SAP buys into carbon management

The enterprise software giant buys Clear Standards, a software start-up that has developed a platform for managing and reporting a company's environmental footprint.
Written by Martin LaMonica, Contributor

Having mastered ways to automate manufacturing and dozens of other business processes, SAP is now acquiring expertise in managing carbon emissions.

The enterprise software giant said on Monday it has acquired 2-year-old, privately held Clear Standards, a Sterling, Va.-based software company with tools for tracking and reporting a corporation's environmental impact. No financial terms were disclosed.

Clear Standards' Web-based hosted applications are designed to help a company develop a strategy for managing carbon emissions and reducing its environmental impact. The software can create an inventory of a company's emissions and then give an environmental regulations manager, for example, a way to track efforts to reduce energy and waste.

There are no mandatory restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, although both the House and the Senate are working on bills that would affect heavy polluters, such as utilities and large manufacturers.

SAP said that the carbon management software is designed for companies that are regulated, such as heavy polluters in Europe, as well companies that are doing voluntary sustainability programs. The Clear Standards software will be integrated with SAP application financial data and its Environment, Health, and Safety Management application.

"It is essential that organizations gain actionable insight into their carbon emissions, water consumption, energy use and other environmental factors so they can lower their environmental impact," said SAP co-CEO Leo Apotheker, in a statement. "Having this ability also correlates to an organization's efficiency and competitiveness."

Anticipating broader demand for carbon management software, a few companies have developed carbon management software for tracking and reporting emissions. Planet Metrics, for example, has a tool for managing internal emissions and deciding on the most effective way to meet voluntary or mandatory goals.

This article was first published as a blog post on CNET News.

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