SAP compliance solution coincides with Australia's greenhouse legislation

New federal laws commence July 1, 2008

Coinciding with new greenhouse legislation to be introduced in Australia on July 1, 2008, SAP has launched an environmental compliance solution specifically for the local market.

The software platform released yesterday allows companies to monitor and manage their greenhouse emissions to ensure they comply with national and international environmental laws and policies.

It sits within SAP's governance, risk and compliance business unit and is platform neutral which means it can be implemented in non-SAP environments.

The software launch coincides with federal government plans to introduce the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007, which establishes a national framework for Australian corporations to report on greenhouse gas emissions, reductions, removals and offsets, energy consumption and production.

The Act comes into effect on July 1, 2008. It will apply to 700 medium and large companies, with an estimated 300 expected to register and report for the first time in the 2008 financial year.

Providing a transparent and auditable picture of business processes, the SAP solutions allows organisations to define regulatory scenarios with key performance indicators.

The CO2-status of the company can then be continuously analysed and compliance reports created.

According to the Department of Climate Change, the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 establishes a single, national system for reporting greenhouse gas emissions, abatement actions, and energy consumption and production by corporations from July 1, 2008.

Data reported through the system will underpin the Australian Emissions Trading Scheme.

A spokesperson for the department said the ability to monitor, report and verify businesses' emissions data will be essential for maintaining the environmental and financial integrity of the trading system.

She said key features of the system include online reporting, a standard data set, and reporting thresholds that avoid capturing small business.

Under the Bill, companies will need to review their emissions profile and data to determine their reporting obligations.

The first report is due in October 2009, and must provide data for the financial year 2008/2009.

As the governance around carbon emissions continues to escalate, SAP's A/NZ office of CFO solutions, Stefan Goehring, said companies will need a solution that sits within their existing software infrastructure and enables proactive management of emissions.

Goehring said carbon will introduce a whole new cost equation, one that companies must optimally manage to ensure the right resource allocation and productive output.

"This can't be done with spreadsheet tools sitting outside the core business platform," he said.

"By providing businesses with a single, stand alone platform which allows access to critical emissions data and information, we are reducing the workload and operational costs associated with the new federal legislation and enabling appropriate cost allocation.

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"The new EC Solution is just a small part of SAP's larger commitment to helping organisations adopt sustainable business practices through innovative technologies and business processes."

Goehring said the EC solution has already been successfully implemented in businesses overseas in the mining, manufacturing and energy sectors.

He said other green IT software solutions include SAP Recycling Administration (REA), which supports compliance with the Waste on Electronics and Electronic Equipment directive (WEEE), and Smart Meters, which collect and analyse data for energy usage profiling in real time.

The company has also launched an internal campaign, sGreen, with the goal of launching an environmental policy that defines global roles and responsibilities.

SAP is a member of the Carbon Disclosure Project, a voluntary public disclosure of known carbon footprint, and the Combat Climate Change (3C) initiative.