Improve Your Corporate Sustainability Reporting with SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management

  • by William Newman, Managing Principal, Newport Consulting Group
  • November 13, 2009
Walk through the key features of SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management and see how you can use it along with other parts of your SAP system for your corporate sustainability reporting needs.
Key Concept

SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management allows you to quickly aggregate information and develop the required documents to meet the goals of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for corporate sustainability reporting. Pre-selected dashboard views allow for presentation, reporting, and management uses. SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management also integrates with the SAP BusinessObjects solutions, providing reporting, dashboarding, and analytic features.

Corporate sustainability as an element of strategy and planning for corporations has been gaining ground significantly over the past decade. Buoyed by environmentally focused laws led by the EU, sustainability programs have also taken on economic elements such as access to capital and liquidity, as well as operational components from traditional quality programs. Most sustainability programs have three major components:

  1. Economic and financial: These include the ability to reduce the consumption of raw materials into the products or services delivered to customers, the ability to access capital markets, and the long-term viability of a company vision and mission
  2. Environmental: These include Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) along with regulations and environmental welfare, the effect the carbon footprint of an organization may have on its operations, and the effect of “cap and trade”
  3. Social responsibility: These include the welfare of worker rights, adherence to local labor laws, fair wages in developing countries, and workplace health and safety

For a global organization, this goes beyond its identity as a good corporate citizen. In 2006, the Global Reporting Initiaitve (GRI) was created to provide guidelines and audit recommendations for organizations participating in corporate sustainability reporting (CSR) activities. These guidelines ensure a level of consistency and governance in the practice of corporate sustainability.

Despite several years into the GRI guidelines, what defines sustainability strategically to most companies depends on the company’s point of view. Figure 1 illustrates how several Fortune 500 companies running SAP ERP position their corporate sustainability programs. Although each company considers the three primary areas the GRI supports, each has a different orientation and set of actions associated with its respective program.

William Newman

William Newman, MBA, CMC is managing principal of Newport Consulting Group, LLC, an SAP partner focused on EPM and GRC solutions. He has over 25 years of experience in the development and management of strategy, process, and technology solutions spanning Fortune 1000, public-sector, midsized and not-for-profit organizations. He is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) since 1995, qualified trainer by the American Society of Quality (ASQ) since 2000, and a trained Social Fingerprint consultant in social accountability since 2012. William is a recognized ASUG BusinessObjects influencer and a member of SAP’s Influencer Relations program. He holds a BS degree in aerospace engineering from the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA and an MBA in management and international business from the Conrad L. Hilton School of Management at Loyola Marymount University. He is a member of the adjunct faculty at both Northwood University and the University of Oregon with a focus on management studies and sustainability, respectively.

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