Carbon-counting software takes off


An Australian IT company and IBM are partnering in a pilot project in Sydney to test the appeal of Supply Chain Consulting’s CarbonView software. The enterprise software company hopes that its player in the increasingly crowded field of carbon-counting software programs, Carbonview, will win over corporations seeking to understand and upgrade the most energy-intensive and highest-emitting divisions of their businesses. As the Wall Street Journal reports, some of these green IT start-ups may not survive a market downturn – especially given the several hundred thousand dollar price tag of some programs – but for now it’s an open playing field as companies await legislation and true carbon accountability.

What gives Supply Chain Consulting a decent chance in this marketplace is the launch of new carbon reporting requirements in its home country. Australia’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 came into effect July 1, mandating some medium-sized and most large companies to begin reporting their emissions and energy use statistics to the government. One of the act’s goals is to standardize the reporting process and to encourage the use of the government’s emissions trading scheme. For now, companies that emit at least 125 kilotonnes of greenhouse gases or produce or consume at least 500 terajoules of energy will meet the thresholds for reporting. With each successive year, those thresholds will drop, until about 700 medium-to-large corporations are covered by the reporting requirements, the Australian government predicts.

IBM already has a carbon management tool, so it remains to be seen whether the company’s truly excited about a carbon footprint software package developed outside its labs. Big Blue is pushing green IT software and high-efficiency modular data centers as part of its Project Big Green, all geared towards addressing, first and foremost, “skyrocketing energy costs.” A (um… charming? or just weird) set of videos featuring a green data center superhero and a chatty moon is aimed at CEOs considering a switch to green computing equipment.

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