Perfect match between Carbon Minds and SAP through the 5-HT X-Linker - SAP provides the platform and Carbon Minds brings the data

Laura Diez

Success Stories

In the fast-moving world of technology and innovation, partnerships between established companies and up-and-coming start-ups are the key to pioneering solutions. Such a groundbreaking connection was formed when Europe's largest software manufacturer SAP and the sustainability chemistry startup Carbon Minds met at the 5-HT X-Linker 2021 as part of the corporate speed dating. The synergy between the two companies was palpable from the start and became a perfect match with great potential for the chemical industry.

Catalyst for a sustainable partnership: SAP and Carbon Minds networked on the 5-HT X-Linker

The 5-HT X-Linker, a unique event that aims to bring together established companies and emerging startups from the chemical and healthcare industries, proved to be the catalyst for this remarkable collaboration. The event focused on fostering collaborations that help drive innovative technologies and work together to tackle the challenges of the modern world. It was at this inspiring forum that SAP and Carbon Minds crossed paths.

Carbon Minds is a promising startup that supports companies along the chemical value chain with data and services in the Net-Zero transition. Carbon Minds has the largest and most regionalised database of life cycle assessment data in the chemical industry to help companies reduce their environmental impact through evidence-based decision-making. But to realise its full potential, integration with the major software platforms in the field is needed.

On the other hand, SAP, a global leader in enterprise software, was always on the lookout for innovative ideas to further improve its products and break new ground. When Dr. Marko Lange and Muriel Rakotomalala discovered Carbon Minds on the 5-HT X-Linker, they immediately recognised the opportunity to do great things together. The synergy between Carbon Minds' data-driven approach and SAP's extensive experience in enterprise solutions was unmistakable.

Muriel Rakotomalala 

Carbon Minds' participation in the Sustainable Future Accelerator programme solidifies its collaboration with SAP

SAP and Accenture have jointly launched the global accelerator programme "Sustainable Future", which focuses on sustainability in the business-to-business (B2B) sector. The three-month programme, which takes place at the SAP.iO Foundries in Berlin and Munich, supports young start-ups in developing sustainability-related solutions for companies in various industries within a very short period of time. In the largest SAP.iO cohort to date, 13 startups were selected in 2021 to work with the SAP.iO Foundries, Accenture experts and leading companies, one of them being Carbon Minds.

Arne Kätelhön on the collaboration with SAP: "In the Sustainable Future Accelerator, we worked with SAP to identify areas where we could work well together and which are wonderfully complementary."

Subsequent discussions and workshops confirmed that the combination of Carbon Minds' expertise in CO2 reduction and SAP's technology expertise made for an unbeatable alliance. The 5-HT X-Linker laid the foundation for a long-term, results-oriented partnership that allowed both companies to combine their strengths and jointly develop innovative solutions for a more sustainable future.

Arne Kätelhön

Carbon Minds provides the data, SAP provides the platform

Within this framework, a fruitful partnership developed that enabled Carbon Minds to showcase its impressive database on SAP's App Store. This opened up completely new opportunities for customers in the chemical industry. With the seamless integration of the Carbon Minds database into SAP's footprint calculation tool, companies can determine specific carbon footprints for individual processes and even for different countries. This step goes far beyond general carbon footprint reduction and enables companies to optimise their sustainability efforts in a targeted manner and effectively implement their carbon reduction targets. The partnership between Carbon Minds and SAP thus has a positive impact not only on the chemical industry, but also on the entire factory supply chain.

Carbon footprint data and environmental assessments for chemicals and plastics

Carbon Minds' technology offers a variety of benefits that make the partnership with SAP a groundbreaking success story. One of the outstanding benefits is the reliability of the data for ISO-compliant results. All data undergoes a thorough quality check and complies with the strict ISO 14040/14044 guidelines, certified by TÜV Rheinland.

Another plus point is the granularity of the data. The highly regionalised information allows for an exceptional level of specificity, reflecting the technologies and supply chains actually used in the respective regions. This provides companies with comprehensive transparency on emissions in their chemical and plastics value chains.

In addition, Carbon Minds' technology features easy integration, resulting in a cost- and time-efficient process. By simply uploading an Excel file with the data into SAP SFM, environmental audits can be carried out quickly and easily. This enables carbon footprint calculations to be carried out automatically and smoothly, saving time, effort and costs.

Another advantage is the consolidation of comprehensive data in a single database. Over 1000 chemicals and plastics are included in the data and are all based on a uniform methodology. This greatly simplifies access to the information, as there is no need to deal with methodological differences. Overall, Carbon Minds' technology enables companies to use trusted and highly representative data to gain comprehensive insights into their environmental impact and take effective action to reduce their carbon footprint.

Longstanding partnership for sustainability: SAP has supported the chemical industry for more than 30 years 

"For SAP, sustainability in the chemical industry is a key responsibility and an indispensable aspect in the development of our solutions, especially in the Environmental Health and Safety portfolio. As a chemist, I can confirm that the chemical industry has been working on sustainability initiatives for more than 30 years, from Responsible Care to the REACH regulations. SAP supports the chemical industry in meeting strict requirements and standards for sustainability, as this industry has one of the highest requirements for environmental and safety standards.

However, the meaning of sustainability has broadened to encompass a much wider spectrum. It is not only about ensuring that products do not harm anyone and do not cause pollution, but also about using resources efficiently, conserving water. SAP plays a crucial role in this by supporting the goals of the chemical industry and helping them to achieve these goals through our solutions.

More than a decade ago, SAP set out on the path of sustainability, with the goal of achieving positive economic, environmental and social impacts within planetary boundaries. Along the way, we have gained experience that we can share with the chemical sector as valuable insights and best practices in sustainability.

There are different aspects of sustainability in the chemical industry, ranging from energy efficiency to optimising production processes to improve quality and resource consumption. SAP is committed to supporting these different facets of sustainability and thus making a positive contribution to protecting our environment. Sustainability is not just a goal, but a commitment to which we are fully committed as a company and as a partner to the chemical industry," says Muriel about the role of sustainability in the chemical industry.

Raoul Meys and Arne Kätelhön 

Looking to a sustainable future together 

Carbon Minds also focuses on sustainability: "For us, environmental sustainability means shaping our lives and our way of doing business in a way that preserves our livelihoods and ensures the quality of our environment and our lives for generations to come." Arne emphasises that ecological sustainability is an incredibly important pillar, alongside the social and economic dimensions, that has often been neglected in the past. "Now we are feeling the effects and realising how urgently we need to act as a society. As a company in the chemical industry, we want to do our part to enable this transformation towards more sustainability. Although we are in the chemical industry, we recognise that sustainable solutions in the chemical industry are also an important prerequisite for sustainable products in virtually all sectors, as chemicals are used in virtually all products. Chemistry therefore plays a key role in the sustainability transition. Only if we implement our sustainability efforts efficiently and swiftly can we as a society achieve the necessary change.

Together with SAP, we believe that the first solution we are presenting now is just the beginning. We have many ideas on how to take it even further. At the moment, the solutions may not be ready to go, but we are already thinking ahead in different directions. It is a continuous process of innovation and collaboration that allows us to constantly improve our technology and services to better meet the needs of our customers. As Carbon Minds, we can proudly say that we are currently in an impressive growth phase and can help more and more companies achieve their sustainability goals with the help of good data and analysis. We not only provide companies with the right data to make informed decisions, but also actively advise them on how to implement strategies to achieve Net Zero goals. The combination of data as a foundation and enhanced services allows us to move the industry further along its sustainability transformation," says Arne about the future of Carbon Minds. Muriel is also looking forward to more joint projects in the future.

Networking and collaboration with 5-HT Digital Hub 

Muriel on the collaboration with 5-HT Digital Hub: "The collaboration with 5-HT has been very valuable for us so far and we realised that we may not have fully realised the potential of the -X-linker. We have realised that there are many interesting startups in the network that we didn't know about before. It could be that there are real gems among them that we have overlooked so far. So we will definitely continue to keep a close eye on which startups emerge in the 5-HT network, as we have already seen promising opportunities in some conversations.

In the past, we have participated in many conversations, and although not every company was relevant to the chemical sector or SAP, there were still always interesting conversations. Sometimes a startup didn't fit our needs at first glance, but then it turned out that it could be interesting for the life science sector or other areas. There were also some startups that particularly fascinated us and where we saw great potential.

In the future, we will definitely invest even more time and attention in working with 5-HT, as we believe there are many emerging startups in this network that could be of great interest to us. We are excited about the further development and opportunities this partnership will bring us."

Arne also has only positive words for 5-HT Digital Hub and the whole team: "Participating in the 5-HT X-Linker was a great asset for Carbon Minds. Compared to other startup programmes, the X-Linker stands out because it is really focused on creating real value for businesses. It's not just about raising investment, but about bringing solutions to large companies, making valuable contacts and actually making a difference. Instead of giving endless presentations, the X-Linker has allowed us to connect directly with the right decision-makers and, as a result, we have also gained new customers. Working with 5-HT has also been extremely friendly and supportive. Although we did not have many touch points, the interactions were always targeted and effective. There were no empty promises, but concrete actions that actually had a positive impact. Overall, the experience with 5-HT has always been very positive and we really appreciate the support we have received from 5-HT."

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