Carbon emissions is already a commodity for the economies of the future and is taking the center stage from the focal point of accountants and analysts. Efficiency in energy use and reduction in consumption has definitely become the focus in balance sheets.
Soon, legislation shall create markets for carbon trading, which could add another column on the balance sheet. As the society is already becoming very much aware of the adverse effects of carbon to the environment, pressure from the society for companies to be responsive to their energy consumption and carbon footprint will continue to increase.
Corporate environmental sustainability may not be handled by a department or administered by the role of a junior vice president. Rather, carbon emissions must be addressed as a critical element of an organization’s existence. To slow down the already felt impacts of climate change, sustainable resource planning should be measurable, visible and real being part of each corporate requirements.
Collaborative approaches in enterprise energy and carbon management are now starting to emerge as the traditional systems are just not that holistic in approaching the problem. Sustainability resource planning software is an example of a software-as-a-service approach and is a way that distributed organizations can address this issue from the ground up as they move toward compliance.
The new-age enterprise energy management and carbon management systems will be heavily software-based that could monitor, report, and manage emissions which are consequences of energy consumption. A variety of IT systems already exist within the typical organization, designed to handle employee, customer, financial, raw material and finished product management. Enterprise carbon and energy management systems will become a critical addition to existing software systems and will be based on the need for greater operational efficiency, enhanced communications, mandated compliance and reputation differentiation.
Traditional methods of accounting are no longer acceptable in addressing problems of enterprise energy management and in reducing consequent greenhouse gas emissions. To create a structured information database and to aide analysis of multiple assets across an array of operational areas, a system must be created and executed in proactive management and performance assessment.
Distributed organizations are able to use carbon and energy management software to gather data from the asset level, calculating the true cost of ownership for all their assets, engage energy supply and demand management products, analyze and process utility bills, manage carbon emissions and other critical resources.
According to a market overview of enterprise carbon and energy management systems, released by Forrester Research in November, 2009, these systems are in the early stage of adoption, but such sustainability software will become a high priority as energy management in general becomes a clear focus of attention.