“Some women believe that they’ve been at home too long and have lost their skills and abilities.”
“A clear ESG strategy and its implementation are increasingly important to our shareholders and the wider financial markets.”
“We can only succeed and add value to society when we empower our customers’ success.”
Dr. Astrid Kasper, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Sustainability & Public Affairs, is responsible for coordinating the Company’s sustainability strategy. She reports directly to the CEO, where the overall strategy converges. For Astrid Kasper, it is essential that sustainability be closely tied to the business. That is evident on many levels. For instance, Software AG aims to promote education and innovation, support employees’ ongoing growth, steadily improve the standards of products and processes, and thereby remain a reliable long-term partner for customers. “We can only succeed and add value to society when we empower our customers’ success,” says Astrid Kasper. This also applies to Software AG itself, adds Robin Colman, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, who shares responsibility for the Leadership and Governance action area with Astrid Kasper. “We always have to keep our sights on our own efficiency to drive sustainable change that benefits all stakeholders alike.”
Sustainability in all its facets is a tradition at Software AG and is intrinsically motivated. Sustainability also provides the right answers to current challenges. “Like every company, we know that a clear environment, social and governance (ESG) strategy and its implementation are increasingly important to our shareholders and the wider financial markets,” states Robin Colman. In recent times, investments have become ever more linked not only to business objectives, but to sustainability targets as well. This applies equally to customers who check on such goals and whether or not they are met. “This topic is also crucial for us as a brand,” says Kasper. “Especially young people who apply to join our Company keep a very sharp eye on a potential employer’s authentic commitment to social responsibility. Of course, other benefits are important to them, too—but working for a purpose plays a big role.”
“Hybrid work is the future and requires a clear focus on maintaining a strong culture of collaboration and trust.”
People and their unique personalities, experiences and perspectives are at the heart of the Our Employees action area, which aims to foster a corporate culture of respect, transparency and inclusion as well as to attract and retain the best talent. Tanja Albrecht, as Senior Vice President, Global Talent Management, Culture & Learning, is responsible for this action area. Tanja Albrecht notes that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is still a challenge for everyone and is forcing us to ask ourselves where, when and how we work—now and in the future.
2021, the second year of the pandemic, showed us that the world will never be the same again—and employees’ expectations and experiences have changed too. “The last two years have made their mark: lockdowns, prolonged periods of remote work and school, ever shrinking boundaries between personal and professional lives and less human interaction. All this has had a profound impact on employees,” notes Tanja Albrecht. Software AG has therefore implemented numerous new initiatives to support employees’ mental and physical wellbeing and to address virtual fatigue.
The annual employee survey again confirmed that many employees do not want to lose the flexibility of remote work once the pandemic is over. “Hybrid work is the future and requires a clear focus on maintaining a strong culture of collaboration and trust,” continues Tanja Albrecht. Here, leaders play a pivotal role in managing remote teams with empathy and in ensuring that every employee feels seen, heard and valued, communicating a sense of purpose as well as building resilience. “More than ever before, we have to strike the ideal balance between providing employees with autonomy and a sense of belonging.”
“Our products enable stronger sustainability—and that continues to improve the more we embrace the principles of green IT.”
Working in an open and creative environment leads to large-scale sharing of experiences and innovative ideas—that is undisputed. The fourth action area, Customers and Technology, requires precisely that approach. After all, Software AG needs extensive innovative power to develop high-quality, efficient software as a reliable partner for its customers. “This is especially important because our solutions and services intrinsically drive the digital transformation and help mitigate the impact of climate change,” says Dr. Benno Quade, who is very familiar with customers’ needs as Chief Customer Success Officer. “Our products enable stronger sustainability—and that continues to improve the more we embrace the principles of green IT.”
Software AG is implementing these ideas in a wide range of customer and research projects. For example, Software AG is helping DHL subsidiary Trailar cut back on the fuel consumption of its commercial vehicles through the use of IoT technologies. By way of mats mounted on vehicles’ roofs, solar energy powers the electrical equipment on board the vehicles thereby significantly reducing carbon emissions. The KLIPS research project aims to equip urban areas for the impacts of climate change. With the help of an information platform and a network of sensors, heat islands can be identified and surveyed in real time. AI algorithms enable city planners to predict where heat islands will arise and test planned measures to maximize their effectiveness.
Good product solutions are additionally characterized by their quality, innovative power and the creation of long-term value for the customer. In 2021, Software AG’s products and service quality were recognized multiple times by independent market research institutions. “The prestigious Gartner consulting firm recognized us three times as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant™,” says Quade. It evaluates companies in specific technology fields and “Leader” is the highest rating Gartner gives. In 2021, Software AG received this rating in the areas of “Industrial IoT Platforms,” “Full Life Cycle API Management” and “Enterprise Architecture Tools.”
“We want to minimize our environmental footprint as much as possible.”
Software AG is also engaged in a fifth action area, the Environment. “We want to minimize our environmental footprint as much as possible,” states Thomas Schmuck. As Senior Vice President, General Services, he plans to deploy state-of-the-art technologies and innovations across the Company to achieve this objective. “We need to tackle the major environmental challenges.” Software AG has been deploying environmentally responsible practices at many locations for years. In 1984, the Company moved its headquarters into the Darmstadt building, which was unconventional at the time: It is built from natural materials, surrounded by a large garden and uses the waste heat from its servers to heat the building. The cafeteria serves primarily regional foods. The Company set up a charging infrastructure for electric mobility in front of the building and is successively transitioning its commercial fleet to e-vehicles. “In addition, we switched to using green energy in Darmstadt back in 2010, and then all of our subsidiaries in the DACH region four years later,” says Thomas Schmuck. Since 2017, the Company has reported on these and all other efforts to improve sustainability in the Non-Financial Statement published as part of its Annual Report.
“But that is not enough for us,” Thomas Schmuck adds. “That is why we will be evaluating our corporate carbon footprint during the first half of 2022 as part of our sustainability strategy: How much CO2 do we generate worldwide with our buildings, business travel and company vehicles—and where can we reduce these emissions?” Based on this data, Software AG will drive forward its sustainability strategy and work to reduce its carbon footprint.