Net-zero announcements signal transformative changes in transportation

Some key impacts are likely to be

  • Green supply chains – the big brands’ choices will impact global automotive supply chains and unleash second and third-order effects in products, materials and parts.
  • Brand purpose – with their products being inherently sustainable, brands will use this to drive trust and distinctiveness in consumer communication
  • Digital innovation – driven by AI, cloud and IoT will make automobiles more intelligent and also move the ability to cater to customer demands
  • Strategic partnerships – will emerge to navigate the new paradigms of sustainability, digital innovation and sustainable markets.


Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L)

The EP&L measures carbon emissions, water consumption, air and water pollution, land use, and waste production along the entire supply chain, thereby making the various environmental impacts of the group’s activities visible, quantifiable, and comparable. These impacts are then converted into monetary values to quantify the use of natural resources. The EP&L to guide its sustainability strategy, improve its processes and supply sources, choose the best-adapted technologies and innovate new solutions.

There are three steps to an EP&L:

  • Quantifying the environmental footprint. The six impact areas group across 62 indicators that cover different emissions and resource use types.
  • Estimating the likely environmental changes that result from these emissions or resource use are estimated based on the local environmental context.
  • Valuing the change in well-being. The consequences of these environmental changes for people’s well-being are then valued in monetary terms.


5 Step Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan

The structure of the labour markets and skills demand will undoubtedly be affected by climate action. To meet the stringent climate action targets that India has committed to, we need much more than good intentions; we need skilled people in several areas.

  • Enabling the Energy Transition – People for offshore wind, electricity optimisation, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.
  • Transforming construction – Creating energy-efficient buildings and modifying existing facilities. Sustainable methods of construction and installation of low energy cooling systems.
  • New Manufacturing – The drive towards net-zero coincides with longer-term structural manufacturing changes. Zero-waste, high efficiency and zero-emissions technology will transform manufacturing. This will need new skills and new processes.
  • Decarbonising transport – With significant opportunity for technical innovation, design of low carbon transport products and an international market for knowledge and expertise, the automotive sector is looking at tumultuous change and a new breed of fast changing, adaptable, and highly skilled workers.
  • Low carbon and regenerative farming – Engineers, food scientists/technologists are needed for low resource, regenerative, precision farming. This change is reflected in demand for higher-level agri and food business and commercial management skills.


How do you govern for sustainability?

Net-zero, ESG targets look good and define the roadmap for change, but good governance makes things happen. Because of the far-reaching impact of sustainability decisions, governance structures for sustainability need to pan across several functional areas and not just the sustainability department.

  • Head of Sustainability could report into the CEO and the Board
  • The sustainability department should be supported by a cross-functional team to review strategy performance and define priorities.
  • Sustainability managers and teams in brands, retail markets and suppliers should drive the implementation across the company.
  • Each central function and brand is measured against a set of sustainability KPIs, in the same way, performance against sales figures and customer satisfaction is measured.

Circular Economy

Adidas to take back apparel from any brand in resale program with ThredUp

The fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters. The textiles industry relies mostly on non-renewable resources – and with low usage rates and low levels of recycling, this linear system creates a massive footprint and applies pressure on the world’s resources. adidas’ sustainability mission is to help End Plastic Waste through forging partnerships and developing product innovations that either: use recycled materials, are made to be remade or are made with nature.

Adidas has introduced its Choose to Give Back program aimed at helping to extend the lifecycle of sports performance & lifestyle apparel and footwear.

Leveraging thredUP’s Resale-as-a-ServiceⓇ platform and expertise, the program will invite consumers to send used product from any brand back to adidas.Initially launched within the adidas Creators Club app to members on October 7, the program is rolling out more widely online and in stores in early 2022. To participate, consumers can generate a Clean Out Kit prepaid shipping label through the app and use it to send apparel and accessories across any brand or category, including their used sports gear in – from its running shoes to soccer jerseys or other performance apparel. If an item is not in a condition to be resold it will go through thredUP’s select network of textile reuse partners. In exchange for sending in their old gear Creator Club members will earn rewards.

By making it easy to buy and sell second hand, thredUP has become one of the world’s largest resale platforms for women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes and accessories. thredUP has processed over 125 million unique secondhand items from 35,000 brands across 100 categories.

Choose to Give Back is the latest of many sustainability initiatives from adidas – including a low-carbon shoe collaboration with Allbirds, Stan Smith Mylo: made with mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms and Made to be Remade shoes. The brand is also working towards a goal of Carbon Neutrality across all North America facilities by 2025, including retail stores, distribution centers, and employee offices.


Netflix shows, video-meetings and online banking services are handled in data centers around the world

According to the International Energy Agency, data centers consume approximately 200 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, or nearly 1% of global electricity demand, contributing to 0.3% of all global CO2 emissions. This is why data centres must be part of the net-zero discussion

A data center is essentially a dedicated space used to house computer systems for processing, distribution and storage of data. It contains IT equipment like servers, networking equipment, storage systems. In addition, data centers house cooling and ventilation systems because they dissipate large amounts of energy. Data centres therefore need large amounts of energy and water.

With the rise of remote work and e-commerce, demand for computing power is rising exponentially and so is the carbon footprint of data centres. Most data centers’ cooling systems are inefficient and the heat removed by the cooling system can be a valuable resource, but is rarely used. Also, most data centers use non-renewable electricity sources meaning there is a good chance your next video meeting is powered by coal, oil or gas.

Building on-site renewable energy sources and partnering with green vendors are some steps being taken by large tech companies. By the close of 2022, Netflix will achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions. To reach this goal, the company will first reduce internal emissions by 45% by 2030. Amazon recently became the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, Google and Microsoft are not far behind. since 2014, SAP owned and run datacenters draw 100% of their power from renewable energy sources, mostly from wind turbines. Emissions are compensated through Renewable Energy Certificates. There is also significant work happening in optimizing energy use at data centres and making them hubs for storing and using energy.

Circular Economy

The world’s first NetZero professional football game on September 19 #GameZero

The Premier League club @Tottenham Hotspur has partnered with media group @Sky to progress plans for the home fixture against Chelsea on September 19, which has been branded #GameZero. All direct emissions will be reduced as much as possible, with the remainder offset through natural projects that remove emissions from the atmosphere. This will include


Reducing all match day emissions


Green transport for fans and club members – players will head to the stadium on a coach that is running on biofuel, Fans and staff will be encouraged to use EV’s, Public Transport, Bicycles


Better food choices will be available at the stadium and will include Plant based foods


Clear recycling instructions for fans on its bins, as well as a reusable beer cup scheme.

The club, COP26 partner Sky and the UK Government want the game to raise awareness of the threat of climate change and encourage football fans to make changes that will help reduce their carbon footprint.

For those emissions which remain, Sky is working with Natural Capital Partners to restore natural carbon sinks which remove emissions from the atmosphere, by supporting a community reforestation in East Africa, and creating new UK native woodlands to support the UK’s net zero objectives. The Club and Sky will also plant trees locally to the stadium later this year.


Space tech is turning its attention to earth as more than 50% of essential climate variables (atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial) are measurable only from space

Satellites are critical to monitoring atmospheric concentration of carbon and methane. Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellites (GOSAT), GOSAT-2, Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, OCO-3 and Sentinel-5P track GHG emissions globally. While satellites provide vital data, gaps remain in modelling, mitigation and coordination. The time has come to build a new type of decision- support facility: an Earth Operations Centre that leverages space data and expertise to conduct multidisciplinary science and engineering research, and to successfully manage and coordinate net- zero efforts. (via WEF)

At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, scientists and state officials gathered to discuss how satellite data, 3-D imaging and new radar and laser technologies can provide invaluable insights into Earth’s rapidly changing systems. An MOU has been signed between Jet Propulsion Labs and the state of California to support these initiatives. Upcoming Earth-centric missions will provide a more precise look at “everything that’s happening” with the oceans, the land and the atmosphere than ever before. Among the big-ticket items were new tools to measure snowpack and groundwater, satellites to monitor methane emissions and remote sensing assets to assess the impact of hazards such as wildfires, earthquakes and mudslides.

Building upon more than two decades of research, a new web-based platform called OpenET will soon be putting NASA data in the hands of farmers, water managers and conservation groups to accelerate improvements and innovations in water management. OpenET uses publicly available data and open source models to provide satellite-based information on evapotranspiration (the “ET” in OpenET) in areas as small as a quarter of an acre and at daily, monthly and yearly intervals. Evapotranspiration is the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere, by water leaving the soil (evaporation) and water lost through plant leaves and stems (transpiration). Evapotranspiration is an important measure of how much water is used or “consumed” by agricultural crops and other plants.

Green Companies

In a world full of stuff, labels matter. They attract, inform and build the product narrative

Moreover they are major determinants of consumer choice. They can also serve as an invaluable tool in building sustainability and product impact stories. Garnier will be the first brand in L’Oreal’s portfolio, to implement Product Environmental & Social Impact Labelling. This aims to inform consumers on the environmental and social impact of their products, empowering them to make more sustainable choices.

This is on trial in France and on haircare products. This labelling gives each product a sustainability score, from A to E, with products labelled ‘A’ considered best in class. The score takes into account 14 environmental factors from sourcing, manufacture, transportation, usage and recyclability. Data is verified by Bureau Veritas Certification, an independent auditor. The Environmental & Social Impact Labelling of Garnier Haircare products will be accessible to consumers on the French brand’s haircare webpage before rolling out internationally.

The environmental assessment calculates the impact of a product over its entire life cycle. It takes into consideration the value chain of a cosmetic product, together with environmental methodological references, and uses the life cycle diagram below. The impact calculations when applied to the product portfolio show that the Carbon Footprint and the Water Footprint represent the two major contributors to the Overall Environmental Impact of L”Oreal products. This is the reason why the company has decided to communicate three indicators:

  • Overall Environmental Impact (14 impact factors)
  • Carbon footprint
  • Water footprint

While biodiversity is not reported as a footprint category, 6 out of the 14 impact factors used
are closely related to effects on biodiversity.


Managing the green line – the SAP way!

As the coronavirus pandemic raged across the world, even the most rigorous contingency planning and disaster management systems went awry. Many companies pivoted in unforeseeable ways. Fashion retailers produced masks and alcohol companies pivoted to creating sanitisers. While the production systems transformed, other changes have happened too. The need for brands to have ‘purpose’ and be environmentally responsible gained significant momentum. A sea change happened in attitudes amongst the investment community as well. A few years ago, sustainability was seen to be fringe and, at best, an interesting PR angle. Sustainability today is no longer a unique value proposition for many brands, but an inherent expectation that a brand will be ethically made and will not harm the environment or the community.

SAP software is essential for all enterprise functions, from manufacturing, shipping, and delivering products to managing finances and human resources. 85% of the world’s largest emitters work on SAP. That presents a unique opportunity to bring about deep, large scale impact. This is why SAP the enterprise software behemoth is pioneering the concept of the green line. What the green line represents is the impact of the company on the environment, such as carbon emissions, water consumption etc.

As we reach the end of the linear economy, we need software that enables the circular economy and builds on the existing networks to enable this. SAP software already addresses two key dimensions: the top line and the bottom line. Adding the ‘green line’ enables the ecological angle provides transparency into the use of natural resources, available alternatives, suppliers, and transportation. Bringing the three dimensions together enables better corporate decision making.

This philosophy all comes together in the Climate 21 initiative. Embedding sustainability as a new dimension of success into analytical and transactional applications allows ERP and intelligent enterprise systems from SAP to optimize the resources not only of an individual enterprise but across value chains — for the entire product life cycle.

We need software to scale the impact needed for the decade of delivery. SAP can be an essential tool in enabling this transformation!