In a recent article, SAP chief sustainability officer Peter Graaf offers a series of strategies for companies looking for ways to adopt greener policies and practices. Employees' pre-existing values are key to advancing corporate sustainability, according to Graaf.

In the Forbes.com article, Graaf presents suggestions based on his own experiences implementing sustainability policy at enterprise software company SAP.

Graaf claims that, in many companies, environmentally conscious employees have already begun initiating sustainable practices at a grassroots level, without company orders. Such employees can be an important resource in promoting sustainability principles more broadly, Graaf says.

The acknowledgement of these employees' initiatives can serve as a starting point for utilizing their enthusiasm in implementing a broader policy, according to the article.

Accurate data collection and collation are also central to the sustainability effort, according to Graaf. Both negative and positive potential impacts on procurement, marketing and sales should be documented and made available to company decision makers.

Sustainability is playing a growing role for many businesses. According to a recent ComputerWeekly report, adoption of cloud computing solutions is increasingly seen as a way in which organizations can reduce their carbon emissions.