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Holistic Steering and Reporting

Ethics and compliance at SAP

By doing business the right way, SAP can positively impact social and economic development, furthering education, justice, democracy, prosperity, development, and health worldwide. 

Additional information

Our sustainability policies, codes, and commitments

As a signatory of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact initiative, SAP is committed to respecting and promoting human rights across our operations, extended supply chain, and product lifecycle. 

Energy and environmental management

Learn about SAP entities that have received the ISO 14001 or ISO 50001 certification.

Frequently asked questions

SAP’s purpose is to help the world run better and improve people's lives. We believe social, environmental, and economic activities and performance are interrelated – each impacting the others. Our efforts focus on creating a sustainable future for SAP, our customers, and society. For us, it is crucial to be a responsible business that holistically manages our performance and steers our business in an integrated way – connecting financial and non-financial performance. In this short video, our Chief Sustainability Officer explains SAP’s strategic approach to sustainability.

SAP has been on its sustainability journey for more than a decade and is a recognized leader as a sustainably-run company. This has given us the insights and experience to respond to the increasing demands from customers, partners, investors, and employees for SAP to not only run our company more sustainably, but also to use our position to enable customers to run more sustainably, too. There is an urgency to this as many reports indicate that climate change, waste, and social inequalities are becoming increasingly acute problems around the world. We believe sustainability is the new frontier of digital transformation. We want to help customers reinvent themselves as intelligent, sustainable enterprises. We want to help them make sustainability profitable and profitability sustainable. We believe this is a long-term strategic imperative that will help SAP grow while helping our customers achieve their overall corporate ambitions which increasingly center around running sustainably.

SAP Cloud for Sustainable Enterprises is a flexible solution bundle of sustainability-focused applications to help companies achieve holistic sustainability management. Companies can now integrate sustainability metrics seamlessly into their end-to-end business processes. It’s the most comprehensive set of enterprise applications for sustainability management available. We realize each company is at a different stage of implementing sustainable performance, so SAP Cloud for Sustainable Enterprises provides maximum flexibility for customers to choose which solutions and capabilities they want to incorporate into their sustainability management portfolio at the time that’s right for them. The solutions can be broadly adopted for holistic management, or selectively implemented to operationalize specific areas of sustainability performance. The suite is easy for companies to adopt with a single licence, and SAP expert implementation support. 

SAP’s products and services help deliver environmental and social impact on four dimensions including climate action, circular economy, social responsibility, and holistic steering and reporting. 

  • Holistic sustainability management: SAP’s sustainability and ESG reporting solutions contribute to a future where decisions in our global economy are made based on their sustainability impact. Example: SAP Sustainability Control Tower helps organizations connect their environmental, social, and financial data holistically so they can steer their business towards sustainability.  
  • Climate action: SAP’s climate change solutions contribute to a future with zero emissions. Example: SAP Product Footprint Management enables organizations to assess and reduce greenhouse gas emissions of their products and operations along their entire value chain.  
  • Circular economy: SAP’s circular economy solutions contribute to a future with zero waste. Example: SAP Responsible Design and Production enables organizations to make circularity a key principle of product design and production. It helps them re-use materials, protect resources, eliminate waste, and build regenerative businesses.  
  • Social responsibility: SAP’s social responsibility solutions contribute to a future with zero inequality. Example: SAP Business Network and our HXM Suite provide the visibility needed to support organizations in integrating ethical and socially responsible sustainable business practices to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion across the entire value chain.  
  • The most sustainable companies across industries run SAP  
  • 97% of the greenest companies in the world run SAP 
  • 90% of the most socially responsible companies in the world run SAP 
  • SAP has the best ESG Score in the Software industry 
  • The most sustainable companies run SAP with 73% higher ESG Scores and 24% lower CO2 emissions 
  • The most sustainable companies run SAP S/4HANA with 50% higher ESG Scores 
  • The most sustainable companies across industries run SAP  

The data used comes largely from our internal Best Run Intelligence team which has licensed the S&P 500 ESG disclosure data set and has run analysis on the data. Many of the S&P 500 companies are SAP customers. Other data comes from commissioned research conducted by Oxford Economics.  

Yes, we have a range of customers using our applications at various stages of maturity from full deployment to piloting new. Sustainability is a team sport. No company can do it alone. We support the actions of many visionary customers like Unilever and Hitachi as well as from Colgate and Anglian Water. We have customers adopting these solutions across geographies and across industries.   

Global market analysis of CO2 emission efficiency (a measurement of CO2 emissions as a percent of revenue) indicates the gap between average and top performers by industry is 14%. SAP customers are responsible for 87% of total global commerce, they are also responsible for 84% of total global CO2 emissions. SAP can help customers reduce their emissions by up to 14%, or an equivalent of 5 billion tons annually. 

SAP addresses sustainability, including climate action, as one of our key focus areas through a dual approach. As an enabler, we aim to provide products and services to our customers to reduce their carbon emissions and pave the way toward a low-carbon future together. As an exemplar, to live up to our responsibility and build climate resilience, we strive to lead by example by running our own business operations and practices more sustainably.

 

To get insights into how SAP addresses climate change with our three-fold approach “avoid-reduce-compensate,” please read this SAP News article and see the SAP Integrated Report. SAP’s environmental efforts and targets are also outlined in the Global Environmental Policy.

 

For an overview of how SAP embeds sustainability in our solution portfolio, please visit our Web site.

 

Since 2018, SAP reports in alignment with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations. The topic of climate change-related risks is addressed in the chapter "Energy and Emissions" of our Integrated Report.

More than a decade ago, SAP set out on its sustainability journey with the objective to create positive economic, environmental, and social impact within planetary boundaries. Along the way, we have continuously added and raised financial as well as pre-financial targets and established ourselves as a front-runner in integrating economic, social, and environmental performance into how we measure and steer our business success holistically

 

The latest announcement focuses on our commitment to achieve net-zero across our value chain by 2030. This moves forward our commitment by 20 years. 

 

On our pathway towards net-zero, the next intermediate milestone is 2023, when SAP aims to be carbon neutral in its own operations – two years earlier than originally targeted. This includes all direct (Scope 1), indirect (Scope 2), and selected categories of value chain (Scope 3) carbon emissions, such as business flights, employee commuting, and external data centers (co-locations and hyperscalers). The potential for decarbonization can however be amplified considerably if we enhance our efforts along the entire value chain. In 2020, carbon emissions amounted to 12.300 kt along SAP’s entire value chain (including upstream and downstream emissions), compared to 135 kt net emissions for SAP’s own operations. 

SAP is committed to protecting the environment and continuously improving our own environmental performance. Therefore, we are gradually introducing an EMS reflecting the ISO 14001 standard at SAP sites worldwide. An ISO 50001-certified energy management system is integrated with existing management systems at selected sites, such as SAP’s headquarters. View our ISO certificates here.

SAP aspires to a world of zero waste and is eager to move to an interconnected, circular economy through ambitious enabler and exemplar activities. As an example, in July 2019, SAP launched the initiative ‘Beyond Single-Use Plastics” to phase out single-use plastics in our own operations. In 2020, at the World Economic Forum, SAP joined the Global Plastic Action Partnership to create a cleaner ocean by 2030 and became part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to pave the way to a circular economy. Further details can be found on our Circular Economy Web site and our Integrated Report.

SAP published its first Integrated Report in 2013 (for the reporting year 2012). Since then, we release integrated reports every year under the consideration of the recommendations of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). The Integrated Report combines our full-year financial, social, and environmental performance, allowing us to present a clear and holistic overview of what drives our company and our long-term success. With our dedication to transparency and belief in an integrated management approach, SAP remains the only software company disclosing sustainability performance in a holistic integrated report. The current SAP Integrated Report can be found at www.sapintegratedreport.com.

At SAP, we put a monetary value on how selected non-financial indicators have impacted our operating profit. For example, how well we engage with our employees and inspire them to commit to our purpose and strategy, support a healthy business culture, and succeed in reducing our carbon emissions. The inextricable interlinkage of financial, social, and environmental indicators is visualized in our connectivity map and key to our overall company success. More details can be found in our Integrated Report.

 

Building on our experience in connecting financial and non-financial measures, we co-founded the Value Balancing Alliance (VBA) in 2019 to support the development of a standardized methodology that helps companies, investors, and other stakeholders understand and compare non-financial performance. These insights enable companies to create business value beyond revenue or profit growth while taking into consideration the long-term impacts of business operations on the environment and society as a whole. Further details on SAP’s journey on holistic steering and reporting can be found here.

SAP uses the following three key measures: Customer Net Promoter Score (NPS), Employee Engagement Index, and carbon impact. Outlook and results for the current year can be found in the SAP Integrated Report. Explanations of these measures can be found here.

 

In addition, SAP tracks further social and environmental indicators, such as women in management, employee retention, the Business Health Culture Index, energy consumption, and e-waste. Please review SAP’s interactive chart generator for employee and environmental data.

Since 2020, SAP’s executive short-term incentive (STI) compensation includes sustainability targets (sustainability KPIs) on top of our financial targets with a total weight of 20%. The sustainability KPIs are: Customer Net Promoter Score, which measures SAP’s customer loyalty; Employee Engagement Index, which measures SAP’s employee commitment, pride, and loyalty; and Carbon Impact, which measures SAP’s greenhouse gas emissions. See the SAP Integrated Report.

To select the topics to be included in our integrated reporting, we conducted a comprehensive materiality assessment in 2020, using an artificial intelligence and Big Data solution from Datamaran Limited that helped us build an evidence-based materiality matrix. For the first time, we assessed economic, social, and environmental topics in our reporting according to three criteria: importance to stakeholders; relevance to SAP’s business success; and magnitude of the impact on society, the environment, and the economy.


Have a look at our interactive materiality matrix or see our Integrated Report for further details. 

Yes, the social and environmental data and information included in SAP’s Integrated Report was prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option. Please see our latest GRI Content Index for further details. The GRI Content Index also reflects SAP’s Communication on Progress requested by the UN Global Compact. 

SAP has a code of business conduct for employees which includes, among other items, loyalty, bribery and corruption, and confidentiality. View the full policy here. Furthermore, we assess compliance risks, enforce policies, and facilitate reporting and remediation without retaliation. For more information, please see the chapter "Business Conduct" in the SAP Integrated Report and/or Ethics and Compliance at SAP on SAP.com.

We have implemented safeguards to help protect the fundamental rights of everyone whose data is processed by SAP, whether they are our customers, prospects, employees, or partners. In addition, we work toward compliance with all relevant legal requirements for data protection. You can find more information in the chapter "Security, Data Protection and Privacy" of the SAP Integrated Report, on SAP Trust Center, in SAP’s Data Protection and Privacy Policy, or in the SAP Privacy Statement.

SAP embraces the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and embedded the framework as a foundation to our strategic approach to sustainability. We use this framework to evaluate global progress – both for our roles as a role model and exemplar and as an enabler. Our contribution to the SDGs is a cross-company effort driven by experts from almost every board area and aligned through the internal SDG Network. Engagement with customers and other activities contributing to the SDGs are published in our continuously updated Web book “SAP and the UN Global Goals” and addressed in our Integrated Report, where we describe the potential positive and negative direct or indirect impacts of our company and of our products and services related to the SDGs. 

At SAP, upholding universal human rights is vital and we drive a cross-company human rights agenda. Details can be found in the chapter "Human Rights & Labor Standards" of our Integrated Report and SAP’s Human Rights Commitment Statement. We have also established 7 Guiding Principles for Artificial Intelligence (AI) to recognize the significant impact of AI on people, our customers, and society. More information on how SAP approaches AI can be found here.

About 35% of SAP’s institutional investors are classified as SRIs. Learn more in the SAP Integrated Report.

Yes, learn more about SAP's sustainability awards and recognitions here.

Yes, learn more about SAP’s Global Tax Principles here.

*Speak Out at SAP is a comprehensive and confidential reporting (whistleblower) tool created by Convercent. It allows for SAP employees as well as persons external to SAP to report concerns of non-compliance related to the SAP Code of Business Conduct and/or any law or regulation. The tool is managed by the SAP Office of Ethics & Compliance and reported concerns out of OEC’s scope are shared the relevant department for assessment and next steps. 

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