Resolving the goal conflict between economy and ecology


Process mining involves prospecting within data streams of company networks. The goal is to exploit unused potential or to prevent waste. The software company celonis also uses this method to bring the topic of sustainability to another level. With its execution management system (ems), germany’s only decacorn has developed “an x-ray machine for companies,” one that identifies problems, and thanks to ai, also creates proposed solutions and recommendations for action.

Sustainability is becoming ever more important to companies. But how can this significance be determined and also communicated truthfully? In order to get a precise overview, numerous KPIs have to be collected and evaluated. These KPIs include the areas economy, social, and ecology.

The KPIs most needed are already saved in the companies’ IT systems, but they are not linked in a way that makes sense. This is where Celonis’ EMS begins: it creates the appropriate data references and contextualizes the data. By tracing and analyzing the digital tracks in the IT systems, the EMS can then map the processes.

Take the example of a purchasing system: for a purchase order, the whole process is traced and a process graphic created from the audit logs. This makes it clear who purchased what when and why – and who processed the order further after that. Depending on the case, more than just the classic economic factors are examined. On request, sustainability factors can also be filtered out: risk mapping, emissions, social standards, etc. Once all the data is pulled together, the sustainability of the supply chain can be determined.

Data evaluation is easier for companies with a high degree of digital maturity. For the more information that has to be combined manually or combined from different sources, the more difficult this task is.

“Humanity has made great progress. Now we have to ensure that this progress is sustainable and that society can survive in the long run. Three core problems are threatening our world: first, we’re destroying our planet; second, social unrest is lurking; third, more has to be invested in education. These challenges inspire us. The whole team is working, for “Earth is our Future.” With Celonis, we can use our platform to encourage and support a more sustainable model for society. We can make a contribution to solving the greatest challenge of humanity.”

Founder and Co-CEO


Das Celonis EMS nutzt die vorhandenen Daten und kann den Celonis’ EMS uses the existing data and can map the production process digitally. Inefficient or non-sustainable factors can therefore be identified, and improvement measures initiated as quickly as possible. Even the smallest deviations from the planned process are detected early.

In contrast to classic transaction systems, Celonis links the processes and offers a complete view, from raw materials to logistics, and production to delivery. On request, the EMS also provides intelligent recommendations for action; that is, it offers helpful solutions. For example, it can notify a supplier independently and proactively and make recommendations so that the supply chain will be more efficient and sustainable.

The EMS offers a uniform user interface across the entire system environment. Frequently, several legacy systems are used in purchasing, something that confuses users. Instead of jumping between different applications, the Celonis EMS accesses the data stored in different systems and enables the use of this data by a single program.

For the companies, sustainability is becoming more important because customers and investors are increasingly making their purchasing and investment decisions dependent on sustainability aspects. Social issues and environmental aspects reflect the whole spectrum of sustainability; currently the focus is on the reduction of CO2. However the more complex the production and the subsequent supply chain are, the more difficult the calculation of CO2 emissions becomes.

“Companies have defined clear sustainability goals. Economic and ecological factors therefore do not need to be conflicting. If we focus on reducing waste and handling resources conscientiously, then we accommodate the basic sustainability concept, and at the same time, we achieve cost reductions and increased efficiency. With the Celonis EMS, we help make successes more measurable and visible.”

Global Director of Sustainability

Celonis is working with global companies to prioritize sustainability in every step of every process so that they can measure, know, and act to be more equitable, accountable, and successful.


A supply chain set up according to sustainability criteria is challenging in other ways beyond emissions. Together with the suppliers, a decision is needed on how the sustainability goals can be achieved and how much transparency is required for this. Too much control can overtax sensitive company relationships. That’s why it’s important to encourage a trusting and supportive relationship, so that other goals, such as diversity, can be achieved as well.

Lacking standards or unclear definition of required KPIs can make work more difficult and put the brakes on companies’ motivation. The possible consequence of this is that sustainability is anchored in the strategy but is neglected in operative daily business. And this is precisely what has to be prevented. For generally the entrepreneurial focus on sustainability also has a positive economic effect.

If aspects such as customer or employee satisfaction are incorporated into the business strategy and a conscious handling of resources is implemented, this not only accommodates the sustainability concept, it can also result in cost reductions and efficiency increases. What possibilities arise only become clear if the whole process chain can be analyzed. With its software, Celonis aims to show that the goals of economic and ecological factors do not need to be conflicting.

“In many cases, the individual economic decision is also the more sustainable variant. This is clear when it comes to avoiding waste and ideal transport routes. In many cases, though, the benefit is only visible if the entire process chain is illuminated, because CO2 certificates are spared, for example. Sustainability may not be reduced to ecological aspects alone. The social questions also have to be clarified, such as diversity and governance.”

Ecosystem Sustainability Lead


At Celonis we see the Earth as our common stakeholder. We believe processes have a unique potential to cut waste and inefficiencies, and mitigate risks to give back time, money and effort to the Earth and society. Celonis is working with its community of global business leaders to manage the sustainable execution needed to advance their most ambitious Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) goals. By prioritizing sustainability in every step of every process, companies can measure, know, and act to be more equitable, accountable, and successful. Earth is our Future is a Celonis core value. This means not only minimizing our ecological footprint, but committing to a more equitable society. We do this by building a diverse team of innovators and offering free access to education, training and our product to foster the next generation of leaders with world changing ideas. We’re activating, motivating, and building a company and an ecosystem that shares this vision.


This year, the software company Celonis has become a close cooperation partner of Staufen AG. Frank Krüger, Senior Partner at Staufen, believes that this symbiotic cooperation is forward-looking. “Thanks to the use of our consulting expertise, combined with the technologies of the market leader Celonis, we are now in a position to formulate solutions to problems more quickly and control processes proactively. We are using the Celonis technologies in the analysis and we implement the solutions for our customers to achieve sustainable process improvement.”

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