I had a great chat with SAP’s Jeremiah Stone (Senior Director, Sustainability Solution Management) while we were at Sapphire Now in May. Craig Cmehil was good enough to video it for us, so here we are talking about SAP’s Sustainability solutions and SAP’s move to letting its customers recount their sustainability success stories.
Here is the transcription of our conversation:
Tom Raftery: Hey everyone; we’re at SAPPHIRE NOW. I’m Tom Raftery, and, with me, I have Jeremiah Stone from SAP. Jeremiah, can you tell us, first of all, what’s your role at SAP?
Jeremiah Stone: Hi Tom! Thanks for having me, I’m glad to be here on GreenMonk. I’m part of the Solution Management Organization within SAP for Sustainability. So, we’re really responsible for the roadmap and investment in our products and working with our customers to understand what their needs are and making sure that we have the right products to meet those needs.
Tom Raftery: Okay. Just before we get in to the whole SAPPHIRE NOW thing and what’s been happening here, what are the, products that you guys have around sustainability?
Jeremiah Stone: We have a wide range and it’s a good question, because sustainability means all things to all people and, I think, Vinnie Mirchandani said, “Don’t talk about religion, don’t talk about politics, and now don’t talk about sustainability, because it’s such a hot topic.”
SAP defines sustainability as products that help our customers’ businesses succeed not only in the traditional sense of what we always do to the profitable business, but also how to stay in business for the long-run. So, in a world with changing resource situations with volatility around natural resources, needs to curb pollution, be able to grow a workforce, be able to have more sustainable products, we build products that help customers have better run businesses.
So very concretely, software that helps you have a safer business, identify risk and have improvements in people, not getting hurt, which is a nice way to have a longer-term business – you’re not hurting your employees, you make that a box.
So, we have product compliance solutions to help people design and take better products to the market that have less toxicity in them, for example. One of my favorite example there is Molex that makes little connectors in computers. They were able to remove halogens from those connectors so they have a less toxic product then.
In the long-run where you have an end of life because it has no use in your home and it is off gas or that sort of gas. We make products for energy and environmental resource management. So, really how to cut your energy use and emit less. We have solutions focused on sustainable workforce. How do you engage your employees that are on the top for sustainability? Then also in a long-term have the long-term workforce. That’s really the analytics layer and how do you make the decisions on the basis of your business data. So, we have products in each of these categories.
Tom Raftery: Awesome, and, I’ve been at a couple of Sapphires at this point. In the last couple of Sapphires there was a lot of talk from the CEO’s on downwards about sustainability. This year less so. There seems to be a shift in focus. Can you talk a bit about that?