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Sustainability at Software AG: Enabling our customers

On World Environment Day 2022, the focus is on sustainability, the biggest revolution since digitalization.

Astrid Kasper Astrid Kasper
sustainability image

“In the universe are billions of galaxies. In our galaxy are billions of planets. But there is #OnlyOneEarth.”

On the 5th of June, under this banner, the world celebrates World Environment Day. As Senior Vice President Corporate Communications, Sustainability and Public Affairs for an MDAX-listed company, I will too. But not as a figurehead. I didn’t take this opportunity to be at the fringes of the biggest revolution since digitalization.

I chose to head up sustainability for Software AG because corporate, social and economic responsibility is anchored into our DNA. Dr Peter Schnell, our co-founder, who put it there when he established our namesake foundation. So—with years of experience in risk mitigation and corporate citizenship—I wanted to steer our sustainability ship.

Sustainability is a huge disrupter. But, while companies like ours – and yours – grapple with new compliance and risk management issues, we are also under pressure to respond to changing market demands for sustainable consumer products, services, and responsible social engagement.

In a recent survey of our customers, 45% identified it as top priority.

Sustainability and ESG are on the agenda for most Software AG customers

But, to move forward, every organization faces challenges with gathering and analyzing data, keeping up with ever-changing regulations, developing guidelines, goals and KPIs – plus having to control, track and report on performance. Which is why, when we launched our Sustainability Strategy in April, we dedicated one of our five action areas to customers and how we can help them do good.

The need for speed

There are many models, frameworks and structures to explore when it comes to sustainability. One we have found helpful is the Forrester Sustainability Maturity Model—it has five phases: compliance, road map, operational excellence, disruptive innovation and future-generation safety. Like us, many of our customers are at the early phases of maturity. But as Forrester points out, while you can’t skip a phase you can accelerate it, and this is where our products come into play – they were specifically designed to create a truly connected world.

Imagine the impact your enterprise could have economically, socially and environmentally if the products you used to digitalize could also help you accelerate your time to sustainable value?

Our customers need to operate sustainably to mitigate, reverse the consequences of climate change and even disrupt their industries with new sustainable products and services. This involves two approaches:   

  1. Making decisions based on data that can lead to more efficient use of financial or natural resources (technology to enable sustainability): Through data integration, data analytics, device connectivity and process data analytics, our customers can make intelligent, data-driven decisions for better outcomes that enable a competitive advantage.

Take, for example:

  • Sensor-Technik Wiedemann (STW) which is adding telematics modules to London City buses to gather and transmit real-time data on emissions, vehicle faults, GPS location and fuel consumption. The result? An over 90% reduction in soot particles and nitrous oxide emissions, and cleaner air for London.
  • Or the Electric Racing Academy which uses an exciting combination of Cumulocity IoT, webMethods, and thin-edge technology to democratize electric motorsports. Whereas currently only Formula 1-class vehicles use real-time analytics (and the rest offload data afterwards,) ERA is putting affordable, real-time data insights into the hands of everyone during a race—from the engineers to the fans.
  • Having a road map that can be built into processes to ensure operational excellence, report on KPIs, ensure compliance, create efficiencies and collaborate across the entire organization. There’s good reason why Forrester puts operational excellence as the step before disruptive innovation.

Take, for example:

  • Enzen, a global leader in sustainable energy and water management which develops best practices for its clients’ businesses, spanning operating models, processes, and digital architecture. It was able to design and build a complete transformation roadmap in just four months with ARIS!
  • Or OeKB, a leading Austrian financial services provider that needed to comply with strict and increasingly complex regulations – and to centralize its risk management.
  • And Software AG. In 2021 we conducted a complex materiality assessment mapped using our business process management (BPM) software—ARIS.
Mapping our strategy in ARIS (visualization in tool)

Software AG was founded more than 50 years ago on the belief that software will change the world. As we’ve grown, we’ve recognized that only a truly connected world can be a sustainable one. And that enabling our customers to transform around both realities is what really matters to us. This specific journey may have only started more recently, but we’ve got a strong wind at our back.

Our commitment:

“We are proud to have signed the UN Global Compact, further demonstrating our commitment to building a more sustainable world.”

“We are committed to aligning 80% of our research projects with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2025; thus, ensuring our technology can support broader global sustainability efforts.”

Research projects: