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Carbon-tracking software market starts to get hot

Mitch Betts | Feb. 8, 2010
Pressure increases to promote greener image

FRAMINGHAM, 8 FEBRUARY 2010 - Before 2008, if companies tracked their carbon emissions at all, they poured the data into spreadsheets. But a new category of software, called enterprise carbon accounting (ECA), is headed for "explosive growth" this year and next, according to market research by Groom Energy Solutions in Salem, Mass.

Despite the recession, there were positive signs for the market last year, with ECA start-ups receiving more than US$46 million in venture capital, the research firm said in a statement. In addition, software giants CA, Microsoft and SAP entered the market.

Starting from a tiny base, the number of ECA software customers will increase fivefold by 2011, the study said. Groom Energy pointed to three factors driving demand:

Pressure from customers and investors to create a greener public image.

A desire to save money and energy by investing in sustainability projects.

Mandates from buyers such as Wal-Mart, which plans to ask 100,000 suppliers to track the carbon emissions of their goods.

Groom Energy identified 60 ECA vendors and said that the market leaders are Enablon, Enviance, Hara Software, HIS Inc., Johnson Controls, PE International, ProcessMAP and SAP.