Braskem, the world's fifth largest producer of petrochemical goods, is in talks with SAP to overhaul the monitoring and control of its sustainability applications in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint.
Although Braskem is only ten years old and based out of Brazil, it exported $6.5 billion (£4 billion) worth of petrochemical products last year, a significant amount of which was supplied to the UK and Europe.
In 2005 Braskem decided to roll-out an SAP ERP application to its entire business, which has a number of sites in the US and Europe and supports 9,000 users. It branded the project 'Formula Braskem' and standardised its business processes across the business so that it could easily roll-out the application to sites direct from its two datacentres based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
"IT had to be prepared for all of the growth we were experiencing. So when we decided to roll out SAP we brought people from all of the business areas and redesigned all of our business processes so that the application was simple to implement in all of the countries we operate out of," said Marcos Antonio Milano, director of IT at Braskem.
"Our last project was to roll-out the ERP application to four of our polypropylene plants, two in the US and two in Germany. That only took five months because we have a strong template to base it on."
He added: "The only changes we had to make were, for example, for logistical processing in the US, which is entirely based upon rail. Whereas, in Brazil, we use trucks. Those are the sort of minor changes we needed."
Braskem initially implemented SAP 4.7 in 2006, but upgraded to SAP 6.0 in 2008.
Currently, the company largely uses SAP's Environment, Health and Safety Management module to monitor and control sustainability. However, it still uses a lot of spreadsheets to feed in the data for key performance indicators and is looking to upgrade to a more robust application with more features.
Milano is currently in talks with SAP to overhaul its sustainability management and is considering a small roll-out of SAP's cloud-based Carbon Impact OnDemand module for 60 business users, or a \ widespread implementation of both SAP Sustainability Performance Management (SPM) and Enterprise Controlling (EC) modules, which would be for 7,000 users.
"We are currently trying to approve this sustainability project internally and we are discussing our options with SAP," said Milano.
"It's a question of money; the business wants to implement the change but they are struggling to make the investment work."
He added: "We may start with the cloud option, see how it goes, and then expand to the SPM and EC modules on premise if it is effective."
Braskem is looking to better manage and control its water consumption, water reuse, energy consumption and energy generation with these new modules. It would also benefit from more comprehensive global reporting and indexing on sustainability.
Milano predicts that if it went for the full on-premise SPM and EC applications, Braskem would begin a two year implementation in 2013.