Friday, February 4, 2011

Energy Management Becomes a Priority as Vendor Landscape for Carbon Software Evolves

Software solutions to help companies to manage, report and reduce carbon emissions continue to evolve. Our research shows that customer needs and vendor solutions to reduce and report carbon emissions matured in 2010.

Here are a few highlights from the upcoming Groom Energy and Greenbiz report on software vendors that offer a carbon management product. To reflect the increased emphasis on energy management, we're renamed the software category from Enterprise Carbon Accounting (ECA) to Enterprise Energy and Carbon Accounting (EECA).

While momentum for carbon regulation has essentially stopped in many countries, the need to report and manage carbon emissions has not. Top drivers for companies to report carbon emissions include requests from top customers for environmental data and brand and company image enhancement.

Companies have realized that carbon and energy reduction involve the same processes and data. More job titles and descriptions include both carbon and energy responsibilities and companies are looking for software and services that reduce both carbon emissions and energy use.

In response, vendors continue to innovate and to offer new features and services. We note a number of important trends. One is the trend toward integrated solutions that offer a carbon reporting module along with other features. Software to manage carbon is no longer solely available as a stand-alone product, and is now often a module of larger suite of energy management or environmental, health and safety (EHS) capabilities.

Over 75 vendors offer a carbon module and we group vendors into three categories:

* EHS vendors, such as Enviance or I H S, which offer a carbon module.
* Traditional energy management vendors, such as Johnson Controls or EnerNOC that sell a carbon module
* Specialists vendors that started with carbon and have expanded to energy management. This includes firms such as CarbonSystems, Hara, and ENXSuite

Firms that are heavy emitters of carbon, like oil & gas and utility companies, tend to use carbon modules from EHS vendors. Firms that are lighter emitters of carbon, such as retailers and services firms, tend to purchase carbon modules from traditional energy management or specialist vendors.

Firms are moving beyond using spreadsheets to manage carbon data and to database driven, multiuser, auditable and commercially supported software products. Hundreds of firms purchase carbon software in 2010, including Arch Coal, Bayer, RJ Reynolds, Safeway, and Wyndham Hotels.

For 2011, we expect the trend by companies to manage carbon and energy together to increase and for vendors to expand energy management offerings.

Our upcoming Groon Energy and Greenbiz report names 10 EECA Leaders based on technical competency, financial strength, customers, energy management capabilities and vision.

No comments: