SAP: The circular economy needs fair competition

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Organizations want to be more sustainable, but there are roadblocks on the road.

The COP26 summit is scheduled to begin in two weeks. Climate change concerns and sustainability concerns are the subject of how to act, at the center of a recent study by enterprise software giant SAP. According to a global survey of more than 7,000 business leaders, including 400 in the UK, organizations are enthusiastic about their actions but are looking for a way to an eco-friendly future with scattered disabilities.

How to change this was the subject of a recent Virtual Sustainability Roundtable chaired by Mitchell Verhoeven, MD, SAPUK and Ireland. In addition to Stephen Jamieson, Global Head of Circular Economy Solutions at SAP, the panel included sustainability and circular economy experts selected from industry and academia.

green sprout

According to an SAP survey, more than a third of UK leaders are struggling to align their environmental initiatives with a broader business strategy, with an equal number in processes and systems. I’m still trying to figure out how to incorporate the fixture. Why? Stephen Jamieson acknowledged that the challenges facing companies are serious and not entirely manageable.

“An organization with the right intentions must operate in a free market economy where other organizations may not have the exact same commitment. In the world of sustainability and general business. One of the big assumptions we see in the world is the cost of the product. There is a need for a consistent basis for including the externalities of physical impacts, whether cost, environmental or social, for a fair competition to do.”

However, stricter rules are only part of the answer, and Jamieson is confident that a framework has been put in place for progress.

“The second factor is about innovation and how to release the capital. ESG Space not only provides green investments, but also green bonds to problematic organizations to improve genuine and significant contract bases. Regulation, investment I think the framework of domestic demand and consumer demand is starting to come together. ”

Companies can control who is responsible for business changes and how to measure progress. When asked about accountability for actions to improve the environment, it seems intuitive to refer to senior management, and SAP research shows this is very true for UK companies. ..

Change maker

Wouter van Toll, head of sustainability at DS Smith, is not expected to make all the necessary changes himself, but believes a small group of change makers should take the lead. Stability of the whole business. In fact, he believes that sustainability as a separate function should make itself redundant as soon as possible, and if the company adapts accordingly. ..

Measuring environmental impacts is a very complex area, especially the question of how to measure the Scope 3 emissions that most companies are working on. In addition to launching Product Footprint Management with a focus on Scopes 1 and 2, SAP is leveraging its business network to expand to a wider business network and gain insights into its emissions. Growth.

The panel acknowledged the inherent difficulties in measuring Scope 3 and circular economy. Peter Hopkinson, Professor of Circular Economy at the University of Exeter, emphasized the need for a systematic indicator of progress.

“”We already have a very sophisticated national resource account codified by the Office for National Statistics. There are also classifications, methods, and methods to justify the quality of your data. But it appears to be a mismatch between that and what is happening beneath the price chain and area levels. Because of the prevalence of KPIs, companies often choose KPIs that maximize their positive agenda. What we are trying to do is thinking about how to create system-level KPIs because circular economy is a system. Therefore, a systematic approach is needed. ”

This measurement, which is the basis for the whole concept of the circular economy, is exactly what Topolitics is trying to provide, as CEO Mike Groves explained.

“we There is no extended approach to maximizing the usefulness of all materials used in products and packaging. With reference to commercial and industrial waste, or by-products. That’s what we’re trying to do. I’m trying to build a system view of a downstream system to help put content back into production and close the loop. The more material that can be recovered, the less carbon emissions that accompany it. ”

hope and worry

The discussion ended with the participants expressing their expectations for the COP26 summit. There was general agreement that any agreement should be included in the Environment Dot and reflect not only competition for Net Zero, but also the impact of consumption and materials and the widespread damage to biodiversity. Other goals include increasing the need to switch to alternative energy sources and hope that this desire was not disturbed by the current energy crisis.

Concerns were also expressed over the emergence of a two-pronged strategy. One is Europe-led and the other is not. If this happens, it will seriously undermine the effectiveness of our global sustainability efforts. The problem is global and there should be a strategy to overcome it.

sustainability and partnership issues computingTech Impact Conference will be held in 2022.

SAP: The circular economy needs fair competition

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