Picture 2 150x150 Virtualization and Sustainability, a Logical Partnership

By Max Tau, Capgemini Netherlands

Dr. Peter Graf, the Chief Sustainability Officer at SAP globally, recently spoke at the TEDx Presido event.

View Peter Graf’s TedTalk here.

Next to Peter on the list of speakers Was Chade-Meng Tan  (@chademeng), of Google, and sustainability legend Van Jones (@vanjones68), former Obama administration official and President of “Rebuild the Dream” a community organization that funds projects and provides advocacy for socially important issues.

Dr. Graf spoke to an esteemed audience on September 8th at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater in SanFran.

As Chief Sustainability Officer on a global level for SAP, the worlds largest enterprise software company, with ambitions to have more than 1 billion users in coming years, SAP is in a position to look at Corporate Social Responsibility on a massive scale.

Speaking about a specific initiative, company wide carpooling, Graf gave insight to the innovation taking place at SAP. This innovation is producing internal solutions that can be applied to customer needs. Such as a Carpool App, available on multiple operating systems and online.

Graf explained he was confused between compliance and innovation.

“If you put out rules, you create compliance, and people try to find ways to go about them. If you engage them properly, then you can hope for innovation… and trust me, as a software company thats what you want to do.”

What struck me as important is that there seems to be a continued push on behalf of the German based giant to apply the same kind of revolutionary approaches used on core business processes to the issue of sustainability and CSR.

“Because right now what SAP does so brilliantly is to manage all the stuff it has managed for 40 years: Money, people, assets, production plants and all the good things. But in this day in age, certainly, there is something new. We need to start managing energy, water, air, toxic material, all those things, as well as we used and we are managing finances, people and the other things.”

The major challenge for Dr. Graf, as the “sustainability guy” at SAP, is “how to take 60,000 people with me on this journey.”

If you have 8 minutes to spare, I strongly recommend this talk.

Dr. Peter Graf (@peterggraf)

Chief Sustainability Officer & VP Sustainability Solutions SAP
TOPIC: “How do you get buy-in on the highest levels to really make change?”



Max Tau is a technology and Supply Chain Execution consultant at Capgemini Netherlands. As a member of the Sustainability Framework within Capgemini, he specializes in information technology based solutions to environmental and governance related targets.