Conducting business in more sustainable ways becomes increasingly relevant today and a “must-have” in the future. The sustainability megatrend is driven by a growing population, accelerating urbanization, resource intensity, government regulation, climate change, and – most importantly – by the fact that consumers are increasingly demanding healthy, affordable, as well as socially and environmentally responsible products. Organizations react by implementing more sustainable practices to grow their business, to attract the best talent and to remain relevant to their investors. In this course you will learn the links between sustainability and innovation, how IT can help create competitive advantage, reduce risk and cost as well as drive growth leveraging sustainable principles. Eventually, our objective is to help you succeed in articulating, embedding and executing a sustainable strategy at the company in which you are or will be working.
Self-paced
Language: English

Course information

Course Summary

Conducting business in more sustainable ways becomes increasingly relevant today and a “must-have” in the future. The sustainability megatrend is driven by a growing population, accelerating urbanization, resource intensity, government regulation, climate change, and – most importantly – by the fact that consumers are increasingly demanding healthy, affordable, as well as socially and environmentally responsible products. Organizations react by implementing more sustainable practices to grow their business, to attract the best talent and to remain relevant to their investors.

But what does “sustainability” mean in a business context exactly? How are sustainable strategies crafted? How are they put into action? And finally, what is the role of information technology in all of this?

Meet SAP, the global powerhouse in enterprise software who has made it its purpose to use IT to help the world run better and improve peoples’ lives. Widely regarded as a sustainability thought leader, SAP has worked with some of the most advanced businesses to understand the challenges and formulate the solutions and strategies how IT can help companies advance their sustainability journey.

In this course you will learn the links between sustainability and innovation, how IT can help create competitive advantage, reduce risk and cost as well as drive growth leveraging sustainable principles. Eventually, our objective is to help you succeed in articulating, embedding and executing a sustainable strategy at the company in which you are or will be working.

This course was delivered by the SAP sustainability team and presented by Peter Graf, former Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), who left SAP in June 2014. The content in this course is increasingly relevant and remains valid today. We are offering this re-run to openSAP students to acquire a wide foundation of sustainability and continue with a new and advanced openSAP sustainability course, which will start in early Q2 2016. You can meet Daniel Schmid, the current CSO of SAP, and his sustainability team in the discussion forum to answer your questions and to collaborate with you.

Course Details

Course Content

Week 1: The Business Case for Sustainability
The week contains the following units: Welcome; Root Causes; Sustainable Value Creation; Engaging Top Management; Organizational Setup for Sustainability & The Role of IT

Week 2: Sustainable Strategies
The week contains the following units: Crafting a Sustainable Strategy; Stakeholders and Materiality; Analysis and Target Setting; Examples of Environmentally Driven Initiatives; Examples of Socially Driven Initiatives & Examples of Transformational Innovation

Week 3: Sustainable Business Processes (Part 1)
The week contains the following units: Embedding Sustainability Into Business Processes; Sustainable Design; Sustainable Sourcing and Procurement; Sustainable Production & Sustainable Logistics

Week 4: Sustainable Business Processes (Part 2)
The week contains the following units: Sustainable Consumption; Sustainable End-of-Life Processes; Environmental and Social Capital Accounting; Sustainability in Finance and Administration; Sustainability in HR & Sustainability in IT, aka Green IT

Week 5: Stakeholder Engagement
The week contains the following units: Engaging Line of Business Leaders; Engaging Employees; Engaging Society - Corporate Social Responsibility; Engaging Business Partners, Authorities and Opinion Leaders & Engaging Investors

Week 6: Sustainability Reporting
The week contains the following units: Purpose, Audiences and Standards; Data Quality and Assurance; Integrated Reporting; Report Delivery; Rankings and Recognition & Recap of Key Course Learnings

Week 7: Final Exam

Target Audience

  • Students, young professionals and experts
  • Professionals working with SAP customers, SAP customers’ suppliers, prospects or partners
  • SAP employees
  • The public

Course Requirements

  • Basic understanding of business and administration processes
  • Basis understanding of industry value chains
  • Basic understanding of information technology (IT)
  • Interest in sustainability

Development Systems

No development systems are required for this class.

About the Instructors

Peter Graf

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The course is presented by Dr. Peter Graf, the former Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), who left SAP in June 2014. Peter has been working in IT since 1992 and served as SAP's Chief Sustainability Officer from 2009 until 2014.

Daniel Schmid

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Daniel Schmid was appointed Chief Sustainability Officer at SAP in 2014. Since 2008 he has been engaged in transforming SAP into a role model of a sustainable organization, establishing mid and long term sustainability targets. Linking non-financial and financial performance are key achievements of Daniel and his team. Since last year, his focus was extended towards the wider impact of SAP’s business activities.

Dr. Will Ritzrau

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Dr. Will Ritzrau joined the sustainability core team in 2013 after 14 years of various internal and customer facing roles at SAP Will is responsible to establish and expand sustainability in the core business of SAP. Prior to SAP Will worked as Biological Oceanographer in international Climate Research Programs. http://scn.sap.com/people/will.ritzrau/content

Previous Version of This Course

The previous version of this course is available here:
Sustainability and Business Innovation (April 29 through June 17, 2014)

Reactivate this course

You can access all graded assignments and earn a Record of Achievement with openSAP, course reactivation option. Learn more or reactivate now!

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This course was held from Sep 09, 2015 through Oct 29, 2015.

2418 learners were enrolled on day 1 of the course.

When the final exam ended, this number had increased to 3828.

5303 learners enrolled.

Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a record of achievement by earning more than 50% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignments.
  • Gain a confirmation of participation by completing at least 50% of the course material.

Find out more in the certificate guidelines.

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