Software company IFS has conducted a survey in the US, Scandinavia and Benelux that indicates that companies lack the necessary systems for tracking their environmental impact.
According to IFS, research data suggest that organisations need to make wholesale changes to their business technology to keep up with these rapidly advancing mandates. The Executive Summary is here, but among the findings were:
- Over three quarters of companies consider it important to track their environmental profile—including 83% in the US, 82% in Scandinavia and 79% in Benelux.
- Nearly three quarters of European respondents (74% in Scandinavia, 75% in Benelux) admitted to not having sufficient enterprise resources planning (ERP) software in place to track their environmental footprint. The figure was lower in the US, only 47% said they didn’t have the necessary enterprise software, with 42% claiming some limited capability. However, although interest in including environmental tracking in ERP software is high, many respondents could not name ERP vendors that included this specific functionality.
-When asked what were the most important reasons for using ERP with environmental functionality, 35% of respondents in Scandinavia said the marketing value was uppermost, ahead of regulatory compliance (22%) and cost cutting (19%). However, respondents in Benelux and the US put environmental compliance first (36% in the US, 34% in Benelux), ahead of marketing and cost reduction benefits.
- In each of the regions questioned, there were different priorities for the environmental measures being tracked. In Scandinavia, CO2 emissions are the most tracked (20%), in Benelux, solid waste (57%), and in the USA, product lifecycle (50%)
As might be expected, the survey was conducted by a company with a prior interest in the results – IFS has its Eco-footprint Management tool that provides environmental impact information. But it does make interesting reading and, given the lack of awareness of enterprise software solutions, offers some encouragement to the specialist carbon management/ environmental monitoring software specialists.
What it does highlight is the diverse requirements of users. The main focus of the software – emissions, product lifecycle, etc. - and the reasons for tracking – marketing, legislation, etc. – vary by country. Those software suppliers in the market for the long term will need comprehensive solutions that fit with a range of market requirements. But it’s a huge green IT market opportunity.