The greening of software
The firm offers an Emissions Management Platform that helps companies measure and manage emissions outputs as assets and liabilities, revealing risk and profitability in an organization’s emissions portfolio. Then customers can create effective carbon emissions strategies that reduce costs and capitalize on emerging opportunities.
Data can be imported directly from spreadsheets or even utility bills, and corporate emissions are managed from a single, simple dashboard interface. The greening software allows firms to manage carbon assets as an asset or a liability, helping to bridge the corporate gap between financial gain and the environment. It integrates with legacy applications and major infrastructure offerings such as those from Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. The company claims that this helps organizations move from a tactical compliance position to a more strategic performance one by leveraging timely emissions data.
Carbonetworks’ CNX Footprint and CNX Professional track not only carbon credits, but also offset projects, reductions and penalties through analytics displayed on dashboards. That will be essential with impending compliance requirements. Real-time carbon market prices and financial analysis allow organizations to value their emissions and determine their effect on profitability.
The company will even help find offset project providers around the globe to meet emissions reduction requirements. Strategies can be formed by using on-demand emissions diagnostics and mapping, and the ability to drill down into business units, assets and facilities to gather details on where emissions reduction opportunities lie.
Founded in 2006, San Francisco-based, CarbonFlow develops and markets software for carbon market participants. Its software addresses the process inefficiencies and supply hurdles in today’s carbon trading markets. CarbonFlow is working with leading United Nations accredited carbon management service providers to develop consolidated, approved methodologies and implement best-of-breed practices to reduce the costs and risks associated with creating carbon credits.
According to the company’s Web site, the Carbonflow suite enhances productivity, and reduces both administration costs and the financial risks of managing greenhouse gas (GHG) offset projects. Carbonflow software enables the expansion of carbon credit supply and helps reduce the time and cost of creating a carbon credit. It also manages the delivery of certified carbon credits for buyers and sellers worldwide. Nimbleness will be key as competition for carbon credits heats up in the world’s largest market, the United States.
CarbonFlow’s solution is based on a patent-pending, cross-organization collaboration engine and its eRecord technology. Collaboration between carbon project members is documented permanently in eRecord and is kept with the project from inception forward. The software technology was designed and developed to meet Kyoto project methodology provisions including registration, verification, certification and monitoring requirements under the Kyoto CDM, JI and ETS compliance mechanisms. It also can be used in the United States and Australia, which have voluntary requirements, and it tracks and helps acquire carbon credits, which are tradable globally.
Many firms are popping up to calculate and track carbon credits and trading, but CarbonGage, a small, non-profit corporation, offers a software tool to more accurately measure energy usage. Typically, gross estimates and inaccurate averages are used, but CarbonGage claims it offers an accurate metric for current energy usage. The Japanese have adopted the idea behind CarbonGage for Auto. Its government awarded Nissan’s Carwings Eco-Drive Navigation System Program its Energy Conservation Prize. Eco-Drive tracks fuel efficiency and charts personal performance, ranking the driver’s performance against other Carwings members. It even provides tips on how to cut gasoline consumption and then calculates how much money has been saved (by following those tips) on fuel over time.
So it seems that going green isn’t just for those wearing Birkenstocks and hemp sweaters. Business is moving toward eco-friendly operations and finding improved profitability and standing with their customers. And going green strikes personal chords too. "I mean, I have a stake in this, personally," Bonecutter says. "My wife and I own a farm, and we try to operate it in an eco-friendly way."
There is a veritable green software movement going on, and software and service providers, both large and small, are jumping in to grab a piece of the multibillion-dollar emissions reduction and carbon trading markets. The net result is that companies will operate greener and more efficiently, and the whole world will benefit.
Xerox works on greener printing
"Xerox has been working on greening and energy efficiency a long time," says Anne Stocum, manager of environmental market support at Xerox. "We’ve been involved in the U.S. government’s EnergyStar program since its inception in 1993, and we were the first to automatically power our machines down when not in use."
Stocum adds, "We help companies go green by evaluating their use and ratio of devices. We may consolidate devices by replacing copiers, printers and fax machines with multifunction devices, and also we can reduce the number of devices. So, if they have one device for every three people now, we can find ways to reduce their footprint to, say, one device for every eight people. There is, of course, a change management component to these initiatives, since business processes must be changed and optimized."
Xerox has also developed a cartridge-free, solid-ink printing process that uses a waxy block of ink that is melted to the page. It generates about 90 percent less waste because there are no ink cartridges, but so far, the print speeds are only fast enough for small business needs or personal (color) printing.
In laser printing, Xerox has brought out an emulsion aggregation toner that uses a lot less toner to fuse the image to the page, according to Stocum. The size of the printer is smaller as well, because the toner mass required is smaller.
There are even changes in paper, too. Xerox, one of the largest cut paper providers in the world, now offers a way to reduce transportation and postage costs by offering "high-yield business paper"—paper that is 10 percent lighter than traditional paper. It’s made through a mechanical, rather than chemical pulping process, which also reduces environmental impact. The paper has the same opacity as normal paper, and is suitable for duplex printing; but since it is thinner, it is not meant for archival purposes and may yellow with age, like newsprint.
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