Building a Leading Corporate Sustainability Program at Coupa

Sandy Eapen
Sandy Eapen
Director, Sustainability & CSR, Coupa Software

Sandy Eapen is Director, Sustainability & CSR at Coupa. She resides in San Francisco and holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA and Master of International Affairs (MIA) from Columbia University.

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Building a Leading Corporate Sustainability Program at Coupa

As the world continues to rise from the challenges of the past year toward a more hopeful future, the importance of a more sustainable future has never been clearer.

Businesses and individuals around the world experienced the need to have resilient global supply chains. Within companies and in local communities, people engaged in meaningful dialogue on racial inequality. With air travel drastically reduced, people experienced blue skies and clean air in cities that were frequently filled with air pollution.

At Coupa, we believe we have a huge opportunity to influence and contribute to a more sustainable future. Coupa has had a strong history and culture of giving back, empowering our customers, and improving our own business practices as we grow. 2020, in particular, was a pivotal year for us to embark upon and make progress in our own Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) journey. We strived to live our core values and innovated with our technology to support our customers in making more sustainable spend decisions. We provided opportunities for employees to grow and advocate, measured our own environmental footprint, and continued to support our local communities.

Our approach is focused on building a leading corporate sustainability program, which includes: 

  1. Establishing a core corporate sustainability foundation by strengthening our ESG management and communications, and advancing our own sustainable business practices.
  2. Scaling economic, environmental, and social impact by influencing sustainable spend through Coupa’s Business Spend Management (BSM) platform and engaging our employees and Coupa Community to drive impact.

Aligning to a collective ESG vision

As a continuation of these efforts and a commitment to growth, I'm proud to introduce our inaugural 2021 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report. This first report was developed through collective cross-functional collaboration and engagement across Coupa to drive impact for our company, our customers, and our local communities — all aligned to the vision we established to inspire our corporate sustainability efforts:

We are building a community of inspired employees, customers, suppliers, and partners who share our belief in the power of spend to drive positive impact for businesses, society, and the planet.

In the report, we share some of the key practices and structures we put in place over this last year to build a foundation for a leading corporate sustainability program. For example, we conducted our initial materiality assessment to prioritize 10 ESG topics, such as Sustainable BSM Solutions, Energy and Emissions, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We established accountability by incorporating board-level ESG oversight and forming a cross-functional Sustainability Working Group that helps drive progress against our goals and KPIs. Throughout the year, we also increasingly engaged on ESG topics with various stakeholders, including customers, investors, employees, and more.

The report, which is informed by reporting standards including the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and the United Nations Global Compact, serves as a baseline for us to communicate our ESG priorities and our collective focus and progress.

Coupa’s ESG strategy framework

As we progress on our ESG journey, there are four key areas we aim to continue to make an impact on and highlight in the report:

  • Sustainable BSM: With thousands of customers, 7 million suppliers, and over $2.5 trillion of cumulative business spend transacted on our platform, we believe our biggest opportunity for greater impact is through our Sustainable BSM solutions. We share how our platform capabilities can enable our customers to drive progress on supplier diversity and supply chain sustainability initiatives by integrating ESG considerations into their everyday business spend decisions.
  • Environment: We are focused on reducing our own footprint, and as a cloud-based software company providing Business Spend Management solutions, we have identified energy and emissions, and our own sustainable procurement as key priorities. In this report, we share the results of our energy and emissions baseline, which will help us inform our climate strategy to achieve carbon neutrality.
  • Social: As we continue to grow at an accelerated rate during an unprecedented pandemic, attracting and retaining talent, fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, and keeping our employees healthy and safe remain at the forefront. We are proud of the headway we’ve made in supporting our employees and communities and highlight some of our successes.
  • Governance: Strong governance practices — from risk management to data privacy and security — are critical to our success and that of the thousands of customers we serve every day. We describe our approach to managing these priorities, from our practices and policies to employee engagement and training.

Continued support for Coupa’s ESG journey

All of the initiatives and progress thus far would not at all be possible without executive and board-level support, and engaged and passionate employees. Seeing the momentum and participation build up over this last year across our various teams to drive ESG impact has been humbling and inspiring.

My colleagues across key teams — including legal, marketing, product, customer, procurement, human resources, workplace, information security, investor relations, alliances, sales, engineering, Coupa Cares, and more — will continue to be critical as we grow and advance our program and make ESG further integrated in our business strategy and operations. We also are excited to partner with our Coupa Community — because not only are we smarter together, we can be more sustainable together.

While there is much more work to be done, we believe it’s important to start somewhere, as we understand the importance of transparency and measuring and communicating our progress and impact. We are committed to improving our approach and sharing our continued progress with all our stakeholders — from our investors and employees to our customers, partners, and more.

I hope our journey can inspire other companies, as we've been inspired by many of you.

We look forward to continued collaboration and feedback as we advance on our ESG journey.

Read our 2021 ESG Report to learn how the Coupa community is driving positive impact for businesses, society, and the planet.