning (ERP) application SAP® ERP; the SAP® Environment, Health, and Safety Management application; and the SAP® Carbon Impact ondemand solution. The application integrates tightly with these and other SAP solutions, such as SAP® Business Suite software, making data extraction across the enterprise easy. The software can also operate as a standalone application or integrate with non-SAP systems, facilitating sustainability reporting and performance management activities regardless of a customer's backend systems. It also allows sustainability data to be entered manually, guided by workflow, data request, validation and approval processes. Regardless of how data is gathered, audit trail functionality provides transparency and helps enforce highintegrity reporting.
"Solutions like SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management can help companies more proactively manage social, environmental and economic risks and opportunities," said Kathy Nieland, partner and U.S. sustainability leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. "This enterprise technology gathers and analyzes information from across the business to help enhance strategic decisionmaking and business agility. With its enterprise integration, it can help companies identify business inefficiencies, leading to improved financial and sustainability performance."
Defined Reporting Protocols and Central KPI Library
Companies often need to model and manage internal and external sustainability disclosures based on multiple sustainability reporting protocols, each requiring the same KPIs with slightly different characteristics. Drawing upon SAP BusinessObjects' significant experience linking KPIs to risk and compliance, SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management helps customers tailor execution and reporting on sustainability initiatives to their industry and business context. Customers can select from a central KPI library that includes a variety of metrics, including those based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. Business users can also create and update their own sustainability KPI's with multiple tiers of subindicators or calculations. Because they are stored in a central library, KPIs can be easily shared, reused, searched and filtered.
"The Global Reporting Initiative aims to promote the transparent and reliable exchange of sustainability information," said Ernst Ligteringen, CEO of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). "SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management is the first application to be certified by the GRI Certified Software and Tools Program, which assures the correct use of GRI copyrightprotected content. SAP's new solution will support sustainability reporting based on GRI standards, benefitting internal management of key sustainability issues and providing stakeholders the information they demand."
Powerful Performance Analytics
The powerful analytic functionality builtin to SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management helps give a holistic, ataglance view of the sustainability metrics of a business, helping users measure, refine and showcase return on investment from sustainability efforts for maximum business impact. The application takes sustainability data and turns it into actionable information and insights, enabling customers to aggregate results and examine performance across multiple dimensions. Planning workbooks support target and benchmark setting for different organizations and sustainability indicators, while graphical reports, dashboards and scorecards help provide stakeholders clear insight into a company's sustainability performance.
"To truly be seen as sustainability leaders, businesses need to look beyond carbon footprinting and start proactively managing the full spectrum of sustainability opportunities, including economic, social and environmental obligations," said Peter Graf, chief sustainability officer and executive vice president of Sustainability Solutions, SAP AG. "The new SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management application is the first offtheshelf system that supports a holistic view of sustainability. Until now, it's been extremely difficult to get the complete, actionable information needed to operationalize sustainability goals and strategies. In my role at SAP I've seen that firsthand. SAP is not only the developer of this groundbreaking software - we're also implementing it ourselves to help drive sustainability strategies throughout our global organization and become a clear enterprise."
In 2009 SAP announced an increased strategic focus on sustainability, which includes both managing its internal operations in a sustainable way and delivering solutions that support its customers' sustainable business practices. Details of SAP's sustainability efforts, solutions and product roadmap may be found in its online sustainability report.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forwardlooking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "should" and "will" and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forwardlooking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forwardlooking statements. All forwardlooking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP's future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including SAP's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forwardlooking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
Copyright © 2009 SAP AG. All rights reserved.
SAP, R/3, mySAP, mySAP.com, xApps, xApp, SAP NetWeaver and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries all over the world. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies. Data contained in this document serve informational purposes only. National product specifications may vary.
SAP is the world's leading provider of business software(*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become bestrun businesses. With more than 92,000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol "SAP." For more information, visit www.sap.com.
(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning, business intelligence, and related applications.
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