Through the use of renewable electricity certificates and carbon offsets, German software company SAP has created a completely carbon neutral cloud. The company’s sustainable cloud strategy is complemented by the use of 100 percent renewable energy at its data centers and facilities.
SAP decreased its total net emissions from 545 kilotons of CO2 in 2013 to 500 kilotons of CO2 in 2014. However, increased travel associated with business growth caused the company to fall short of its 2014 target to reduce emissions to 440 kilotons. By 2020, SAP aims to reduce its net GHG emissions from operations to 2000 levels.
Waste reduction efforts at the company are also paying off. In 2014, all SAP locations, excluding its latest acquisition, committed to adopting the company’s global disposal process for used IT equipment. SAP also fosters reuse of “gently used” devices through used equipment shops in several countries, and all other equipment is resold or recycled in an environmentally friendly manner depending on its condition.
To reduce waste in its offices, cafeterias and product packaging operations, SAP runs comprehensive recycling programs. Leftover food at the company’s Walldorf headquarters is used in an external composting plant; an “organic waste converter” was installed at SAP Labs in Bangalore, India; and SAP locations in Palo Alto and Dublin, California, have deployed an externally certified zero waste management system.
While SAP’s operations are not water-intensive, it works to use water as efficiently as possible. For example, SAP uses gray water for irrigation and toilets in Walldorf, Germany, and waterless bathroom fixtures, pressure reduction valves and reduced-flush toilets have been installed at some of its offices in Brazil, Canada, India, Israel, Singapore, Switzerland and the US. For the few offices located in areas with extreme water scarcity, SAP has deployed dedicated water management that ranges from technical changes to reuse of treated sewage water and employee awareness campaigns.