Sustainability is a trendy term. In recent years, awareness about sustainable behaviour has experienced a tremendous increase in many societies all over the globe. Action, however, doesn’t necessarily follow awareness. Well, it’s always much easier to talk about it instead of actually making an impact. This is a shame since many companies fail to implement their knowledge where it would be most valuable: at their own production site. With its new corporate ride sharing program, German multinational software cooperation SAP shows how companies can work more environmentally friendly: by allowing its own employees to live more sustainably.
Ride with me
According to SAP, their cloud-delivered app called “TwoGo by SAP” will help save the environment as well as build up team spirit between employees. Sounds great, so how does it work? Well, SAP’s app is a classic carpooling or ride sharing app that allows employees living in proximity to commute to work together. The app only permits employees working for the same enterprise to organise the travel together. Registration requires an official company mail address. It’s ride sharing for the enterprise, so to say. Thereby, employees offer or request rides from a browser, a smart phone, or a corporate calendar (Outlook, for example). The app then automatically matches all the preferences together. This is partly carried out by Nokia’s location cloud called “HERE”. So in the end you drive together to work and back home, for example. This reduces employees’ travel expanses and greenhouse gas emissions. SAP has calculated that on average every employee covers 46 kilometres to go to work and back. This takes approximately 50 to 60 minutes and costs around 22 Euros, every day. SAP’s employees started using the app all over the world in 2011 and since then – they say - around 4 million Euros have been saved.
It might look as if such an app’s contribution to overall environmental health is rather small. But you should consider the bigger picture here. If many companies – small, middle, and large – use a similar app, then the cumulative result can be tremendous. Business mobility is not in any way excluded from sustainable thinking and action. The opposite, SAP’s app shows the potential that it bears. After all, billions of people need to travel to work every single morning. And there is a bonus: employees will actually get to know each other in a non-office environment, which may (or may not) strengthen social bonds between colleagues.