Carbon Emissions Management Software (CEMS): A New Global Industry

Carbon Emissions Management Software (CEMS): A New Global Industry

Graeme Philipson (Connection Research, Australia), Pete Foster (Springboard Research, Australia) and John Brand (The Green IT Review, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-834-6.ch030
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Abstract

Carbon Emission Management Software (CEMS) is a new category of software that helps organizations manage and report on their carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These measurements are now becoming a legal requirements for many organizations in many countries. The Kyoto Protocol was the first real international attempt to formalize the measurement, monitoring and mitigation of GHG emissions. The recent Copenhagen summit was an attempt to take the agreement further. Many countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia and most of Western Europe, now have legislation based on the GHG Protocol which mandates the reporting of carbon emissions. CEMS products have been developed largely in response to these legally binding requirements.This chapter looks at the evolution of CEMS, and how and why the products are used. It provides a CEMS taxonomy and looks at the main selection and implementation issues.
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Pressures And Risks In The Business World

While many countries have been moving slowly along the road to international agreement, at the corporate level there is increasing responsibility, as highlighted by many discussions (e.g. Murugesan, 2007). The pressure on business to take unilateral action has grown significantly. An increasingly active environmental movement, extreme weather events, and international conferences and agreements have all helped bring the issue of climate change to a broader section of the general public and to the attention of corporate stakeholders. At the same time, economic factors have added another dimension by putting the spotlight on the cost of the energy responsible for generating greenhouse gases (Unhelkar and Dickens, 2008). As a result, there is increasing pressure on corporations from a number of areas:

Clearly, there is growing pressure from a variety of directions for organizations to assess their carbon emissions, report them publicly and set targets for their reduction. Those looking to address pressures and stakeholder expectations should prepare a formal assessment of the risks and opportunities of climate change, what needs to be achieved and how to get there. Since environmental issues can have an impact across an organization, it requires a fairly broad assessment to encompass knock-on impacts that combine, as discussed by Unhelkar and Trivedi (2009), both technology and business perspectives. Note that the assessment is not just about the risks of not doing anything, but also the market opportunities of taking positive action.

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