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Buyers Guide TO
Are you planning on implementing carbon accounting? Or in
the process of selecting a carbon accounting solution? Then
this guide is for you. Think of it as a shopping checklist - to
help you navigate making the right choice.
ENVIRONMENT. H&S. SUSTAINABILITY
Establishyour long term goals
Make sure you are clear about the purpose and use for tracking your carbon footprint.
What are the key drivers? Resource use optimisation, cost-savings, public disclosure?
Also, think about future requirements – are you planning to roll this out from a
departmental to an organisation-wide solution? Is the objective to widen your carbon
tracking to include your supply-chain in the future?
Essential to the success of any major change is making sure you have the right team
behind you. Be sure to establish who all the internal and external stakeholders are,
and the roles they have to play in bringing the organisation along.
Define success & milestones
Every organisation has different required outcomes from implementing a system –
so be sure to define what success looks like (and remember this may be in stages).
Define key milestones and align environmental with business objectives to satisfy
stakeholders over the course of building a more sustainable carbon footprint.
Before starting we’d recommend a few key steps to
make your purchase a success. Establishing your carbon
footprint is the first step in a much longer journey, so it’s
these 3 areas
Did you know that the 5 key
trends that justify the business
case for managing and reporting
carbon emissions are:
1. Requests from top customers
2. Improving company brand
3. Cost savings
4. Investor pressure
Good Accounting Principles
As with any form of accounting, completeness, accuracy and validity
are good principles to adhere to. What gets counted and how
are prime considerations when choosing your carbon accounting
software. Make sure the system follows a sound standard for carbon
accounting to ensure you have a true picture of your performance.
A Single Source ofthe Truth
You should be looking for a system that is more than just a fancy
carbon calculator. It’s very likely that all your financial transactions
are held in one centralised system, so why not do the same for your
non-financial data? Choose a system that can act as your single source
of truth. Ensure it has the capacity to track all the data points in
the granularity you require across all scopes, emission sources, KPI
metrics and supply-chain data.
Compliance + Standards Adherence
Ensuring you adhere to management and board mandates is one
thing, but deciding which local and international standards you need
and want to comply with, both today and in the future are key to
future success. Look at what the standards are for your industry and
check what your competitors are doing. Ensure the system of choice
provides you with an easy way to check and track your compliance
status across the business.
Getting the bestst
The fact that you’re reading this guide suggests that internal
and external stakeholders are demanding the same level of
quality for environmental data as they are for financial data.
Putting a system in place that follows sound principles will
help you to establish a true picture of your resource use and
ultimately your carbon footprint.
& can be automated
Accounting for carbon is a workflow so
treat it as such and automate it! A good
system should allow you to define and
document your processes including tasks,
people involved, reporting methodologies
and timelines. It should also automate
these processes and only prompt you
if there is something to do for you.
Documented, repeatable processes
generate long-term savings.
Collecting and chasing data is a painful
task so ensure your prospective vendor
provides automated ways of getting
data in and out. Capabilities to look for
are system to system integration (APIs),
direct email attachment uploads and
secure upload areas for suppliers. Good
integration with in-house and supplier
systems can make life easy.
Simplicityof Use &
An intuitive user interface is key but
you want a system to also demonstrate
robustness in order for it to become a
trusted companion on your sustainability
journey. Carbon accounting software
should come with in-built knowledge
such as carbon conversion factors,
systemised calculations, automated data
aggregation, plausibility checks at point
of data entry, anomaly alerts and role-
based user security. Make sure you check
on these thing with your vendor.
Cloud Based vs
With carbon accounting requiring
integration with various data sources
and collaboration of multiple parties
in different locations, perhaps it
is the time to consider a cloud-
based system? Cloud beats on-
premise on several points including
implementation time, accessibility and
costs so ensure you evaluate your
needs against the simplicity of using
a cloud-based solution.
Audit + Risk
It’s critical to make sure your system is
transparent, auditable and shows who
did what, where and when to uncover
risk in carbon accounting. Maintaining
automated audit trails and keeping
records of data imports and user activity
should be standard functionality. Get your
prospective vendor to showcase the tool’s
Your goal should be to save time as well as carbon. Any
software choice should free you from manual processes
and administration and enable you to spend your
valuable time on adding value to your business.
The tool of choice must make it easy for you to understand and analyse
your carbon and resource use across the organisation, whether it be from
corporate, facility or asset-level interest. A picture speaks a thousand
words, so ask your vendor about their data visualisation abilities. In a
state-of-the-art manner, you want interactive, drillable dashboards and
automated benchmarking that enables you to gain insights about your
performance so you can take meaningful actions.
turning insight into Action
A key result from a carbon accounting software investment is the ability
to turn gained insight into action. Driving behavioural change to achieve
resource use optimisation, cost-savings and organisational resilience is
a key responsibility of every sustainability function. Ensure your tool of
choice supports the running of sustainability initiatives, tracking return-
on-investment, and is able to capture conversations and findings shared
between staff, suppliers and advisors.
Communicating and Marketing
Careful consideration needs to be given to your reporting requirements.
You may want to communicate performance internally to your Execs,
marketing team or other staff but also report externally against local or
international frameworks. Ask your vendor how the software can support
those very different reporting needs. Capabilities to look out for are
collaborative report writing, supporting workflow and audit trail, scheduled
email reports, or live-updating dashboards that can be embedded in your
internal or external website as a means to support self-service reporting.
reporting.Data in, information out. As important as the
efficiencies a good system creates for gathering
and managing data are its capabilities to analyse,
benchmark, report and ultimately provide insights to
support decision making.
Build a more
ENVIRONMENT. H&S. SUSTAINABILITY.
We help enterprises and public sector organisations account
for and manage their human and environmental footprint more
effectively. Our cloud-based workflow software makes reporting
and compliance simple, giving you the insights needed to better
understand and drive your sustainability goals forward.
From carbon accounting to sustainability reporting and health
and safety compliance, we deliver transparency and improve
accuracy so you can build a more sustainable business.