SAP’s carbon emission from 2010 is a notable accomplishment for the sustainability community, especially after listening to Peter Graf, SAP chief sustainability officer. In my job I listen to a lot of executives speak about SAP, but Peter has truly influenced me to the point that I’m considering buying solar panels and thinking about how I can reduce my carbon footprint, granted I’m only 5’2”, there’s not much of a footprint, but every little bit helps.
SAP’s 2010 carbon footprint goal was 430 kilotons, which was four percent less than 2009. Upon announcing their Q3 emissions at 112 kilotons, SAP was unsure if they would reach their 2010 goal (Q1: 106ktons, Q2 109ktons). Doing the math they had to consume less carbon in Q4 than previous quarters; where Q4 is typically the highest travel months for an enterprise software company. Surprisingly SAP Q4 emissions were 10% lower than previous quarters at 104 kilotons. This was a surprise to SAP as well and truth be told, SAP does not know exactly how they did this. If I find the answers I will post a follow-up.
What was even more astonishing is that SAP’s total carbon footprint has been reducing by 5% YOY since 2007, by doing the calculation it is estimated that by 2020 SAP’s carbon footprint will be at the level they had in 2000. And here is what is astonishing; SAP would achieve this carbon footprint without buying renewable electricity. SAP is truly changing its operations to be more energy efficient.