Recent research by Oxford Economics and SAP (NYSE: SAP) has revealed work remains to be done to drive value from sustainability for businesses across Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ). While 66 per cent of businesses don’t think it’s difficult to be sustainable and profitable at the same time, just eight per cent say they receive significant value from their sustainability strategies today. The research highlights the effective use of data is key to help companies in Thailand improve sustainability outcomes and achieve ESG goals.
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“Sustainability is undoubtedly the business challenge of our generation,” said Atul Tuli, Managing Director of SAP Indochina. “Most businesses today have high aspirations for sustainability and have started adopting environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) practices into their strategies but according to our research, only a handful are getting value from it.”
Regulatory compliance is both a key sustainability driver and a challenge. According to the survey result, regulatory compliance is the main benefit derived from sustainability so far (46%), ahead of reduced carbon emissions and increased productivity. Too much focus on compliance was cited as the second highest challenge to sustainability success by APJ respondents, trailing only the lack of reinvention of business strategy.
“Organisations may need to refocus their strategies to gain greater value from sustainability as benefits of being more environmentally conscious extend beyond better business practices. It can help attract investors and a generation of employees that expects to work for a responsible company,”
“As the leader in enterprise resource management, SAP has 50 years of experience helping businesses across 25 industries optimise resources. Our company aspires to a world with zero emissions, zero waste, and zero inequality and we are in prime position to help businesses run more sustainably.” Atul added.
Investment in data key to improving sustainability outcomes
Accurate data was ranked as among the most significant activities to help reach carbon reduction goals, only trailing sustainable sourcing among APJ businesses. However, just four in ten (40%) of respondents said they had invested in data analysis to measure sustainability in their business, and a similar amount (41%) said they were training staff how to capture sustainability data.
Chadinporn Naktip, Sales Director, SAP Thailand, said: “The key to improve sustainability outcomes and help companies achieve their ESG goals will be the effective use of organisational data to make more informed decisions.”
SAP suggests a three-pronged enabled by data to help companies in Thailand achieve their ESG goals:
- The first step is enabling reporting and compliance through transparency. According to BCG, 85% of organisations are concerned about reducing their emissions but only 9% can measure their emissions comprehensively. It is critical that companies have abilities to track climate impacts and carbon emission data.
- The second step is optimising and using sustainability data operatively in business processes and decisions. Sustainability metrics like carbon emissions, materials consumption, waste, and diversity data, can be integrated into core business processes like supply chain, ERP, finance, and procurement processes to embed sustainability across the business. This will enable a circular economy in the company, where products are designed and manufactured to be kept in circulation as long as possible.
- Step three is driving sustainability across business networks. This goes beyond the boundaries of any single business to encompass measuring and managing sustainability across the value chain and through industry business networks.
SAP collects reliable and compliant data to help companies measure environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. The company offers portfolio of products designed to enable businesses to foster environmentally conscious initiatives and new business models. The product portfolio includes SAP Responsible Design and Production, which allows product designers to make sustainable choices from the outset; SAP Product Footprint Management, which tracks sustainability through a product’s lifecycle; and SAP Sustainability Control Tower, which provides visibility into sustainability programs.
Turning sustainability goals into action by leveraging SAP technologies
Headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand, Indorama Ventures PCL is a global sustainable chemical company with three business segments, namely: Combined PET, Integrated Oxides and Derivatives, and Fibers. With 147 sites in 35 countries and over 26,000 employees, Indorama Ventures plans to further grow its operations globally with environmental, social and economic sustainability at its core.
As the world’s largest producer of recycled PET for beverage bottles, Indorama Ventures seeks to build sustainability into all its operations under its purpose of ‘reimagining chemistry together to create a better world’. The company focuses on short and medium-term targets, in alignment with the UN SDGs, towards achieving net-zero carbon and contributing to a global circular economy. Indorama Ventures has partnered with SAP since 2020 through ‘Project Olympus’ to implement an integrated SAP ERP system.
Anthony M. Watanabe, Chief Sustainability Officer, Indorama Ventures said: “IVL’s new ‘Vision 2030’ strategy will phase out coal, reduce and capture carbon from our operations, and increase our renewable energy consumption. In Thailand, we plan to complete the coal phaseout in three of our plants by 2027 and expand our solar PV installation at our sites by end of 2023.
Measuring our progress towards achieving these goals will require advanced technology and analytics to enhance our sustainability data management and reporting, especially in terms of improving the accuracy and quality of our data. Our partnership with SAP to enhance our ERP system allows us to adhere to the highest global standards in sustainability reporting and make informed, data-driven decisions that can get us one step closer towards bringing our vision to life.”
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