ERP Software Vendor Makes “Eco” Tools

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Management add-on helps measure the whole company’s environmental impact – and comply with legislation

Scandinavian ERP specialist has added what it claims is an “Eco-footprint” tool to its suite of management software in a bid to provide companies with more metrics about their environmental impact.

Announced this week, the Eco-footprint Management tool is an add-on to the company’s IFS Applications suite. The new tool allows companies to capture information from their existing ERP system such as the impact of raw material procurement, logistics and emissions.

“Existing components within IFS Applications that capture financial cost will now be able to monitor carbon monoxide, lead, sulphur and other environmental impacts as an additional cost,” said IFS marketing vice president Thomas Petersson. “For example, users will be able to assign different carbon footprints to various methods of transport helping them see the environmental as well as financial cost of shipping materials by train versus truck, and compare the carbon footprint of local versus offshore sourcing.”

IFS claims that as well as providing a tool for those companies that want to cut costs or just want to be genuinely altruistic, the Eco tool will also help the other main facet of environmental management – complying with legislation. “The new application will support IFS customers around the globe who are under increasing pressure to comply with upcoming environmental legislations such as Europe’s EuP Directive, the Environmental Liability Directive and the EU Restriction, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) regulation as well as Australia’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Regulation and the US Climate,” the company said in a statement.

Professor Bo Hjort Christensen of the Norwegian School of Management said that there is a genuine need for reliable metrics around green and sustainable IT. “Companies are looking for environmental footprint solutions to provide green branding with credible measurement, respond to governmental requirements and to identify possible cost-cutting opportunities,” he said.

Other management software and ERP vendors are targeting the need for metrics around sustainability. As well as providing tools for measuring energy efficiency, market leader SAP was recently named as one of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world.

Founded in 1983, IFS claims to have more than 2,000 customers in 54 countries – including Magnet and BSkyB in the UK – and focuses on industries including aerospace & defense, utilities & telecom, manufacturing, process industries, and automotive.