As the planet warms and extreme weather events proliferate across the globe, companies are increasingly seeing a lot of business sense in measuring and reducing their carbon emissions. There are lots of business benefits to ‘going green’ but not only that, and as we mention below, emission reporting will soon be mandatory for many businesses (depending on their size).
In the past, companies engaged in lengthy, spreadsheet-driven processes with expensive consultants to measure their climate impact, but as the climate emergency escalates, a more streamlined, simple and accessible approach to measuring carbon emissions is required.
That is why many businesses are now turning to carbon accounting software tools and SAAS applications to seamlessly measure and report their carbon emissions.
What is Carbon Accounting Software?
Carbon accounting software tools help companies to measure and report their carbon emissions by analysing business spend and activity. Also known as greenhouse gas accounting or carbon footprinting, carbon accounting itself is the process of quantifying and tracking greenhouse gas emissions and removals associated with specific business activities, operations, products and processes.
A simple example of a carbon footprint measurement is measuring the energy used in your office space. Are you using a green energy supplier, hence your carbon impact is near zero? Or is your energy supplier burning fossil fuels, meaning you should calculate energy emissions?
Once all business activity has been measured by carbon accounting software, businesses can begin the process of reporting their emissions, identify ways to decarbonise, and engage investors, suppliers and customers with a range of carbon neutral certifications.
Why do you need carbon accounting software?
Many governments across the world have already made carbon emission reporting mandatory for large businesses, this includes:
- South Africa,
- New Zealand.
Both Australia and the UK introduce mandatory carbon emissions reporting in July 2024.
This may sound like a harsh requirement to impose on businesses, but in truth, the planet needs a greater understanding of the scale of emissions being produced, and businesses have had many years of warnings by climate scientists to understand the urgency.
Perhaps more importantly, more than 60% of consumers want to see businesses and governments taking more action on climate change.
So, to avoid some of the more dramatic consequences of global warming (for example, 99% of all coral reefs dying if the world warms by 2 degrees celsius, which we’re on a path to do), businesses need to begin measuring carbon emissions using carbon accounting software.
What to look for in a carbon accounting solution?
There are some important features you should look out for when choosing a carbon accounting solution.
- Ease of integration with your accounting software and other data sources within your business
- Ease of use
- Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions calculations
- Fully compliant and up-to-date emission factors
- Shareable carbon footprint reports
- Easy, understandable method for mapping your business activity to correct emission factors
- A reasonable cost and no hidden setup fees
The 9 Best Carbon Accounting Software Tools in 2023
- Carbon Dash
Carbon Dash provides a highly user-friendly, web-based carbon accounting software platform that integrates seamlessly with most accounting tools to provide detailed and accurate carbon emission estimates for companies.
Some of the key features of its software include:
- Scope 1, 2 and 3 data capture
- Simple, one-click integration with accounting software
- The easiest data-mapping process in the industry
- Beautiful, shareable carbon emission reports
- Exceptional support
- Budget friendly pricing
Although a relatively new player in the carbon accounting software scene, Carbon Dash is well-established, having been operating in the sustainability and carbon credit markets since 2014.
Carbon Dash and its partners have an impressive $100m worth of carbon capture and sequester projects underway, and as one of the few players seeking to provide discounted carbon credits to its clients, offers a number of added benefits.
The Carbon Dash software is targeted towards businesses of all levels, but in particular it has been built with small businesses in mind, with guidance being less than $50m revenue. They even have a very budget-friendly carbon accounting for startups option, with a very budget-friendly pricing tier of $79 per annum.
Last but not least, Carbon Dash plants one tree for every software demo booked with new clients! You can learn more about their solutions on their website, or book in a demo call to get a tree planted in your honour.
Watershed is a powerful tool that bills itself as ‘the enterprise climate platform’. It helps organisations manage their carbon impact effectively, by analysing emissions from all parts of your business, no matter the type.
Watershed is especially good at measuring emissions from different sectors like remote work, cloud computing, cryptocurrencies, food, and apparel.
Using Watershed is easy and quick. Just give it your data on finances, buildings, travel, and more, and it does the rest. There is a simple dashboard available and you can also connect data directly via an API.
They even have a marketplace that enables users to invest in carbon reduction projects and offsets in their dashboard. Customers include Walmart and Flexport.
Sweep is yet-another enterprise focused carbon accounting platform that helps businesses grasp their environmental impact, figure out emission hotspots, and find ways to cut carbon emissions.
Its simple interface and complete features make carbon tracking easy, although some users at the beginning of their net zero journey might find some aspects confusing.
Sweep easily incorporates carbon data you already have. If you’ve already been tracking, you can easily import your carbon data, making it simpler to analyse and report.
Sweep also uses an innovative method to organise data called ‘Trees’, that gives you a view of company emissions and who’s responsible. Another key feature of Sweep is its ability to compare emissions across different areas of the business.
The company has raised an impressive $100m in venture financing and is a certified B-Corp.
Another big name in the world of enterprise level, cloud-based carbon accounting, Sinai, has a host of features that help companies measure, report and reduce their carbon footprint.
Promising to ‘guide businesses towards a greener future’, the Sinai platform offers a set of comprehensive tools that focus on reducing emissions, not just offsetting them.
At the heart of Sinai Technologies is their Decarbonization Intelligence Portal which provides a comprehensive overview of carbon emissions across every business activity. A unique option within the platform is to try out different scenarios and see what might happen. This way, you can make smart plans and handle any challenges that come up.
- Track and understand your carbon footprint
- Set green goals that make sense
- Collect data and mix it intelligently
- Test different data scenarios
They don’t publish their pricing, but given the enterprise focus, it is likely not cheap.
The Sustain.life software helps businesses become more eco-friendly and readies them to tackle climate change. It takes a slightly more holistic approach to carbon accounting and bills itself as a ‘sustainability management platform’..
Sustain.life stands out in three main ways:
- Measuring: It helps businesses figure out how their actions affect the environment by bringing all the important info together.
- Managing: Generate sustainability plans and put them into action.
- Reporting: Sustain.life makes it easy to show off the good work you’re doing.
Pricing starts at $6,000 per annum and goes up from there, with no option for monthly billing.
- IBM Envizi
As one of the most respected brands in the world, and certainly in enterprise software, it makes sense that IBM would offer a carbon accounting solution.
Envizi makes it easy for companies to handle ESG compliance without the confusion, and if you’re already a cloud computing partner with IBM, it’s easy to access and will be highly familiar.
Envizi has a set of cloud tools for ESG that do three cool things:
- Get a good foundation of data:
You get a single place to keep track of your ESG info and calculate greenhouse gases. It’s like your special data hub.
- Get a good foundation of data:
- Make reporting simple:
They have tools that help you make reports that follow the rules, both inside your company and outside too.
- Make reporting simple:
- Reach Decarbonisation faster:
Smart tools help you see immediate possibilities to use less carbon. You can also check your progress against the goals you set.
- Reach Decarbonisation faster:
Interestingly, they’re one of the few carbon accounting solutions offering some form of free trial. You can trial the platform for 14 days by visiting their website.
Emitwise bills itself as the carbon accounting solution for companies with complex supply chains, making it a good option for businesses in the freight industry, manufacturing or importing.
With a range of helpful functionalities, Emitwise empowers organisations to measure, track, report, and reduce their carbon emissions, including the complex Scope 3 emissions that are sometimes overlooked.
One key advantage of Emitwise is its ability to tackle the challenges of large-scale operations.
Its hybrid carbon accounting approach utilises machine learning technology which enables it to process and analyse vast amounts of data, ensuring accuracy while uncovering blind spots that technology alone may miss.
Automation is another key feature of Emitwise, as its machine-learning engine efficiently processes large amounts of carbon data.
To learn more about Emitwise and its pricing options, you can book a demo by visiting their website.
Featuring a unique website layout and design, and recent funding that brings their total to $150m, Persefoni is squarely focused on carbon accounting that simplifies the entire process of measuring and managing a company’s carbon emission accounting.
While they are one of the most expensive software offerings in the industry, they have some neat features, including a significant focus on comprehensive reports, and a Footprint Source Checklist that will help you easily figure out what’s important and take the guesswork out of collecting data.
They also have an Integration Hub that links up smoothly with the software systems you’re already using, and cutting-edge analytics, so you can spot the areas with the most emissions and see how your business stacks up against others in the industry.
Key Persefoni Features to Get Excited About:
- Easy-peasy carbon reporting
- Simple data gathering
- Precise climate reporting
- Turbocharged decarbonization with fancy analytics
- Net Zero Navigator to rock those net-zero goals
- Seamless link with the software you’re already using
One of the few carbon accounting providers in this list that caters to small businesses, with a pricing tier for companies with less than 20 employees, Greenly is a good option for any company wanting to begin their Net Zero journey.
Based in France, the Greenly platform offers all of the features that you would expect in a carbon accounting platform, including measurement of scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions via technology that integrates with all your data systems.
They offer a convenient benchmarking feature which will enable you to compare your emissions to other companies in your industry, and another thing they tout heavily on their website is the world’s first ‘green app store’, which includes carbon calculators, a scope 2 calculator and an offset marketplace.
Their pricing is in pounds, so it’s up for debate whether their pricing of 199 pounds per month (2,400 billed annually) is actually SME or startup friendly.
If you’re an SME, startup or scale up business that wants to show off green credentials or get an edge in the marketplace with investors, suppliers and consumers, then Carbon Dash is the best carbon accounting software available that provides a highly user-friendly interface, accurate carbon emissions reporting and beautiful, shareable reports and certification.
Pricing is very affordable (companies are able to get started for just $79 per annum), and they have a knowledgeable carbon market educated support team that are available via online chat to help you in any way you need.
They’re also truly dedicated to decarbonising the planet with an active blog, an upcoming podcast called Before The Melt, and some nice touches including on-site reporting of their website carbon emissions, plus they plant a tree for every demo meeting booked by a client.
Get in touch with Carbon Dash today to start your Net Zero journey.