Get up to Speed with Sustainability and Business Innovation

Council on Business & Society corporate partner SAP, sponsor for the Council International Forums in 2012 and 2014, launches a free online course in Sustainability and Business Innovation. SAP Head of Sustainable Strategy and Integrated Reporting Dr. Will Ritzrau, gives us an insight into the MOOC that is open to all.

DR Will Ritzrau
Dr Will Ritzrau, SAP

A popular…and sustainable course

In 2014, over 13,000 learners joined the SAP Sustainability and Business Innovations course in which learners enjoyed working together and sharing sustainability discussions while learning about SAP’s approach to the key theme of sustainability. Due to popular demand, SAP has created a follow-up sustainability course in 2015 but to prepare potential learners for this, SAP re-opens the opportunity to join the foundation Sustainability and Business Innovation course.

Why is sustainability so important to business innovation? There are many reasons and answers to the question that the course will explore including, for example, the hard fact that young professionals are beginning to choose employers based on their sustainable practices, with 90% of them searching for employers with sustainable attitudes reflecting their personal behaviour. But potential employees aren’t the only stakeholders taking an interest in an organisation’s sustainable conduct: consumers too are also looking at a company’s behaviour towards its employees, the environment and social responsibility before entering into any deals.

Selling a convincing sustainability strategy

During the online course, the SAP sustainability team will provide learners with the tools to articulate a sustainable strategy for their organisations, draw up the business case for sustainability, and sell it to the right people in their company. Going forward, participants will learn how to embed sustainable principles into their organization and explore the catalytic role IT can play in driving and executing a sustainable strategy.

Banner_openSAP_SustainabilityThe online course was originally recorded by Peter Graf, former SAP Chief Sustainability Officer. While following the course learners can meet Daniel Schmid, SAP’s current Chief Sustainability Officer, and the rest of the sustainability team in the forum. Daniel has been a key figure in SAP sustainability since 2008 and, together with the sustainability team, has a wealth of experience he can use and share to answer your questions!

The online course duration is six weeks with a learning effort of approximately 4 hours per week to complete the course content and weekly assignments. Bringing some basic business or IT knowledge to the class would be an advantage, but everyone is welcome to learn more about sustainability from a business perspective. For further details on the course and how to enrol, visit openSAP and be prepared to benefit from SAP’s sustainability experience to date.

SAP and sustainability

SAP itself has been ranked in the top 100 sustainable companies in the world and is placed in the top ten US tech companies, with SAP continuing to improve its sustainability goals with an increase in women in management positions to 21.3%. SAP also maintained stable employee retention of 93.5% in 2014. On an environmental level, SAP is concentrating on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the level of 2000 figures by 2020. More information can be found at

SAP: putting learning into the atmosphere

SAP: putting learning into the atmosphere

Online course snapshot

The course covers key learnings from the sustainability journey of SAP and its customers. For example:

  • How companies go beyond philanthropy and environmentalism to drive significant business value from sustainability
  • How more sustainable practices create innovation, competitive advantage, reduce risk and cost as well as drive growth
  • How to articulate, embed and execute a sustainable strategy at the company in which you are or will be working
  • How to build the business case and how to sell it to executives.

SAP online sustainability courseOf special interest for students in the field of IT, Business Administration, Sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility, and Development Studies, the course covers best practices in sustainability, from strategy, to business cases, business processes, engagement and reporting.

It is free of charge and takes place from September 9 until October 29, 2015. Upon successful completion participants will receive a certificate of achievement from SAP.

SAP Council on Business & Society

Preview and register for the Council on Business & Society 2015 Forum: Energy, Business, and Society

Business Society and Energy 2015

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