NTT DATA Business Solutions
Frank Jacobs | January 5, 2021

How SAP S/4HANA Improves Your Sustainability Management

Sustainability is a challenge for the world, and therefore a challenge for each and every company.

(3 min read)

No matter, if you are an IT manager thinking of integrating SAP S/4HANA and/or if you are responsible for your company’s sustainable management, you need to know which software can help you to achieve your goals the fastest and most efficient way. Learn why your choice for an ERP systems does not only affect your revenues and costs, but also your entrepreneurial activities in regards of sustainability management and your responsibility for the environment and society. Read on to discover often overlooked features of SAP S/4HANA and how your company will benefit from that next generation ERP system.


Benefits of SAP S/4HANA regarding Sustainability

The value of SAP S/4HANA for companies has many dimensions. Normally, the primary goal concerns quantifiable benefits, such as increase of revenues, reduction of costs or improvements on return of investments. In addition to that, SAP S/4HANA will also provide a platform of innovation and growth as well as capabilities to reduce risks and meet growing compliance requirements.

The value of SAP S/4HANA on sustainability is however often overlooked. Sustainability is a challenge for the world, and therefore a challenge for each and every company. Without a healthy planet, there will be no basis for continuity, long-term profit and growth.


The Necessitiy for Sustainable Management

Unfortunately, as announced by World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Carbon dioxide levels continue at record levels despite the COVID-19 lockdowns across the globe.

Consumers are and will be shifting to more sustainable products and services while investors are more and more demanding the same. A good reputation of a company on sustainability will also be a pre-requisite to attract and keep proud and talented employees. Therefore climate actions should be high on the CEO agenda, but clear decision making requires adequate data.


How to Measure and Analyze Your Carbon Footprint

Through the Climate 21 initiative, SAP supports and enables organizations globally to improve their sustainability insight and performance.

The first solution from this initiative, SAP Product Carbon Footprint Analytics, is focused on carbon emissions in producing, marketing and delivering products. The aim of the application is to calculate the CO2e emissions for a single product. The application takes data from SAP S/4HANA and third-party sources and analyzes it within SAP Analytics Cloud.


SAP Product Carbon Footprint Analytics - Improve sustainability with SAP S/4HANA

Dynamic and real-time insight on carbon data enables companies to assemble relevant information regarding CO2e footprint of for example raw materials, negotiate with suppliers, and holistically understand the sources of CO2e footprints.


SAP S/4HANA Sustainability API’s

An important part of the data for SAP Product Carbon Footprint Analytics is provided by standard SAP S/4HANA OData application programming interfaces (API’s).

Architecture of SAP Product Carbon Footprints for improved sustainability

Original picture from SAP – product information added

The starting point for computing the CO2e emissions is the actual raw materials used in the product (based on the SAP S/4HANA Bill of Materials) and the production steps (based on the SAP S/4HANA Routings/Recipes). This data is provided with API_FINPLAN_COSTESTIMATE_ITEMS_SRV.


Improve your sustainability with SAP S/4HANA - detailed analysis

Once these CO2e values are computed per product produced, the next step is to look at the actual sales quantities for a specific product. These sales quantities per month can be derived from API_JOURNALENTRYITEMBASIC_SRV.


However, important is that the sales quantity units of measure are not always equivalent to the product lot size unit of measure. In this case, the values entered for Unit Conversions are used to match the numbers in the same base unit by using the data from API_PRODUCT_SRV in SAP S/4HANA.


Based on the values for CO2e per product multiplied with the sales quantities in a month, the total CO2e produced for a product can be calculated. These calculated numbers are then visualized in the monitoring story in SAP Analytics Cloud, allowing detailed analysis per product and/or per plant.


example of climate KPIs in SAP S/4HANA for improves sustainability

Before you start using the API’s mentioned above in your SAP S/4HANA system, please ensure that you have checked the relevant SAP notes and implemented the required corrections.


Turn Insights into Action – Sustainability with SAP S/4HANA

SAP Product Carbon Footprint Analytics is just the first small step and additional solutions are developed and planned by SAP to help companies further assess and execute their climate plans.

By providing data using out-of-the-box API’s, SAP S/4HANA can help you gaining insights in improving your sustainability performance and deliver immediate and long-term value for your business.


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