TechniData: Environmental Performance Management (EPM)
Companies from the chemicals, energy, automotive, and other sectors are focusing increasingly on sustainability, with the spotlight falling particularly on the environment, safety, health, and quality management. The key challenge, in particular for larger groups, is to ensure reliable reporting across all sites.
Heads of companies have realised that a sustainable approach means more than simply complying with regulations. The issue of 'sustainability' embraces economic, social, and environmental factors. The term first came onto the political agenda at the United Nations' first World Climate Summit in Rio in 1992. Environmentalists from around the world highlighted the need to use environmental resources sparingly to safeguard the quality of life for future generations.
Since then, the issue has been taken up on a widespread basis, reaching both corporate and political corridors of power. Since 2001, various institutions and awards have been established, such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Companies are no longer rated merely by their share price but also by their commitment to sustainability. They are measured by their contribution - both current and future - to bringing about a fully functional society, including an assessment of how staff are supported and whether there is a strategy in place for achieving long-term, i.e. sustainable, success.
It is no secret that an environmentally compatible approach is good for a company's image and results. Increased interest from finance markets has resulted in companies facing more stringent environmental reporting requirements. This is demonstrated by a recent study where 90% of the CEOs from 50 different countries interviewed stated that eco-friendly development was a clear corporate objective.
CHALLENGES FOR SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING
Standard methods of data collection using spreadsheets and e-mail are still the main means of selecting data. Such methods require considerable time and effort to create, consolidate, and analyse KPIs.
This form of data gathering presents companies with a host of challenges:
- Data collection is time-consuming and reports in real time are virtually impossible
- Data quality is inadequate due to the large volumes of data involved
- Data can be difficult to compare due to changes from one year to another
- Stand-alone solutions for specific applications make it difficult to cut overall system operating costs
- Although data can be used to improve environmental performance, inaccuracy and poor data quality hardly provide a good basis for making a decision
- Reporting cannot cover all levels as data is not transferred to a central location. Reporting is not possible at site or plant level due to a lack of information on the situation as a whole
'ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT'
TechniData applies its ''Environmental Performance Management' (TechniData EPM) solution at these locations. This new solution based on SAP NetWeaver enables energy suppliers to provide all stakeholders, such as authorities, analysts, customers, and staff, with environmental and social reports at the touch of a button. These may cover the quantities of a particular hazardous substance or operating material used at sites abroad in the past month or the volume of NOx or CO2 gas emitted from particular facilities, plants or even an entire group in the last quarter.
PROCESS OPTIMISATION TOOL
Environmental reporting has now become an integral part of in-house reporting and forms the basis for a Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) within companies. It is therefore hugely important to aggregate all environment-related data from systems, plant level, and subsidiaries right up to group level. This goes a long way towards improving environmental performance and other key processes across the various sites and at branches in different countries. Companies save on vital resources thanks to the improved transparency of environmental data and the greater efficiency of processes for creating reports.