451 Points To Cloud Delivery For Carbon Management

The 451 Group says carbon will be managed in the cloud – and CA and Capgemini have launched outsourced carbon accounting

The analyst house, the 451 Group has found that there is a brave new world for carbon and energy management software, which will increasingly be delivered via the cloud.

In its “Carbon Management” report, the 451 looked at the tools currently available to help organisations track their carbon footprint. It found that there are approximately 100 suppliers of GHG (green house gas) and energy management software, many of who share the same features.

“Differentiation among software features is relatively weak, and many previously distinguishing features are becoming standard fare,” said the 451.

SaaS Delivery Method

The report also found that SaaS is becoming the standard delivery method in this market. “It (SaaS) lends itself to cross-customer data mining, and users like the subscription-based payment model,” wrote the report’s author, John Stanley.

He felt that SaaS’s ‘pay as you go’ pricing and the ability of providers to deliver insights ‘mined’ from centrally stored customer data will be key attractions. “On-site installation retains a few advantages related to integration and security, but only until SaaS providers figure out how to achieve these via the cloud,” Stanley wrote.

And it seems as though traditional enterprise business software vendors, as well as large environmental health and safety software providers are jumping aboard the green bandwagon by offering some form of GHG or energy management software.

But what is actually driving the need for this type of software?

Adoption Reasons

Well according to the 451, energy cost savings are the principle driver, along with brand enhancement, regulatory compliance and management of environment-related risks (such as financial impacts from changes in key energy inputs or pollution permits). The UK’s CRC legislation is one such example, although recent media reports hint that it may be radically overhauled or even scrapped.

Other reasons why this software is being increasingly adopted and used is apparently down to supply-chain pressure, i.e. demands from large purchasers that their suppliers report and improve their sustainability impacts.

Customer use of GHG and energy management software was initially passive and reactive – focusing on passive GHG reporting, complying with existing regulations or staying ahead of anticipated regulations,” said the 451. “Customers are now maturing to more proactive uses such as strategic risk management or pursuit of cost savings.”

Carbon BPO Option

The report comes as CA Technologies and Capgemini, teamed up to form a global Energy, Carbon and Sustainability Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) service.

The partnership apparently combines BPO experts from’ Capgemini, with the use of CA Technologies’ CA ecoSoftware solution, which was adopted by Tesco for example in September 2009.

This partnership, the companies said, “will help customers better manage complex sustainability data collection and increasingly challenging reporting demands, enabling them to focus on sustainability strategy and carbon reduction activities.”

The managed service will essentially provide customers with ‘actionable insight’ into their level of sustainability, to help support and accelerate their environmental objectives.

“Together with Capgemini, we are delivering this new energy, carbon and sustainability outsourced managed service to give customers the freedom to clearly focus on their sustainability strategy and carbon reduction,” said Sonny Masero, VP Sustainability EMEA at CA Technologies.

Back in November, CA and Siemens IT Solutions formed a partnership to help executives plan and justify their green policies.