Have ERP Solutions Become Greener during 2009?

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If you haven’t read the blog post ERP Vendors, Are You Green Enough? that I wrote a little over a year ago, I recommend you read it first. After you’ve checked it out, I assume you’ll understand that I used a flawed and extremely simplified approach to “confirm” my impression of the correlation between the size of enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors and the greenness of their offerings (see below for further explanation). About a year later, I used the same method to go through the same seven ERP vendors I had looked into the last time, and this time my focus was the growth of the green counts. My “conclusion” is that, on average, these ERP vendors have become 71 percent “greener” over the time span of roughly one year. Let me show you some data:


Figure 1. Green counts from Google Search, 2008 and 2009.

Figure 1 shows the growth in the numbers of search results that include “green” on those ERP vendors’ Web sites. Google was used as the search engine, as it was last year. The result shows that almost all the vendors have significantly increased their use of “green” on their Web sites.

After going through a few of the vendors’ sustainability-related activities in 2009, I’m convinced that the increase in“green” count does have some connection to the enhancements some vendors have made.

When I checked SAP’s press releases for 2009, I found a lot of announcements related to the company’s efforts in sustainability. Below are a few examples:

In fact, SAP has a dedicated Sustainability Newsroom Web page to showcase both its capabilities in helping customers increase sustainability and  its own sustainability achievements.

Let’s take another vendor—Oracle. Below are some press releases I found:

It seems that not only does “green” as a word appear more frequently on ERP vendors Web site, but also some vendors do add to their offerings to help customers become greener. However, as I explained in last year’s blog post, the flaw of the green count approach is obvious. The word “green” doesn’t always represent vendors’ abilities to support customers’ initiatives toward tackling environmental issues and improving sustainability. Thus, again, I have to warn you that the “green count” approach should not be used for any serious purpose.
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