Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

IT, Resource Productivity, Environmental Preservation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

SAP Carbon Abatement Cost Curve

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SAP has published its carbon abatement cost curve for 2010, which is the first that I’ve seen for a specific company versus the McKinsey cost curves which are general guidelines. Think of the graph as “abatement impact versus cost effectiveness” so ideally, each rectangle would be as wide and long as possible.

Video conferencing achieves a large bang for the buck, at around 39,000 tCO2e (abatement),  saving roughly 650 euros per tCO2e. (cost effectiveness)

Interesting to note the red horizontal line just above the x-coordinate, which is the price of carbon: 15 euro / tCO2e.

A few other observationss:

  • Telepresence is separated from regular video conferencing, the latter having a much bigger rectangle (due to scale?)
  • Corporate car is wide and shallow, meaning a large abatement impact but a modest cost effectiveness.
  • The only categories that are not cost effective are  purchase of renewable electricity and generating solar electricity. Every single category with these two exceptions appears to be cost effective.

Kudos to SAP for putting this data into the public domain.


Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan - Helping organizations to navigate digital transformation.

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