The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an ambitious effort to end poverty and hunger, to establish equality for all, to protect our planet, and to ensure a healthy, sustainable future for humankind. The UN wants to achieve these goals by 2030. Financing the SDGs, however, is not for the faint of heart.
Though last in the SDGs, Goal 17 is certainly not least. Rather, it is essential to establishing the foundational infrastructure necessary to achieve all other 16 SDGs. Without technological advances, financial and economic strength, and core capacity building, it is unlikely that progress will be made at all.
Growing Partnerships to Achieve the Global Goals
SAP is working hard to build and grow meaningful, effective partnerships that address the world’s challenges. As demonstrated throughout this web book, partnerships are at the core of our work to create impact and contribute to achieving the Global Goals. This is true for all partnerships – be they together with customers, business partners, non-profits, international organizations or governments and governmental entities.
In addition to the partnerships previously showcased, we seek to work with partners who address the broad spectrum of global challenges and the cross sections of ESG impact (environmental, social and governance). Some examples are highlighted here:
Holistic Approaches to Integrate Social, Environmental, and Economic Factors into Business Decision Making and Priorities
A key priority for SAP is to help businesses measure their overall societal impacts and dependencies, as part of a larger global shift in thinking about the role of business in society. SAP is a founding member of the Value Balancing Alliance (VBA), a coalition of business leaders addressing the need to rethink the value contribution of business as it pertains to different types of capital. VBA’s objective is to create a standard for measuring and disclosing the environmental, social, and financial value (negative and positive) companies provide to society. By participating in VBA’s methodology development and piloting phases, SAP is playing an active part in shaping the future of impact measurement and valuation.
Complementary to the work of the VBA, SAP has also signed on to the World Economic Forum’s Stakeholder Capitalism Coalition to accelerate a global solution for common ESG metrics. With this we have committed to report on these defined metrics in our own integrated report; we will also include the WEF metrics as the core framework for the new SAP Sustainability Control Tower product. This is just one project in our broader partnership with The World Economic Forum, which offers a great platform for SAP experts. Here, they can influence, collaborate, and co-innovate via events, thought leadership research, and multi-stakeholder projects that aim to improve the state of the world.
At the SAP Sustainability Summit earlier this year, SAP announced that the company joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to advance sustainability leadership and innovation. WBCSD is a global, CEO-led organization dedicated to accelerating the transition to a sustainable world. As an innovation partner in WBCSD’s Value Chain Carbon Transparency Pathfinder project, SAP and other business leaders are collaborating to enhance transparency in corporate carbon emissions with the objective to ultimately decarbonize supply chains.
Together with Accenture and 3M, we are also supporting SDG Ambition, a global-impact initiative launched by the UN Global Compact. One of the most recent products of the partnership is the launch of the SDG Ambition Guidance to accelerate business action to achieve the SDGs. In addition, the SDG Ambition Accelerator Program engages corporate executives from more than 600 companies and enables them to assess current performance, risk areas, and new opportunities across their business.
Furthermore, SAP is a participant of the SDG Compact, a strategic partnership with the German Ministry for Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung) to further sustainable development in multiple countries.
QuartaVista, a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, helps businesses expand their approach to key business decision from one to four perspectives: Instead of solely focusing on the financial dimension, they are encouraged to consider ecological, societal, and knowledge aspects as well. SAP’s role in the partnership is to map the QuartaVista holistic-accounting approach to a dashboard, helping visualize sustainability in a way that the financial world can understand. This way, decision makers can take non-financial values into consideration for their investments as well.
Social Enterprises Drive ESG Impact
SAP has long recognized the power of combining business approaches to addressing social and environmental challenges and partners with multiple organizations that seek to unleash the potential of social businesses to make positive impact.
These often-local organizations are playing an important role in addressing the global pandemic. As a Global Citizen partner, SAP supports the Acumen Fund, which invests in social enterprises in the developing world as part of the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaign. Thus, we want to ensure that no one is left behind in the global battle against COVID-19.
SAP also joined the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and 38 other organizations for the COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs. Together, we will provide holistic support to social entrepreneurs during and after the pandemic. The alliance represents a network of over 15,000 social entrepreneurs who have impacted the lives of 1.5 billion people.
Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the SDGs by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power as consumers, producers, suppliers, and distributors. SAP has joined BCtA with an aim to cater to the needs of different market segments, including small and mid-sized organizations, to accelerate and scale impact on smallholder farmers. SAP has developed the SAP Rural Sourcing Management solution for better management of sustainability data, connecting smallholder farmers to global agricultural supply chains.
SAP has also joined Social Enterprise UK’s “Buy Social Corporate Challenge”, a ground-breaking initiative through which leading corporations integrate social enterprises into their supply chains with the aim of achieving a combined £1 billion spend.
SAP participates in the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) since 2018 and was the organization’s first global partner, entering the three-year partnership. In 2020, the event went fully digital, making it possible for over 2,600 people worldwide to join the social enterprise conversation.
We are also using our technology platforms to make it easier for organizations to find and do business with certified social enterprises on the Ariba Network. As the official technology partner of Social Enterprise UK, SAP aims to facilitate better connections between corporate buyers with social enterprises, helping them spend in a more socially and environmentally viable way.
SAP Ariba has also partnered with social-impact technology company, Givewith, enabling companies connected to the Ariba Network to embed social-impact programs in Request For Proposal (RFP) processes.
Additionally, SAP Ariba joined BSR’s Global Impact Sourcing Coalition. Members of the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition have the shared vision for all people in the world to have the opportunity to obtain productive employment and decent work. They are working together to build more inclusive global supply chains through advancing wide-scale adoption of impact sourcing.
Within the action platform, “Decent Work in Global Supply Chains,” the SAP Ariba solution team has been working with the UN Global Compact and other member companies. The platform is to address respect for human rights and fundamental principles and rights at work. They jointly developed a toolkit for businesses to engage with their supply chains in order to accelerate progress towards the SDGs and improve transparency in global supply chains. By now, the toolkit is in the deployment phase. Since the UN Global Compact’s inception, SAP has been a member.
More on SAP's Contribution
- When purpose-driven missions align, the world benefits
- SAP joined the World Economic Forum’s global plastic action partnership
- SAP Ariba targets ‘new generation of business leaders who understand that social impact, commercial gains are not mutually exclusive’
- EY, SAP, and Qualtrics collaborate to bring resources to governments around the world to help in the fight against COVID-19
- Values build trust: The universal declaration of human rights secures the ethical use of AI
- SAP became a founding member of the European Green Digital Coalition to emphasize the role of technology for the green transition and EU taxonomy
- SAP joined the European CEO Alliance to help companies to undergo the green transition and to support the Commission to implement the EU Green Deal
- Overview of further memberships in SAP Integrated Report
- Decade of action: Digital inclusion is now more important than ever
- Life is fragile. Trust even more so.
- Art meets tech to take on global challenges
- SAP and SDG Ambition
- Atos rises with SAP to help enterprises become more flexible and sustainable
- Going beyond the four walls of your business