Day 5: SAP Visit

“I learn everyday,” stated Daniel Schmid, Chief Sustainability Officer of SAP. Daniel led a discussion about the importance of connectivity, co-innovation, and learning. “By being more sustainable, you have better decision making, and a better company,” said Daniel. Daniel highlighted the many reports and initiatives SAP has in place, such as the Social Sabbatical program, in which employees can take time off work to put their specialized technology skills to good use for underserved communities all over the world. One of the most impressive facets of SAP’s sustainability initiatives is their Business Health Culture Index. This is a cause and effect analysis that quantifies employees ability to be innovative, creative, and have a worklife balance. SAP is leading the technology sector in sustainability reporting and initiatives, continuously pushing the limits to be one innovative company that is creating the positive they want to see in the world.

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Expanding the Classroom with PE International

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By Stephen Sumpter

While in Germany we were provided to the opportunity to meet with leaders from PE International. This software company has developed two key software packages focused on improving sustainability measures. The first is the GaBi software that is used to conduct Life Cycle Assessments, which we were provided the opportunity to experience and work with first hand in Dr. Sroufe’sclass last semester. The second is SoFi, which assists companies in streamlining and improving reporting efforts for internal reports and larger programs such as the Carbon Disclosure Project.

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Many students commented that it was nice to see the extent of the offerings from PE International and that what they had done for LCA was being applied to emissions reporting. Many students also expressed the interest in hands on experience using the SoFi reporting tool. Others were excited by the developments PE is working on with GaBi to make the inclusion of Environmental Product Declarations an easier and more accessible process.

Green Gamification

You have probably heard of NikeFuel and FitBit, the gamification devices that promote healthy living.  Have you considered using gamification to promote sustainable behavior?

At the Net Impact conference, I attended a presentation by Ashok Kamal, co-founder and CEO of Bennu, a leader in green social media marketing.   He talked about applications that work with cars like the Ford Fusion and Nissan Leaf to understand a car’s impact on the world.  Other examples of gamification are hosted on intranets to help the company engage employees in sustainable choices.

Kamal thinks that sustainability should be encouraged through “fortune, fun and fame, not blame and shame.”  This quote spoke to me, because I see call for regulations as blame and shame.

To learn more about Bennu, visit this website: http://www.bennuworld.com

GaBi Life Cycle (LCA) Analysis Training

Last week, Christoph Koffler, technical director for PE International, Inc., came into our Sustainable Theories and Models class to train our cohort on how to use the GaBi software.  GaBi is the #1 life cycle assessment tool, and we will be using this software as we begin our analysis of different products.

GaBi software can model every element of a product or system from a life-cycle perspective, equipping businesses to make the best informed decisions on the manufacture and lifecycle of any product, everything from a mobile phone to a match-stick to an airport.  The software is used by over 1500 companies, including Dupont, Bayer, Siemens, Timberland, Ford, Bombardier and Daimler.  Understanding LCA for products gives organizations a competitive advantage.

Christoph explained that he was willing to do any life cycle analysis comparison during his training.  One classmate, Dallas, suggested that we compare hand dryers and paper towels.  This comparison proved to be a complex analysis, and it showed that hand dryers produce more global warming than paper towels, which surprised the vast majority of us!

Throughout the upcoming weeks, each group within the cohort will do its own life cycle analysis and present their findings on two comparable products.  The GaBi training was challenging; however, we have a much better grasp of the LCA process.

To learn more about GaBi visit the following website: http://www.gabi-software.com/america/index/