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Why data-driven insights are critical to value-led sustainability

In this episode of the Think Ecosystem podcast, Steve Varley and Steve Peck discuss sustainability measures that matter with Gunther Rothermel, Senior Vice President and Head of Sustainability for SAP S/4HANA. 

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Podcast host and EY Global SAP Alliance Relationship Leader Steve Peck welcomes Steve Varley, Former EY Global Vice Chair – Sustainability, and Gunther Rothermel, Senior Vice President and Head of Sustainability for SAP S/4HANA at SAP. Together they discuss the ESG challenges facing multinationals, and the urgent need to turn sustainability plans into action ahead of COP27, in November 2022.

Climate change has placed the challenge of sustainable economic growth at very heart of the international agenda, and while nations discussed their plans to transition towards zero-carbon economic models during COP26, companies now increasingly find themselves in the spotlight as the size of the challenge became clear.

Voluntary corporate ESG reporting has been followed by leading companies for some time, but this is likely to become critical as stakeholders – from consumers, through to employees and investors – demand greater accountability and transparency. To be fully compliant in this new world of increased scrutiny, companies will need to create an ESG data pipeline in which the taxonomy, collection and aggregation of relevant reportable information is conducted in an efficient, cost-effective and timely manner.

This data pipeline is likely to extend beyond individual organizations to include wider corporate ecosystems, and especially through supply chains. With SAP systems touching approximately 82% of the world’s transactions, the enterprise software company already has much of the mandatory ESG data companies require.

To meet the scale and pace of the ESG challenge, organizations are well advised to take action now, and form powerful partnerships to ensure they have the right people, processes and technology in place to turn 2022 into a year of action.

Key takeaways: 

  • 2022 will be a year of ESG action for multinationals as the pledges made and targets set by individual countries and organizations during COP26 filter down to corporations and embed into C-suite agendas.

  • Companies will need to establish ESG data flows that can withstand rigorous external scrutiny. These data flows will extend between companies, across geographies and along supply chains to create a clear picture of environmental impact.

  • Organizations that can clearly demonstrate they are in the vanguard of the transition towards carbon-zero will be differentiated in the market, giving customers compelling new reasons to trade with them, inspiring confidence in investors and motivating their employees. 

For your convenience, full text transcript of this podcast is also available.


Episode 1


0h 31m 41s