3 Questions to Dr. Ulrich Piepel

About a carbon-free future 🤲🌎. With Dr. Ulrich Piepel, former CPO of Innogy, Senior Advisor to BCG & SAP Aruba.

1) You were formerly CPO of RWE and innogy. Through automation and digitization, you achieved substantial cost reductions and quality improvements for your companies. Why did you decide to become one of carbmee’s business angels?

Christian, Robin and I met last summer to discuss the idea for carbmee, and because they wanted to learn about my experience in the field of procurement and digitization. Procurement has always been a very important, but also often underestimated topic, and procurement is a very complex challenge because of its multidimensional impacts on the business.

The next challenge for procurement is now sustainability in the global supply chain. This will be a key criteria for all stakeholders in the very near future, and offers huge potential to reduce a company’s carbon footprint. However procurement and supply chain leaders often lack the operational efficiency to integrate sustainability in a frictionless way into their strategy and decision making.

With carbmee, we wanted to create a software which helps CPO’s and strategic buyers to make decisions on an operational level, which means on a category level, supporting them on their mission to reduce carbon dioxide within Scope 3, which means external procurement and supply chains.

2) From your experience at RWE and as a long-time management consultant, you know how profound the structural change is that comes with climate change. How important is a decarbonization strategy for companies now?

When you consider Germany’s ambitious climate goals that will speed up the country’s efforts for climate neutrality, you realize that this is a huge task for an industry reliant on export. Stepping up the recent emission cuts to 65 from 55 percent, means tougher emission standards in all sectors.

Such policies and regulations have already turned decarbonization into a strategic pillar for most companies. But first of all, investing in decarbonization always amounts to higher costs for a business. This is also one of the reasons why the industry has not been focussed enough on reducing emissions. What business leaders have to realize now, is that decarbonization is not only necessary to avoid higher carbon prices, but also vital to foster a positive brand image in order to maintain customer loyalty. So, it actually is an investment into a company’s future competitiveness.

Now we have the opportunity to use digitization and software to decrease the costs of decarbonization, and procurement and supply chains are a big part of the emissions. With supply chain emissions being often over five times as high as the direct emissions of a company, these Scope 3 emissions offer great potential to decrease a company’s carbon footprint.

3) Why are digitization and automation so important?

Christian is a B2B procurement, supply chain & digitalization “veteran” and at the same time a successful VC-backed entrepreneur and founder of scoutbee. He knows exactly how difficult it is to implement Enterprise SaaS. We quickly noticed that a successful management of scope 3 decarbonization meant building a scalable digital product with a world-class engineering team.

A software that extracts, combines and visualizes different data sources and at the same time delivers a raving user experience to operational teams. After more than 30 talks with industry experts we could categorize the most valuable problem/solution fit and started our decarbonization journey officially in the beginning of the year. In such a short time, we are proud to welcome incredible product talent and value-driving supporters at carbmee.

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