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Research from the UK & Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG), the independent not-for-profit organisation representing all users of SAP software, has revealed 70% of organisations believe SAP’s technology will help them meet their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) goals. In addition, 94% of organisations state that ESG factors will influence their future technology buying decisions.
The survey of 124 SAP user organisations, reveals that ESG has become ‘a lot’ more important to three-quarters (76%) of respondents in the last 12 months. However, more than a third (38%) say that events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruption and the war in Ukraine, risk delaying ESG initiatives at their organisation.
“There is no denying that ESG has risen up the corporate agenda in recent years, as organisations recognise the need to better look after their people and the planet,” said Paul Cooper, Chairman, UK & Ireland SAP User Group. “Technology clearly has an important role in supporting the ESG agenda both now and in the future. SAP sits at the heart of many organisations, so there is a great opportunity for them to utilise their SAP data to drive better insights and help meet their ESG goals.”
The survey highlights that the majority (87%) of organisations have ESG goals and/or KPIs in place. When asked where how specifically SAP’s technology could meet these goals, identifying and reducing waste across the organisation (25%) was the most popular response, followed by making the supply chain more sustainable (21%), analysing and reporting on carbon emissions (19%), and adopting/benchmarking against industry best practices (13%).
Closing the analytics and reporting gap
It is clear from the research that while progress is being made regarding ESG, there is still a lot more that can be done. For instance, just under a third (31%) of organisations are very confident that they can report on their current labour practices.
When it comes to reporting on carbon emissions there still significant progress to be made, especially in relation to SCOPE 3 emissions:
64% are confident they can report on their SCOPE 1 emissions (i.e. those made directly by an organisation)
62% are confident they can report on their SCOPE 2 emissions (i.e. those made indirectly by an organisation)
38% are confident they can report on their SCOPE 3 emissions (i.e. those that an organisation is indirectly responsible for up and down its value chain)
SAP’s Climate 21 program aims to help organisations both understand and minimise the carbon footprint of their products and operations. – according to the survey a fifth (21%) of respondents had heard of it.
“SAP is in a privileged position to be at the core of our customer’s technology transformation journeys and, in line with the survey findings, we also see technology and data as crucial to achieving sustainability goals,” said Lindsey Rowe, Head of Purpose Programmes & Sustainability GTM, SAP UK & Ireland. “The survey gives a clear indication of the work we need to do to support the awareness for our customers and we are delighted to work alongside the UKISUG on the launch of the dedicated SIG.”
“Having visibility into existing business practices and suppliers is essential if organisations are to report on labour practices and carbon emissions effectively. SAP’s product portfolio can help organisations here, but as our survey shows customer awareness is relatively low. Through our newly launched Sustainability SIG, we aim to work with SAP to raise awareness of its solutions offerings and provide a forum for wider discussions on how technology can support sustainability initiatives across industries,” added Paul Cooper.