SAP Boosts Renewable Energy Use to 50 Percent

SAP Boosts Renewable Energy Use to 50 Percent

Image CC licensed by Flickr user twicepix

Half of the energy used by software giant SAP now comes from renewable sources, moving the company closer to its goal of shrinking its carbon footprint 5 percent this year.

Virtualization tools are also helping the company use energy more efficiently in 2010, but an uptick in business activity has pushed business travel figures higher than they were one year ago. As a result, limiting employee air travel has become a top priority for SAP as it continues its long-term efforts to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

"While travel to support our customers is a priority for the organization, we are working to provide our employees greater insight into the situation and encourage travel alternatives such as virtual meetings," SAP said last week in its quarterly sustainability update. "As part of this effort we plan to invest further in Telepresence systems throughout our offices to support communications with customers, partners, employees and stakeholders."

The challenge of keeping emissions low once the economy gains steam is one many companies are grappling with, including 3M, Autodesk and PricewaterhouseCoopers, to name a few. In a recent news story, SAP and Autodesk discussed how technology and videoconferencing tools would play a role in trimming emissions related to business travel, which tend to represent a large slice of overall carbon footprint for service-based companies.

Technology is also helping SAP track its emissions in real-time, and its SAP Carbon Impact OnDemand product has allowed the company to report its greenhouse gas emissions on a quarterly basis since the beginning of the year. In Q2, which ended in June, SAP shaved its worldwide emissions to 115,000 metric tonnes, compared to 120,000 metric tonnes in Q1.

Also in Q2, SAP joined the Sustainability Consortium inspired by Walmart and introduced a Supplier Code of Conduct that encourages suppliers to use sustainable business practices and use resources responsibly.

The company warned the unaudited emissions data do not incorporate acquisitions that closed in Q3. In Q4 SAP will release an Abatement Cost Curve showing the cost and potential CO2 emissions savings from a range of emissions reduction projects.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user twicepix.