Another announcement from SAP, this time the BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management application. It’s designed to help companies deal with the information they need to manage their sustainability strategy and also integrates with existing applications (SAP and non-SAP) for a common reporting platform. It’s the first application to be certified by the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) Certified Software and Tools program - ‘GRI aims to promote the transparent and reliable exchange of sustainability information’.
The software takes a broad view of sustainability and uses a variety of indicators, manages the data and has a user-friendly interface to make reporting easier. This broad approach was emphasised by Peter Graf, SAP’s chief sustainability officer and executive vice president of Sustainability Solutions; “To truly be seen as sustainability leaders, businesses need to look beyond carbon foot printing and start proactively managing the full spectrum of sustainability opportunities, including economic, social and environmental obligations. … Until now, it’s been extremely difficult to get the complete, actionable information needed to operationalise sustainability goals and strategies”.
It’s been clear that SAP has started to align itself with the sustainability market in a big way in 2009, after a slow start in addressing emissions issues in 2008. Managing CO2 is itself an important new ICT market, but it’s a short step to incorporating a wider range of ‘green’ indicators (environmental, social, etc) which companies will increasingly have to take on board. SAP’s role at the heart of many global corporations gives it huge opportunities in this space, but then a lot of specialist suppliers are fighting for a slice of the action as well.