The Rise of Environmental ERP

Michael Vizard

As more government bodies around the world focus their regulatory efforts on carbon emissions, it's clear these new regulatory requirements are going to have a profound effect on the business as whole.

Given that assumption, many businesses are now focusing on how to cope with inevitable carbon counting compliance requirements. Obviously, one approach is to either extend the company's existing accounting system or acquire a dedicated carbon-counting application.

But Greg Scandrett, vice president of product management for Enviance, a provider of what the company calls environmental ERP software, says both those approaches are comparatively short-sighted. He argues that businesses need a whole new approach to environmental ERP applications that will make it easier for businesses to truly evaluate the upstream and downstream environmental implications of any business decision.



For example, a new factory may lower a company's carbon emissions. But its location could wind up aggravating the carbon emissions of its suppliers if they have to spend more energy delivering supplies. The Enviance application, said Scandrett, is designed to help companies gain visibility into all the risk factors that can affect their carbon footprint, rather than simply account for each carbon emitted.

At the end of the day, the green movement is going to wind up being a lot more than just trying to cut back on carbon emissions. Over time, a new era of social responsibility will be imposed on corporations that focuses more on the overall sustainability of their operations and the impact those operations have on the environment.

There's no doubt that it will take some time for all these environmentally sensitive approaches to operating a business to play out. But sooner or later, the business is going to bow to these new external pressures. And when it does, so too will the applications that the business relies on.

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