Carbon Accounts Firms Update Software

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Big firms like CA and SAP won’t rule the carbon accounting world, as specialists add features

As carbon management becomes a reality, two firms have updated their specialist software, hoping to keep ahead of the big accounting software vendors.

Carbon accounting will become important as legislation such as the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme requires users to measure their carbon footprint. While the big software firms like SAP and CA have modules to cover the requirements, specialist vendors are hoping to keep an edge, with updates from Greenstone and Enxsuite.

Expanding the features

While the CRC’s future is in question, commentators don’t expect it to disappear completely. “It won’t vanish,” Pete Foster of the Green IT Review blog told eWEEK Europe. “That would send the wrong messages when the UK is pushing for international legislation.”

The UK’s Climate Change Act 2008 should mean that all firms will have to report carbon emissions companies in company reporting by 2012, said Foster, although the current government is likely to simplify this as much as possible. Software to help manage this accounting is expected to boom, especially if companies abandon the simple spreadsheet approach and adopt a solution which tries to take control of emissions.

Large softare vendors are doing well at big customers – for instance Tesco has taken on CA’s carbon accounting software – but smaller users may go to the specialist vendors, said Foster.

Greenstone Carbon Management’s Account can now manage emissions from the supply chain and produce a carbon footprint for companies’ products, as well as handling offsets and allowances, and the UK’s CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.

Meanwhile, ENXsuite (previously known as Carbonetworks) has added an open programming interface to its energy performance management software, which also handles building energy management.

Developments like these have persuaded Foster that there is a role for specialist carbon accounting, despite the involvement of big firms like CA. “My initial view was that most of the market would be taken by accounting software add-on modules, given the existing investment in these solutions,” he said. “Whilst this may still be true, I’m increasingly convinced that there will remain a significant market for more dedicated and sophisticated solutions.”

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