Introducing SAP Sustainability Footprint Management


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe how SAP Sustainability Footprint Management enables you to calculate, monitor and analyze carbon footprints on a product, corporate and value chain level from Cradle-to-Gate


Our main focus is on SAP Sustainability Footprint Management, the core solution for transactional carbon accounting and footprint calculations. However, there are four existing solutions that respond to current market need on climate action. Here are the main value propositions of each solution and a basic idea of their connections:

  • SAP Sustainability Footprint Management helps you calculate and manage corporate and product carbon footprints across GHG Scope 1, 2, and 3.
  • SAP Environmental, Health, and Safety - Environmental Management (EHS EM) ensures you stay compliant with emissions and permit related environmental regulations. EHS EM encompasses all aspects of environmental compliance along with management of an organization's impact on the environment, including air and water pollution, GHG emission inventory, and waste management
  • SAP Sustainability Data Exchange engages with your suppliers and requests and receives accurate footprint calculation from SAP Sustainability Footprint Management.
  • SAP Sustainability Control Tower helps you monitor and steer ESG targets as well as report on your sustainability performance beyond carbon (for example it also covers Diversity and Equality KPIs).

The Climate Action Journey With SAP

SAP is in a unique position to jump-start your climate action journey:

  • SAP Sustainability Footprint Management builds on existing data in your ERP data in SAP systems to produce unmatched granularity and efficiency in data handling.
  • SAP Sustainability Data Exchange builds on connections to six million existing companies within the SAP Business Network.
  • SAP's existing lines of business offer many highly relevant use cases for transactional carbon accounting, for example, in procurement or logistics.

 Data Integration with SAP Sustainability Footprint Management

SAP Sustainability Footprint Management easily integrates leveraging your ERP data from SAP S/4HANA and other data sources:

SAP plans an integration with other climate action solutions.
  • When used with SAP EHS EM, you can reuse regulatory carbon emission data and environmental material flows, such as water and waste.
  • With SAP Sustainability Data Exchange, a new solution, it uses the carbon data interoperability standards established by the Partnership for Carbon Transparency (PACT), hosted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). This effectively shares sustainability information, for example, Catena-X and Confinity-X, the rapidly developing industry data network for the automotive industry.

With SAP Sustainability Footprint Management, you can decarbonize your value chain and quickly get the complete picture of your carbon footprint. The calculations integrate supplier data and existing ERP business data, dramatically improving the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of emissions calculations and management.

Key Benefits of SAP Sustainability Footprint Management

The key benefits are:

  • RECORD: Easily leverage existing data with seamless integration and automation. Seamlessly integrate data from SAP S/4HANA, third-party data, supplier data, and facility energy flows for data acquisition and footprint distribution.
  • REPORT: Get auditable corporate and product carbon footprints at scale. Assess your sustainability footprint with granular cradle to gate carbon footprint calculations that consider materials, transportation, and production.
  • ACT: Decarbonize along business processes through granular transparency. Act on your reduction targets with carbon accounting software that supports Scope 1, 2 and 3 transparency, and generates analytical insights from footprint data.

Product Overview

The capabilities of SAP Sustainability Footprint Management can be broken down into five major steps along your footprint calculation journey:

  1. Acquire master and transactional data from your connected business system.
  2. Combine those data with emission factors to evaluate the environmental impact.
  3. Based on the impact, the application calculates the sustainability footprints.
  4. The calculated footprints can be analyzed in detail.
  5. They can be re-integrated into connected business systems.

The capabilities and footprint journey, and what is already available with the current release, are visualized in the figure, Capabilities:

Let us see all product capabilities in detail.

Data Acquisition

SAP Sustainability Footprint Management offers various options to reuse ERP data, including master data and transactional activity data (material movements). It integrates with SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA (2021 and later) out of the box, while other ERP systems can be connected through Public APIs. An IT project is necessary for this integration, with SAP services support available. Additionally, data can be imported through flat-file uploads using templates. Freight-transport specific master data entities such as plant or supplier locations can be imported through file upload. The system further offers a starter package, including location information for various transportation hubs and vehicle data for different transport modes.

The following figure depicts the business transactional data entities that are being replicated from the connected source system (such as SAP S/4HANA) to be leveraged in the footprint calculation in Sustainability Footprint Management.

Emission Factors Management

After importing business data from your ERP system, SAP Sustainability Footprint Management helps evaluate the environmental impact of this data by importing and managing emission factors. Here, we focus on climate change impact through global warming potential (GWP) in CO2-equivalents (CO2e).

You can import emission factors through an Excel file from primary sources, which represent actual data directly from your suppliers, or secondary sources, such as lifecycle assessment (LCA) databases, which represent industry averages. SAP partners with Ecoinvent ( and Carbon Minds ( to provide LCA content through the SAP Store. This allows easy import into the application. You can further utilize custom data from your operations or LCA software tools or use estimated proxies for specific materials or activities.

The figure, Import Emission Factors, shows an example of a data set from an LCA package imported into Sustainability Footprint Management. It represents cocoa bean production in Ghana and includes the respective emission factor, data set classifications, and a quality indicator. You can use the emission factor to calculate footprints of cocoa beans purchased from suppliers producing in Ghana.

The application further provides a functionality to map emission factors to your purchased products, based on your imported ERP data, at a different granularity. It auto-generates a mapping template with pre-filled information such as products, commodity codes, and suppliers. You can edit this template in-app or through a CSV file, and associate emission factors to each item through filtering and searching your imported emission factor databases for the best match.

Footprint Calculation

SAP Sustainability Footprint Management (with the current release) addresses the product life cycle from cradle to gate. This includes upstream emissions from material acquisition, pre-processing, and transport, as well as direct emissions related to own production activities. Reflected on the corporate footprint, it covers the corresponding GHG Scope 1, 2, and 3 categories related to material, freight transport, and facilities.

SAP plans to address downstream emissions in future releases, reflecting the cradle to grave product life cycle.

To define the organizational boundaries of the footprint calculation, you can maintain individual inventory scopes in the system, including companies, plants, and value chain steps. The application uses energy flow models to connect energy-related elements with the resources (such as an assembly line or oven) replicated from the ERP system. This includes energy carriers, energy sources, resources, and infrastructure (meters, process infrastructure, and facilities). These elements can be fully modeled and updated, allowing for the creation of models using a list display or a graphical flow modeler with drag-and-drop functionality:

When a direct energy flow connection is unavailable, you can set allocation rules to distribute emissions to products and GHG Scopes and Categories.

SAP Sustainability Footprint Management calculates a company's total carbon footprint and attributes emissions to products and corporate overhead, aiming to achieve a balanced emission level through all production stages.

Two methods are provided:

  • Calculating Organizational Footprint Inventories: This method considers GHG Protocol Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. It requires input data such as energy bills, meter readings, and manual emissions. It leverages the imported master and transactional activity data, the mapped emission factors, as well as the energy flow model and allocation rules that previously were set up to calculate the footprints.
  • Calculating Product Footprints: This method provides insights into a plant's product footprints by uploading a Bill of Material (BOM)-like Excel file. The calculated footprints can be monitored in an easy-to-read graphical format with drill-down possibilities into main emission drivers.

A Sankey Diagram is the core tool for investigating emission results. It offers transparency on input factors, such as purchased energy. You can explore various levels of detail, including calculation data and formulas, to understand the carbon footprint emissions. The app enables you to publish results to connected SAP S/4HANA Cloud or SAP S/4HANA systems.

You calculate inbound and outbound transport footprints by uploading .csv files containing transport information. To determine emissions, the application uses client-specific routes or automated calculation logic based on distances. Data is validated and feedback is provided for any issues. The Calculate Transport Footprints - Lite app enables quick calculations and assessments for single shipments without importing data, with results visualized in charts, tables, and maps. With this, you can quickly compare emissions related to different transport mode choices (for example, planes versus trains). It also helps your company make informed decisions on how to reduce your transport-related carbon footprint.

Footprint Analytics

To analyze calculated footprints and to gain new insights, SAP Sustainability Footprint Management offers built-in analytics. Through various dashboards, you can analyze your corporate balance with all emission inflows and outflows, as well as your emissions per purchased and sold products and energy consumers. You can also drill down into emissions by GHG scope, category, and energy source, and view trends.

For transport footprints, there are own dynamic dashboards available with highly customizable charts and detailed reports on various transport relevant KPIs. You can also visualize and analyze inbound and outbound transport flows and emissions on a world map, including a heatmap to display emission hotspots. To incorporate calculated footprints into your preferred analytical application, such as SAP Analytics Cloud or non-SAP solutions, use the OData API from API Business Hub.

Footprint Integration

This includes integrating the calculated footprints into the end-to-end business processes and providing transparency and insights into sustainability metrics. The metrics are not only for sustainability experts in central sustainability departments but all business users in the company and its respective lines of business.

From SAP Sustainability Footprint Management, you can publish the footprints into the connected SAP S/4HANA Cloud or SAP S/4HANA (2021 and later) system. This makes the information accessible to users, enabling them to incorporate these criteria into their decision-making processes. To integrate footprints into business processes, you can use Key User Extensibility.

In Purchasing, product footprints are integrated into a Purchase Requisition (PR). This allows approvers and operational purchasers to assess a PR's environmental impact. The Monitor Purchase Requisition Items app provides insights into current and future emissions, enabling proactive optimization of the environmental footprint.

Another integration of footprints is available in Inventory Management, starting with the Stock - Multiple Materials app to provide insights into the environmental impact of stocks. Previously used for stock quantities and financial values, the app now allows for sustainability criteria in decision-making processes.


Integration of footprints is also available in SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP). It enables users to track greenhouse gas emissions according to supply planning heuristic results. Furthermore, the first data sharing use case leveraging the SAP Business Network is available, by integrating footprints into Logistic Business Network – Material Traceability (LBN-MT).

Product Capabilities

The figure, Key Takeaways, summarizes the key product capabilities of SAP Sustainability Footprint Management.

Log in to track your progress & complete quizzes