The new carbon and energy management software enables companies to effectively monitor and manage carbon emissions, as a crucial indicator of business performance.
A new type of software for enterprise carbon and energy management (ECEM), is enabling companies to monitor, manage, and report corporate carbon emissions, as well as the energy consumption which is their principal source.With an increasing awareness of the business and societal risks of climate change, corporate carbon emissions - and the energy consumption that creates them - have become a crucial indicator of business performance.
Companies buy and maintain sophisticated systems to manage employees (human capital management [HCM]), customers (customer relationship management [CRM]), financial accounting and auditing, materials and finished goods (enterprise resource planning [ERP]), and IT systems and network management.Carbon and energy management software has now joined this list of backbone enterprise software systems.
Its adoption is driven mainly by five reasons: Comply with regulatory mandates. Governments around the world are stepping in to regulate where business and customer pressure is not sufficient to encourage corporations to act on carbon emissions. So large companies -- especially heavy-emitters -- are facing implementation in 2010 and 2011 of regimes like the UK's Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC). Improve operational efficiency. Reducing energy consumption and related emissions requires running company operations more efficiently.
Communicate business metrics to stakeholders. A company's carbon footprint, reduction targets, and progress toward those targets are becoming standard business metrics that the firm must regularly communicate to customers, shareholders, employees, and regulators. Mitigate the business risks of climate change. Companies are increasingly required to include assessment of climate change risks in their financial reporting. Brand differentiation. Progressive companies have learned that carbon management and persistent reductions in carbon emissions can be a central element of their brand positioning with consumers.Companies need to incorporate systematic processes in software systems to meet these goals. Retracing the evolution of other process-management software systems, companies are finding that ad hoc activities documented in spreadsheets no longer meet their requirements.Instead, companies need a true system of record that cuts across operational or functional silos, taps into multiple asset classes and data sources, creates structured databases of auditable information, analyzes and displays information in a role-sensitive manner, and provides return paths to these assets to enable action and effective carbon management.