SAP CEO Envisions Younger, Greener, Cloudier Company

Bill McDermott is trying to change SAP's conservative, ERP-centric image for millennial employees and buyers.
Nov 21, 2013 2:15 PM ET

Original article on InformationWeek

SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott was in New York City earlier this fall, not to talk about the software company's latest quarterly numbers, its big data prowess, or its cloud awakening. He was there to emphasize SAP's youth movement, in the context of the company's commitment to environmental sustainability.

McDermott's forum was the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, where he participated in a high-powered panel session titled "Vital Resources: Doing More With Less" with several other business and environmental leaders, including Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

For McDermott and SAP, becoming more ecofriendly isn't just about generating some good PR and cutting its energy costs. The company estimates that its renewable energy, smart building, datacenter efficiency, and other green efforts have contributed to a cumulative "cost avoidance" of more than $285 million since 2008, but the math for some of that savings is a bit fuzzy, like the tens of millions of dollars in savings it attributes to improved employee satisfaction and retention tied to such good-doing. Still, the company's environmental record is admirable, as it's on track to run on the same amount of greenhouse emissions in 2020 as it did in 2000, when its business was a quarter of the size it's projected to be in seven years.


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