Sustainability Saves SAP $252M Since 2008

In its quarterly sustainability update released Monday, SAP AG revealed that its sustainability efforts since 2008 have paid off handsomely for the business software maker.

SAP's sustainability initiatives have generated EUR 170 million (US$252 million) in savings since 2008, from projects ranging from building retrofits to videoconferencing. Its investments in Telepresence, for example, have helped to trim business travel and associated costs while delivering a payback period of just one year.

SAP's greenhouse gas emissions inched up 6 percent In the first quarter of 2011, compared to the same period a year ago. The company began reporting its emissions on a quarterly basis as a result of its use of its software product Carbon Impact. SAP attributed the rise in emissions to the 5 percent growth in its workforce, in addition to a general uptick in business travel.

The quarterly figures do not include SAP's recent purchase of Sybase, for easier year-to-year comparability, but the acquisition will be included in its annual greenhouse gas inventory, according to Spokesman Evan Welsh, who said the company is still on track to meet its overarching goal of halving its 2000 emissions by 2020.

He noted that the company also disclosed its financial data for the quarter as part of SAP's shift toward integrated reporting.

"We look at sustainability as core to SAP as a company. It's one of our stated goals and it's extremely strategic," Welsh said. "Continuing to issue carbon footprint numbers definitely shows that commitment. And any time you can take 170 million euros out of your expenses, even if it over a few years, is quite significant."