EY expert expands on SAP and EY sustainability alliance

image of rainforest | SAP and EY

Just over a month ago, in October, SAP and EY expanded their alliance to help organizations accelerate value-led sustainability action.

This alliance saw teams of EY professionals advising SAP and customers on the core design and blueprint for the next generation of software solutions to create more influential climate, nature and social impact strategies.

ERP Today spoke with Sheri Hinish, global consulting sustainability technology and ecosystems leader at EY to explore this alliance further.

Melissa Evatt (ME): What constitutes value-led sustainability action?

Sheri Hinish (SH): Value-led sustainability action transcends the traditional “tick-the-box” approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments. It’s about leveraging sustainability as a springboard for innovation and growth, which in turn, catalyzes a positive impact on both the bottom and top lines of business.

We are championing a model where cost savings from emissions reduction can fuel investments in new, sustainable business models.

ME: The announcement mentions that both companies will collaborate with select clients to develop the requirements and analytics needed to move greenhouse gas accounting from estimates to an accurate reflection of a company’s footprint.

How will EY and SAP choose which clients to work with in this endeavor?

SH: This alliance is an evolution of our long-standing commitment to helping clients credibly move from greenhouse gas accounting estimates to accurate, verifiable data that brings the rigor required for transformative sustainability performance management.

This shift is critical because it lays the groundwork for authentic accountability and actionable insights beyond compliance. EY and SAP are targeting select clients whose risks and challenges are high-impact and may exemplify critical industry opportunities.

These clients will be co-innovators, industry leaders with the right mix of ambition and operational readiness, whose learnings can be scaled across the sector.

ME: We now realize that changing the environment is a global effort, how do you hope to make this an inclusive initiative to support the cause?

SH: Sustainability is everybody’s business. We understand that combating climate change is not just a necessity, but a collective responsibility that is foundational to building a responsible and equitable world.

We’re committed to fostering a culture where sustainability is woven into the fabric of all business operations. This alliance enables organizations to track, measure and report on their ESG efforts with the same fidelity as financial performance. It’s about democratizing sustainability data – making it available, understandable and actionable. Having credible data-driven insights allows a variety of stakeholders to make better, more responsible decisions that drive sustainable outcomes.

ME: From this alliance, what capabilities/offerings can organizations use to encourage sustainable practice? Do you have any examples of organizations that have successfully implemented these technologies/updates?

SH: From the SAP Sustainability Control Tower to Responsible Design and Production, the offerings enable companies to move from passive reporting to active sustainability performance management. These tools allow for comprehensive ESG reporting, compliance with CSRD, CBAM and capitalizing on tax incentives for sustainable practices.

We have organizations in EMEA and North America using these solutions, demonstrating that integrating sustainability deeply into business processes is both feasible and beneficial.

ME: What is the next step for EY and SAP’s alliance – how do both companies plan to help more organizations meet their sustainability targets?

SH: This alliance embodies the commitment of both organizations to deliver cutting-edge solutions that shape our clients’ net-zero journey, underpinned by audit-grade financing accounting. Through SAP’s advances in ESG solutions, such as the Green Ledger and EY’s focus on integrating these technologies into business transformation, we are ushering in the next frontier of embedding sustainability as a value driver in every facet of business transformation.

By setting and meeting our own sustainability targets, EY and SAP are leading by example with the ambition to inspire an actionable path forward for other organizations.