The Business & Application Software Developers’ Association (BASDA) is today launching a 'Green-XML' data exchange standard. The idea is to allow business applications to incorporate environmental data on green issues, such as carbon footprints and embedded water, in a way that can be exchanged with other applications and systems.
BASDA is the UK-based, international trade organisation for the business software applications industry. The BASDA Green-XML Standard will be launched at the first Global Business of Biodiversity Symposium in London today.
BASDA points out that the green-XML capability will support carbon reporting ‘which is likely to become mandatory for many organisations in the next few years’. Whilst carbon footprints/offsets and embedded/virtual water are expected to be the most popular aspects of green-XML in the short term, the standard will also incorporate waste management, COSHH/REACH data sets and bio-diversity.
The organisations announcement comes alongside the release of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) report, initiated by the G8. The report calls for the accounting profession and financial reporting bodies to speed up efforts to provide standards and metrics for disclosure and audit of biodiversity and ecosystem accounting (beyond just carbon counting). It’s this that Green XML aims to address.
There’s certainly a need for standards as green software solutions become more widespread and cover broader areas. It will also be good for users – the more open the data the more flexibility there will be in acquiring software or adding to existing solutions. That’s a tough job already, what with changing legislation and a plethora of solutions and suppliers to choose from.