back to article New SAP co-CEO 'runs simple' to Davos in Mercedes hydrogen car

The World Economic Forum is pinning a sustainability badge on its 2020 conference, which, according to one estimate, will produce 18,090 metric tonnes of CO2 in private air travel alone. But Christian Klein, co-CEO of enterprise application behemoth SAP, will not be contributing this year, something the German software maker …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    Call me a cynic but the main interest in sustainability as far as I can see at Davos, will centre on how to make the maximum profit out of it and to create an image of caring about the environment.

    1. Christopher Reeve's Horse Silver badge

      Call me predictable, but I think you're a cynic.

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        Call me jaded, but I think you're predictable.

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Call me a cab, a sustainable one with a non-gig economy driver if such a thing is possible....

          1. Chris G Silver badge

            OK. You are a sustainable cab!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Why don’t you call me maybe?

              1. Fungus Bob

                Because I'm still mad at you, that's why!

  2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    It currently supports...

    Didn't expect that I'd ever jump in in defence of SAP. But I cannot agree with linking SAP and its sustainability efforts (regardless of its in/effectiveness) to its customer base. If their customer chose a different system, there'd probably be no change at all in carbon circulation.

    If you want to assess SAP's sustainability effort related to their customers, you'd rather find out if SAP products help their customers becoming more sustainable. (I'd be surprised if they did, but that's not the point.)

  3. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Boffin

    BEV's are a dead-end; HEV's are the future. Discuss

    It's good that he is promoting hydrogen powered vehicles.

    Yes, current steam reformation production methods aren't great from a CO2 perspective but electrolysis costs are coming down all the time and offer the advantage that excess wind and solar electricity generation can be used by H2 filling stations to replenish their main tanks.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: BEV's are a dead-end; HEV's are the future. Discuss

      And what about storage? Almost anything is easier to store than hydrogen, eg. methane or methanol. As soon as you can produce below cost you have the solution to all our energy storage needs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BEV's are a dead-end; HEV's are the future. Discuss

        > And what about storage?

        At filling stations, high-pressure tanks around 100bar would be a reasonable trade-off between capacity and cost. (Including cost of pressurising if Hyrdrogen is split from water on site - which is the only sensible way forward - tankering is a no go, cost wise.)

        In vehicles, 'solid' storage in foam structures is advancing rapidly. For example, there are Hydrogen powered drones where the H2 is stored in aluminium honeycomb structures with flight times comparable to that of batteries. (Which demonstrates that the energy to weight ratio is reasonably practical, or at least no worse than that of a battery.)

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: BEV's are a dead-end; HEV's are the future. Discuss

          or at least no worse than that of a battery.

          Batteries have shit energy densities when compared with LPG or liquid fuels. These will not be replaced on a large scale by anthing that doesn't have comparable energy density.

          Your electrolysis filling station is similarly whacko: all current examples are just there for the handouts. Machines may run on hydrogen but storage and transportation will be in another form.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BEV's are a dead-end; HEV's are the future. Discuss

        Work on Fuel cells using fuels that are easier to handle is progressing.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: BEV's are a dead-end; HEV's are the future. Discuss

          I know, Toyota has been working on them for twenty odd years. Noble prize for whoever cracks it.

    2. JohnG Silver badge

      Re: BEV's are a dead-end; HEV's are the future. Discuss

      The production, storage and distribution of hydrogen is incredibly energy intensive (as it is for petrol and diesel). This makes for very low "well-to-wheel" efficiency. If, as you suggest, local electrolysis could be used instead, that might change but safety concerns remain. However, BEVs and static battery energy storage seem to be winning, mainly because the Chinese have chosen this route.

  4. EBG

    its overall eco-credentials also depend entirely on how the electricity and hydrogen

    Quite. 95% of hydrogen is formed from fossil feedstock. I don't know the numbers for automotive, but for rail it has the same carbon cost as diesel.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: its overall eco-credentials also depend entirely on how the electricity and hydrogen

      You could keep the remaining pure carbon

      If you were an environmentalist you could best use it as the moderator in a reactor....

  5. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    IT Angle

    You can't really hold SAP responsible for the pollution their customers produce....

    However, I kind of look forward to a world where treatment for the stress, anxiety, depression and occasional unbridled rage that SAP deployments produce in IT administrators, appllication developers, IT execs and IT's finance department partners is priced into SAP products as a discount.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: You can't really hold SAP responsible for the pollution their customers produce....

      I'm sure there's a law that states that any fucking awful product will, at some point, be replaced by something equally bad, if not worse. If there isn't such a law, they should be one! :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You can't really hold SAP responsible for the pollution their customers produce....

        ...and that oracle will be involved.

  6. Youngone Silver badge

    Greenwashing

    An extremely wealthy man drives to a meeting where he discusses, with the rest of the ruling class, how to divide the world up for their maximum profit

    The fact he did so in a non fossil fuelled vehicle is a minor detail.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Greenwashing

      It's also unnerving that SAP apparently haven't heard of this thing called "teleconferencing".

      1. Schultz Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Greenwashing

        I guess the sky is the limit for SAP's future carbon savings stunts. Who knows, somebody might car-pool or even take a train next time!

      2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Greenwashing

        > It's also unnerving that SAP apparently haven't heard of this thing called "teleconferencing".

        But then, instead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) it would have to be called the World Teleconferencing Forum.

        Oh look, there's already an icon for it. How foresighted of The Register.

      3. disgruntled yank Silver badge

        Re: Greenwashing

        Or maybe SAP has heard of the think called "skiing".

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Greenwashing

      "The fact he did so in a non fossil fuelled vehicle is a minor detail.".

      Yes indeed, so what should we accuse him of then.

    3. JohnG Silver badge

      Re: Greenwashing

      "The fact he did so in a non fossil fuelled vehicle is a minor detail."

      Hydrogen is normally manufactured through steam reforming of oil refinery off gases - so not really "non fossil fuelled".

  7. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    "Still, a customer is a customer, right?"

    Indeed. And if these customers didn't use SAP then they would still be creating exactly the same amount of pollution, but just using a different ERP. I'm struggling to see how you can be looking to hold SAP accountable for their customers industry issues.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020