Leading enterprise application software company SAP announced a new commitment to achieve net zero emissions across its value chain in 2030, 20 years earlier than its original target. As a primary lever, the company aims to reduce emissions from the use of SAP’s sold products, followed by purchased goods and services.

Value chain decarbonization is emerging as a major focus for sustainability initiatives at companies globally, as efforts to address the climate impact of business increasingly shift to reducing emissions outside of companies’ direct control, or ‘Scope 3,’ which often constitute the majority of company emissions.

According to SAP, in 2020, carbon emissions amounted to 12,300 kt along its entire value chain, including upstream and downstream emissions, compared to 135 kt net emissions for SAP’s own operations.

SAP’s key focus areas include accelerating the transformation of on-premise customers to cloud, strengthening engagement with key suppliers to commit to net zero and deliver products and services on a carbon-neutral basis, using best-in-class data centers with sustainable programming and a cloud carbon footprint calculator for all SAP cloud products.

SAP recently launched a Product Footprint Management solution, designed to enable companies to assess the carbon footprint of products across the value chain, and in April 2021, the company announced a partnership with Accenture to jointly develop sustainability-focused solutions enabling companies to decarbonize their supply chains and embed circular economy principles across their value chains.

In a blog post announcing the company’s new commitment, Daniel Schmid, Chief Sustainability Officer of SAP SE, noted:

“We are not starting from scratch. We have many achievements to build on, but we are also charting new territory. 2030 is just nine years away. The challenge will increase the more we move upstream and downstream into our value chain. We will face both synergies as well as additional complexity as we interface with our further focus areas for sustainability, including holistic steering and reporting, circular economy, and social responsibility based on respect for human rights.”

Looking forward, SAP is aiming to receive validation by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and it has started setting up a program to prepare for its net zero transformation.

Schmid, added:

“Our net-zero commitment is one of many actions we are taking at SAP. It will take all of us to work together to deliver the outcomes we need for people and planet, and for a profitable, sustainable business.”