Pleasantly surprised by SAP
When looking through news feeds this morning I was pleasantly surprised to find two reports about SAP's activities in driving sustainability around the world. In the first one SAP Africa presented its "Urban Matters" initiative together with consultancy African Ideas at the African Urban Matters Cities of the Future event hosted in Cape Town on November 15. With SAP Urban Matters the software giant focuses on helping urban government leveraging technology to deliver more services to their citizens more effectively and efficiently. Particularly in African cities where the challenges are massive, ICT technology can help to improve millions of peoplle's lives in the sprawling metropolises of the continent. A great example of a business applying its core skills towards a more sustainable development.
The second one goes beyond just supplying the product or infrastructure but is an excellent example of communicating sustainability into the supply chain by training and facilitating: the Columbian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) supported by the Manuel Meija Foundation launched a coffee portal using SAP software, to make technology and information more accessible to the rural population, particularly to coffee farmers. This gives coffee growers useful information on market developments, geographical farm data and purchasing conditions. SAP provided technical training to 500 farmers to enable them to leverage the system. SAP developed a training curriculum for several one-day sessions, which includes basic information such as how to turn on a computer and browse the Internet, as well as best practices for making the most of the portal. One family member from each farm was selected for the trainings and tasked with passing their skills along to the rest of the family. “Working with SAP is essential to bringing technology to rural areas of the country,” said Luis Acero, chief operating officer of FNC. “Helping farmers become familiar with tools like the coffee portal and access to the portal, gives them access to important business information that helps shape their market activities.” (Source: Sustainable Brands, http://bit.ly/1bTkxur)
SAP proves how seriously it takes supporting sustainable development by providing technological solutions. Another example is the SAP Community Network featured as a case study in The New Brand Spirit (pp 257-264).