Building a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Strategy with SAP

  • by Davin Wilfrid, Former Contributing Editor, SAP Experts
  • March 17, 2010
Corporate sustainability is more than a feel-good endeavor. Identifying waste and inefficiency is a key way to boost your company's bottom line. William Newman and Bill Rudiak of Newport Consulting Group have identified several ways SAP companies can leverage technology to help them meet their financial goals while improving sustainability.

Over the past several years, the concept of corporate sustainability has moved from the realm of feel-good public relations to that of serious business — with good reason. Sustainability often requires streamlining your company’s key processes, which in turn boosts the bottom line while upholding your corporate reputation, according to William Newman and Bill Rudiak of Newport Consulting Group.

“Most organizations agree that continuous sustainable performance is critical. It’s something investors and stakeholders want to see more and more. And it’s not just about stocks going up — they want to know you’ll be profitable for years,” says Newman.

SAP has drawn considerable attention and accolades for its own sustainability strategy, and many of its customers are following suit with their own initiatives. SAP companies have several options for creating sustainability programs, according to Newman and Rudiak. Choosing the right path depends greatly on your requirements; however, the need to implement an enterprise-wide sustainability program is real.

A 2009 survey by McKinsey & Company found that while maintaining corporate reputation and brand equity was the key value of a corporate sustainability initiative, a large number of executives also cited operational efficiency, growth opportunities, and improved risk management (Figure 1).

Figure 1
Where the value of corporate responsibility is derived

The results of corporate sustainability initiatives have proven their value. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which tracks the success of the leading sustainability-driven companies, has shown that the stock prices of those companies in Europe have outperformed their non-sustainable competitors (Figure 2).

Figure 2
Sustainable companies outperform non-sustainable ones

Davin Wilfrid

Davin Wilfrid was a writer and editor for SAPinsider and SAP Experts. He contributed case studies and research projects aimed at helping the SAP ecosystem get the most out of their existing technology investments.

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