10 Best Carbon Accounting Software of 2022 (Ranked)
Most recently, carbon accounting started coming to mind when the two above terms were being talked about, as more and more companies are trying to be proactive in monitoring and reporting their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
With most companies being more aware of their environmental impact, it has become increasingly important to have a way to manage and report on carbon emissions.
Doing so can help companies set goals for reducing emissions, track progress, and make informed decisions about how to operate more sustainably.
More companies are attempting to reach a net-zero emission, where they offset their carbon footprint entirely.
That said, reaching a net-zero emissions goal requires strategic planning by the various companies.
In this article, I will go through the best carbon accounting software and highlight its features, so you can decide which software fits your company best.
Let’s get right into it.
Carbon accounting software works to help organizations quantify and manage all aspects of their carbon reduction efforts.
With the proper carbon management tools, companies can streamline their intel collection process and draw insights to make better data-driven decisions.
Yet, the carbon accounting software industry is still in its infancy.
For that reason, it’s important to note that “carbon” is used as an umbrella term for several types of greenhouse gases.
As outlined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, this includes:
- Nitrous oxide
Companies that do the work to integrate carbon accounting software into their broader approach to carbon management are better equipped to manage compliance concerns and stakeholder expectations.
Both of these are critical to a company’s public reputation.
Those embracing audit-grade carbon accounting software are better prepared to communicate their CO2 footprints to critical stakeholders and manage compliance concerns.
As the carbon emissions sector grows, new solutions are launched all the time.
However, the following are currently some of the best in the field.
Carbon accounting solution Persefoni is known as a leader in carbon management largely because of its founders’ unmatched industry experience.
It’s headquartered in the U.S. and services multinational businesses and SMEs by providing accurate financial reporting and carbon accounting tools.
Its advisory board includes a dozen notable industry leaders with deep knowledge of the current state of climate control efforts.
Persefoni aims to make emissions control more accessible by establishing a standardized system across users for sustainability reporting and collecting data.
It has critical partnerships with industry giants like Bain, Workiva, CGI, and Patch as an emissions solution.
Additionally, Persefoni is scalable and tamper-resistant. For that reason, many Fortune 500 companies count on it when it comes time to communicate with stakeholders and distribute critical data.
IBM’s buyout of Envizi became the IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite. As legacy software, IBM’s Environmental Intelligence Suite is built to handle large quantities of data.
With the help of AI, it provides basic climate risk analytics for strategic planning.
IBM’s selection of emissions control tools can prove helpful for businesses concerned with emissions prevention and forecasting.
It makes it easy for organizations to track changing climate scenarios to act accordingly.
Sphera focuses on emissions safety and liability reduction. Its approach to carbon accounting focuses on helping organizations establish public trust and portray a positive emissions reputation.
It combines reporting and data management tools to help companies establish safe practices and reduce liabilities.
Sphera provides consulting for any unique environmental needs a company may have for a more personalized experience.
Organizations focused on corporate safety and wanting to integrate their carbon data into one easy-to-use platform should consider Sphera as a possible choice.
When reducing carbon emissions across supply chains to reach net-zero carbon status, consider Emitwise.
It places a focus on a cloud-based approach to data management and centralization.
Commercial insights, plenty of reporting features, and supply chain management tools all come together to form Emitwise as a solution that enables companies to execute sound carbon initiatives.
With the help of automation and live carbon accountants ready to support users with any questions, Emitwise makes carbon accounting manageable.
Sinai Technologies makes reaching net-zero targets a more realistic goal. It helps unlock cost-effective emission reduction strategies through dynamic carbon budgets, reporting and analytics, and sensitivity analysis solutions.
Its robust projection capabilities are enabled by a flexible data collection process that teams can personalize for a more tailored experience informed by company-relevant emissions targets.
As a carbon solution, it combines emissions and financial data into one source of truth so teams can make informed, data-driven decisions.
However, as an emissions solution, it may not be as intuitive and user-friendly as other options.
Salesforce has long shown an interest in carbon reduction. Its Zero Cloud solution is a step in that direction.
Key Salesforce features like language support, robust automation, and integration capabilities make Zero Cloud an accessible option.
However, compared to more robust carbon emissions solutions, Zero Cloud may be a better option for SMEs just starting.
Its scalability may be limiting, though its easy-to-use dashboard is hard to beat.
Diligent is best for board members, nonprofits, executives, and government officials tasked with carbon management reduction initiatives.
Founded in 1994 in New Zealand, Diligent has branches across the U.S. and has been around much longer than newer carbon software in the space.
Diligent aims to improve carbon governance.
Combining compliance, cost savings, risk management, and audition features into a centralized system helps climate leaders create social responsibility reports and communicate with stakeholders to maintain compliance.
However, depending on an organization’s needs, they may find Diligent lacking comprehensive carbon emissions calculations designed for more complex needs.
Aptly named, Greenly is an accessible carbon accounting solution for small businesses with less involved emissions initiatives to execute.
Along with third-party applications, it uses the power of data analysis to help companies reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In terms of scaling capabilities, Greenly is somewhat limited.
Larger organizations might have a more challenging time handling complex multi-step emissions initiatives requiring more granular personalization.
However, it has a straightforward dashboard accessible to carbon management teams in need of simplicity.
As an all-in-one emissions solution, Watershed is newer to the space.
It launched operations in 2019 and helps companies create greenhouse emissions action plans to fight climate change.
With Watershed, teams can easily measure, lower, remove, and report emissions initiatives.
Its modeling tools provide a high-level overview of a company’s current emissions profile so all stakeholders can receive accessible reports.
When vetting Watershed, consider your long-term plans and their current capability to scale with the needs of your company.
Sweep approach to carbon emissions software emphasizes collaboration.
Teams are equipped with the right tools to track and assign tasks while accessing key data in one unified platform.
However, for companies looking for more sophisticated reporting features and scaling flexibility, Sweep may not be the optimal choice.
Yet price-conscious SMEs can consider Sweep as a possible solution that comes with its tradeoffs.
Now, the question is: Which features should you look for in carbon accounting software and why?
It’s important to note that companies are ultimately looking for manageable ways to handle their carbon footprint responsibly and adequately comply with emissions legislation.
Due to regulations changing from region to region, a carbon accounting tool that’s flexible enough to cover those needs—often at scale—is critical.
As you go through vetting your best carbon accounting systems, consider the following pointers to make an informed choice.
How tamper-resistant the data collection process is and what automation features you can use to keep up with the data collection process are all important.
The more accurate data you can centralize, the easier time a company has drawing insights and creating accurate reports.
It’s not enough to know what features a carbon accounting tool offers.
Its industry track record also matters.
Asking yourself questions such as the following is key:
- Who are the founders?
- What history do they have in the emissions industry?
- What are their relevant partnerships, and how are they leveraged?
The more you can learn about the background of an emissions solution and how it came to be, the better-rounded your understanding of what the solution is capable of once implemented.
The need for accessible reporting and analytics features can’t be stressed enough.
Carbon accounting software is designed to help you ditch the time-consuming process of managing data in siloes or through manual processes.
When vetting your options, understand what value you can reap from its reporting and analytics capabilities.
The more automation options you have to configure a reporting and analytics workflow, the better.
A carbon accounting software platform helps organizations track and manage all aspects of their carbon emissions.
Carbon reporting helps organizations to:
- Understand their total carbon footprint
- Benchmark performance against industry peers
- Set goals for reducing emissions
- Manage and monitor progress towards those goals
- Through emissions reports, communicate their emissions data and sustainability efforts to key stakeholders
With frameworks like the GHG Protocol in place, more businesses realize the importance of accurate carbon sustainability data regarding GHG emissions.
This type of management software can help businesses stay compliant with emissions regulations and improve their overall sustainability practices.
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is the most common carbon accounting methodology.
The GHG Protocol provides a comprehensive approach to measuring and managing carbon emissions and reducing GHG emissions.
ESG reporting is another framework that businesses can use to measure and report on their environmental, social, and governance metrics.
The value chain or life cycle assessment (LCA) is another popular approach that businesses use to understand and manage their impact on the environment.
Carbon offsets can be used to help businesses offset their emissions.
Carbon offsets can be purchased from carbon offset projects, which help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Organizations can use carbon accounting software platforms to track and manage their purchases of offsets, as well as report on their progress towards offsetting their emissions.
The environmental impact of human activities on the planet has been well documented.
A software platform that can help organizations track and manage their emissions is a critical part of mitigating the impact of climate change.
Organizations that can effectively manage their emissions can reduce their environmental impact and improve their bottom line.
Carbon neutrality is the goal of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero.
A carbon-neutral organization would have no net emissions, meaning that carbon reduction measures would offset any emissions they produce.
Carbon footprint measures the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted by an individual, product, event, or company.
Emissions factors are data that quantify the emissions from a given activity.
Emissions factors can be expressed in weight, volume, or distance traveled.
The ability to track emissions and understand emissions factors is critical for businesses that want to manage and reduce their impact on the environment.
Renewable energy credits (RECs) are a type of carbon offset that can be used to offset emissions.
RECs are credits generated from the production of renewable energy, such as solar or wind power.
Organizations can use RECs to offset their emissions and report on their progress towards offsetting their emissions.
Decarbonization is the process of reducing an organization’s or individual’s carbon footprint.
It can be achieved through various means, such as investing in renewable energy, switching to low-carbon transportation, or using more efficient buildings.
When it comes to energy consumption, real-time data monitoring can be a powerful tool for reducing energy use.
Organizations that can effectively manage their emissions can reduce their environmental impact and improve their bottom line.
Climate change is an ongoing global concern growing as businesses mature and new regulations are implemented.
Organizations worldwide can expect reduction targets to get more stringent as efforts to reduce climate change grow.
The good news is that organizations can onboard many end-to-end carbon accounting solutions to harness their net-zero initiatives.
This list provided some of the top carbon account software options today.
Did I miss any?
Let me know in the comments below.
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