A Logistics Manager needs an SCM-system for efficient provisioning of products. From raw-materials, through the refinement processes and the distribution channels to the point of consumption. Without an efficient tool to design, plan, monitor, control and manage the logistical flow - most companies today would be beaten by the competition and simply go out of business.
In the short run a company today would probably not go out of business by not working seriously and methodical with Sustainability but it would sooner or later loose its competitive edge. Just as we make the case here, Harvard Business Review identifies Sustainability as the next emerging Megatrend (Internet was the last one). So there is a solid case for the importance Sustainability plays for those who wish to be competitive and innovative.
To succeed with Sustainability several factors need to be addressed. Normally we are good at stating goals and making strategy, formulating policy and designing processes and executing as intended. This is all good. But in today’s rapidly changing world we need to do this much faster and based on real-time high quality information.
A CFO can follow-up on the latest financial data on a daily basis in the ERP-system. Economical KPI:s are distributed across most organizations on at least a monthly level. Everybody should be aware. When it comes to Sustainability it suffices with an annual Sustainability or CSR Report. This will change as Sustainability becomes increasingly important.
But even today many companies face severe challenges just to create that once-a-year report. It is difficult to collect all the necessary data and to derive actual and transparent information from it. This is a most basic need and it is causing us pain and headache*. A correctly implemented Sustainability Management System will eliminate this burden. Once it is in place you can arbitrarily choose the intervals for when you wish to make the information public. But more importantly you will have a tool to make decisions on actual circumstances in real-time and truly impact your business with the findings.
For a Sustainability Management System to be truly useful there are a certain set of characteristics it must have. Reporting should be easy or automated. Integration to other systems or controls where the raw data originates facilitates automation. The system should mirror the organizational structure and the business processes so that you can get reports e.g. per country, business unit, location, process or product. Any data entered must be verifiable and able to validate for transparency. It must have functionality to calculate emissions and waste on an aggregated level. From this everything from high-level consolidated reporting to deep-level drill down analysis should be possible without a Ph.D. in Computer Science. Such a system will help you reach A+ on the GRI scale, report on Scope 3 and be compliant in your reporting to stakeholders and authorities. And if you trade in emission credits it will also help you plan and optimize this. Furthermore you will also have a solution in place to quickly adapt as regulations and standards change.
TEAMS, the solution from Emisoft, which Xpicio base our services on, have all this. It is truly a business system for the Chief Sustainability Officer or for the Head of CSR. It combines the Three Bottom Line, 3BL, factors of Environmental, Social and Economic parameters. It is a tool to manage your ISO14001 standard or any other industry standard you must follow. And if you are an SAP-customer it integrates well with your ERP, so you don’t need to change your current processes or invest in additional SAP-software to make it work. Needless to say, it is also available as a cloud service.
*Take CO² as an example. Different production units may use different fuels. Some use natural gas from Russia while others use natural gas from the North Sea. Since these have different compositions and CO² values, you have to calculate the actual carbon footprint separately for these two fuels – it is not enough to simply state we have spent this much natural gas. For increased complexity you can add all the various fuels and raw-materials and calculate how they are emitted (e.g. by water, air or as waste) across the organization, for all processes and end products. Once you have this information at hand you can start making real-time decisions to improve your operations.