SAP Triples Renewables, Reports Cuts in GHG and Energy

by | Mar 25, 2011

SAP reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, total energy consumption and data center energy per employee in 2010, while tripling the percentage of its energy that comes from renewables, according to the company’s 2010 Sustainability Report.

Last year the software vendor raised the proportion of its energy derived from renewable sources from 16 to 48 percent. Its Palo Alto offices are now nearly 100 percent powered by renewables, the company said.

The company gets energy from solar, wind, hydro and biomass, both from buying the energy and from generating its own.

In 2010 SAP reduced its total energy usage – defined as consumption of energy in SAP operations, contributing to Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions – by two percent, from 808 GWh to 791 GWh.

The company cut electricity used at its office buildings by 8 percent, from 148 GWh to 136 GWh, through initiatives including the instalation of LED lighting and lighting control systems,, use of solar-heated water, and mechanical system controls to improve the efficiency of heating and cooling.

The company is also using electric cars, and installing 16 electric vehicle charging stations at its offices in Palo Alto.

In 2010 SAP reduced its data center electricity consumption by nine percent, from 147 GWh to 134 GWh, despite taking on over 2,000 new employees. It increased its number of virtual servers from 27 percent in 2009 to 49 percent in 2010. This initative eliminated over 1,400 servers, and SAP also cut over 2,700 older, energy intensive servers in 2010.

SAP implemented aisle containment strategies, passive cooling, direct current technologies and C-Computer room thermal imaging software to bring down energy use at data centers. It hopes to reach 80 percent virtualization of all its IT components by 2012.

The company plans to further reduce energy consumption using incentives to encourage the use of low-carbon vehicles, training to teach employees to use less fuel, and software to help staff find colleagues with whom to carpool.

“Overall, our energy usage presents some of the greatest opportunities to increase our efficiency, improve our operations and reach our sustainability goals,” the report said.

The company’s total GHG emissions in 2010 were 425 kilotons, a 25 percent drop from their peak in 2007 and six percent below 2009 levels. The company notes that it was able to achieve this while delivering 17 percent revenue growth between 2009 and 2010.

SAP measured, monitored and reported its sustainability performance using its own software products, including SAP Carbon Impact OnDemand, the SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management application and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software. This technology will allow SAP to report on a quarterly basis, for the second year in a row, the company said.

SAP said that its report was prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 sustainability reporting framework and has been independently checked by GRI, fulfilling requirements of application level A+. The report was also prepared in accordance with AA1000 Accountability Principles Standard and was independently assured by consultants KPMG, SAP said.

Last November Verdantix ranked SAP as one of the top ten leaders in the carbon and energy software market, and one of the most likely to benefit from increased spending on sustainable business software in 2011.

Learn more about this booming market in the next issue of EL Insights.

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