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Industries can leverage technology to counter environmental challenges and make the world a better place, Susanna Hasenoehrl, head of sustainability, Asia-Pacific and Japan, SAP, highlighted in a special talk titled, How technology is accelerating sustainability today at the SAP presents Mint Sustainability Action Summit 2022.

About 80% of people have already experienced periods of climate change through extreme weather events, according to a recent survey. Yet, a SAP research found that six in 10 businesses think sustainability will only become financially relevant more than five years from now. This, Hasenoehrl felt, does not reflect reality. “There is a direct link between the health of our environment, the health of our society, and the health of our economy. That is particularly true in India. India’s impressive growth depends not only on investment and people but also on nature. A third of India’s economy is highly dependent on nature and another 30% is intermittently nature dependent, a study by World Economic Forum and PwC shows," she said.

The Indian economy has seen unprecedented growth and the country is on the path to becoming a $5 trillion economy. We must be mindful that this growth does not come at the cost of sustainability.

“The challenge for businesses is to make sustainability profitable and profitability sustainable. Companies with high environmental social and governance performance outperform their peers by more than 3.7 times over seven years, Accenture research shows," Hasenoehrl said.

SAP has been working on sustainability for more than a decade. In the Asia-Pacific and Japan region, SAP has set an ambitious target of helping their customers reduce one billion tonnes of carbon emissions by 2025. “At first, we were focused on our own operations, our very own data centres, which have been running on renewable energy since 2014. SAP has ranked top of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for software companies for the past 15 years. We’re also enabling our customers to be more sustainable. By working with just 1% of our customer base, we can help address up to 20% of the emission reductions that are necessary to achieve the 1.5 degrees Celsius climate targets," she explained.

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