Microsoft has adopted CarbonSystems’ Enterprise Sustainability Platform (ESP) cloud application as its standard for managing its energy, efficiency and environmental-performance reporting. ESP will be implemented across Microsoft’s global operations, which comprise over 600 facilities in 110 countries.
CarbonSystems, which supplies environmental and energy management solutions, was apparently selected based on its ability to use cloud computing. ESP’s data management engine also allows electronic data interchange (EDI) with other internal systems and third party suppliers.
Microsoft’s strategy is to use the data to make more informed decisions about the company’s resource use and so reduce its energy use, emissions and waste. Using CarbonSystems’ ESP is seen as simplifying and streamlining the process.
It’s a big win for CarbonSystems, which should benefit hugely from working with Microsoft around the world. It also gives the company significant market visibility – it’s a new kid on the block compared with others in this market, such as CA, IBM, SAP and Schneider Electric (but then perhaps that’s why Microsoft chose them).
The market for carbon emissions management (CEMS) solutions remains highly fragmented with a range of start-up and established players offering both broad and niche solutions. There’s room for a lot of players, but there are signs that global companies are choosing one-stop, global suppliers as Microsoft has. Verdantix says Microsoft’s adoption of a single software platform underscores a global trend to standardise the capture and management of disparate nonfinancial data. I assume that means internal standardisation, which makes sense. Large companies want a solution that can work across the entire corporation and so streamline the whole process - a significant reason for Microsoft.
Note that in its 2011 Citizenship report Microsoft owned up to being behind in its plans to reduce carbon emissions. The company said at the time that it was ‘developing new strategies to meet our goal’. Using CarbonSystems seems to be one of those strategies.