Dietmar-Hopp-Allee 16 69190 Walldorf Germany



  • Dow Jones Sustainability Indices: SAP ranked as software sector lead for the 13th consecutive year
  • FTSE4GOOD: SAP remains a constituent of the FTSE4GOOD Index Series
  • SAP has been reconfirmed as the constituent of the Ethical Sustainability Index (ESI) Excellence Europe and the Ethical Sustainability Index (ESI) Excellence Global
  • AAA ranking by MSCI
  • In both the Vigeo Eiris ESG rating as well as in the EcoVadis CSR rating, SAP has reached the highest performance level “advanced” and “gold”, respectively




Daniel Schmid


  • 2018 UN IMPACT2030 Innovation Award for  “Collaboration for Good.” The award recognizes organizations that direct the collective skills, experience and talent of corporate volunteers towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals



Report created by Maribel Sabino


SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

SAP stands for Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing. SAP was founded in 1972 in Walldorf, Germany and now has offices around the world. 

SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system. It’s machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP’s end-to-end suite of applications and services enables their customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference.

SAP SE provides enterprise application software and software-related services worldwide. It operates through:

  • The OnPremise segment: comprises on-premise products and on-premise services divisions.
  • The Cloud segment: comprises cloud applications and Ariba divisions.

SAP offers solutions covering various lines of businesses, including asset management; corporate strategy and sustainability; finance; human resources; information technology; manufacturing; marketing; procurement; research and development, and engineering; sales; service; and supply chain management on premise or through the cloud as software-as-a-service offerings.

SAP has 440,000 customers in more than 180 countries. SAP’s purpose is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. When their customers have the next big idea to save a species, transform an industry, feed the hungry, support equality, or provide relief worldwide – SAP delivers the right technology to help them run at their best and achieve their vision.

Company Sustainability Activity

SAP defines sustainability as the creation of social, environmental, and economic value for long-term business success and responsible global development. In line with this definition, they aim to move from a separate sustainability strategy to a sustainable corporate strategy. SAP seeks to embed sustainability in everything it does: solutions, operations, and social investment.

SAP’s three strategic program pillars for CSR focus on:

  • building digital skills
  • accelerating best-run non-profits and social enterprises
  • and connecting employees with purpose to help ensure everyone can participate in — and benefit from — today’s digital world

In 2019, SAP celebrated 10 years of embedding economic, social, and environmental sustainability in our long-term strategy. They have made incredible strides in their journey with solutions that help both SAP and customers run better, but more work lies ahead.


  • 55 locations with ISO14001 certifications
  • 94% of SAP employees embrace sustainability
  • 270,000 employee hours volunteered in 2019


  • SAP aims to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint for SAP’s operations by 2025. This includes all direct, indirect, and selected categories of value chain greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) such as business flights, employee commuting, and co-locations of data centers. SAP will continue existing initiatives and programs to drive efficiency and innovation to avoid and reduce GHG emissions, following its approach “avoid – reduce – compensate.”
  • Phase out single-use plastics by the end of 2020. SAP launched the ‘beyond single-use plastics’ initiative to identify and eliminate single-use plastics and introduce sustainable alternatives. 
  • Achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.



  • In 2019, SAP continued to improve waste segregation, evolve their processes, and reduce waste at many offices across the globe. As part of their ISO14001 program, SAP sites such as Dublin, Sofia, Vancouver, Walldorf, and other locations improved recycling through waste diversion programs or new waste bin systems.
  • SAP supports the reuse of IT equipment internally through used-equipment shops in some country locations.
  • They reduced their paper usage by 43% since 2009. 
  • Initiatives such as their global printing optimization have supported this decrease, despite a 110.8 % increase in employee headcount over the same period.
  • In 2019, they continued their approach of paperless contracting. By using the SAP Signature Management application by DocuSign, which enables electronic signatures, they were able to cut down the printing of paper-based contracts by more than 190,000 pages in 2019 (2018: 194,000 pages). 
  • Through all of these initiatives, SAP’s printing volume has gone down by 25.8 million pages in total since 2014. 
  • At their headquarters cafeterias in Walldorf and St. Leon Rot, they implemented a smart technology to analyze, measure, monitor, and reduce food waste. This allows us to better plan meals. 
  • In 2019, they were able to avoid 16.8 tons of food waste.
  • In 2019, SAP published its latest global environmental policy, which now also includes a goal to phase out single-use plastics by the end of 2020. They therefore launched the ‘beyond single-use plastics’ initiative to identify and eliminate single-use plastics and introduce sustainable alternatives. 
  • In October 2019, they launched the ‘no time to waste’ employee campaign to actively involve employees in the project and raise awareness of the global plastics crisis. Furthermore, they have already been able to reduce the use of plastic water bottles in some of their locations, such as Brussels, Caen, Perth, Walldorf, and St. Leon-Rot. At SAP Perth alone, SAP was able to avoid over 3,000 bottles per year.


  • SAP Headquarters in the US joins another LEED certified building on the 110 acre campus of SAP America, which is surrounded by a wooded area. 
  • A large green roof covers the entire building, providing insulation and reducing heat gain, while rainwater collectors trap rainwater for storage in a 50,000-gallon cistern that supplies water for landscape irrigation and the flushing of toilets in some of the building’s bathrooms.


  • In 2018, SAP built capacity for over 800 organizations through in-kind contributions of €3.4 million, impacting more than 1 million lives globally.
  • In 2018, its digital skills and coding programs trained 34,000 teachers, engaged 2.8 million young people and spanned 93 countries.


  • ISO 14001
  • ISO 50001
  • LEED Certified Platinum building

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Compliance


  • Global Health and Safety Management Policy; Employee Assistance Program; Corporate Oncology  Program for Employees
  • SAP Solutions for Healthcare, SAP Environment, Health and Safety Management, SAP SuccessFactors Well-Being Management by Virgin Pulse


  • Cloud-based learning management system for  employees
  • openS AP; CSR digital literacy programs

SDG 8 

  • SAP recruiting programs; Diversity & Inclusion policy and programs including EDGE certification
  • SAP Rural Sourcing Management; SAP Ariba Supplier Risk in cooperation with Made In A Free World; Partnership with Social Enterprise UK


  • SAP Labs Network; One Billion Lives initiative fostering purpose-driven innovation
  • SAP support for startups through various programs

SDG 12

  • Beyond Single-use plastic initiative; Supplier  Code of Conduct; Sustainable Procurement; e-waste
  • SAP Plastics Challenge

SDG 13 

  • Global Environmental Policy; Report and reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption; Procure 100% renewable electricity; Carbon impact relevance for  Executive Board compensation
  • Green Cloud; Business ambition for 1.5°C

SDG 17 

SAP has clear sustainability initiatives and strategies. The company has been ranked highly on various sustainability indices, suggesting that their sustainability goals are being well implemented.

SAP aims to reduce net carbon to zero by 2025 – importantly, this also includes indirect GHG emissions, such as employee travel, as well as direct GHG emissions – this is an ambitious, but positive goal, showing the company’s commitment to and recognition of the importance of sustainability at all levels.

In addition to holding several primary listings and awards, SAP’s focus on the UN SDGs and partnerships also show this recognition of the importance of sustainability. For these reasons, SAP has been rated a B.

Analyst Outlook: Negative

SAP has been criticized for partnering with Accenture to use artificial intelligence to increase visibility into operations and cash flow in the upstream oil and gas sector, therefore indirectly supporting fossil fuels. This is a recent development – as SAP has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2025, it is unclear how this will affect SAP’s commitment to sustainability, but is definitely a negative strike against SAP sustainability record and ranking.

Key Points

  • When assessing its impact on society, SAP consider two key areas: Firstly, it looks at the contribution it makes towards the fulfillment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its software solutions; and secondly, SAP considers its efforts to make the world a better place through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.
  • SAP pursues partnerships with the World Economic Forum (WEF), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), UN Women, and UN Global Compact, as well as other organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In this way, SAP drives ideas, innovation, execution, and adoption for solutions to achieve the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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