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Summary:

It’s been less than a year since German software giant SAP bought carbon software startup Clear Standards, but the company has already used the carbon software tool — now rebranded SAP Carbon Impact — on its own emissions footprint. This morning, in conjunction with its earnings, […]

It’s been less than a year since German software giant SAP bought carbon software startup Clear Standards, but the company has already used the carbon software tool — now rebranded SAP Carbon Impact — on its own emissions footprint. This morning, in conjunction with its earnings, SAP says its worldwide carbon emissions for 2009 were 425 kilotons, which is a 16 percent drop from the company’s reported 2008 levels of 505 kilotons.

SAP’s Chief Sustainability Officer Peter Graf called that emissions drop “impressive” in an interview with us on Tuesday afternoon, and said that using SAP’s own carbon software tool on its footprint gives SAP a unique ability to stand in the shoes of its customers. SAP’s Carbon Impact software is being used by customers like solar panel maker Sun Power, Intuit, Autodesk, and the University of Buffalo. Well, looking at it another way, if SAP didn’t use its own carbon software to cut its footprint, it’d be pretty unusual and telling (picture Verizon using AT&T corporate wireless accounts).

SAP says its carbon software tool — which it put substantial investment into after acquiring Clear Standards, including tripling the staff working on it — enabled SAP to report its carbon emissions many months quicker than it has in the past, says SAP. Last year SAP reported its carbon footprint around May, compared to late January for 2009. The carbon management process is quick enough that SAP now plans to report its emissions every quarter, as opposed to on an annual basis like most companies do.

Is focusing on sustainability helping lift all boats at SAP? SAP, in general, seems to be looking up in 2010. SAP already announced better than expected pre-earnings for the fourth quarter earlier this month, and is announcing its official earnings and guidance on Wednesday. Earlier this week Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analyst Raimo Lenschow upped his rating on SAP to Buy from Neutral.

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