Carbon management software is like a sophomore on the cleantech campus: it’s been around for awhile, but it’s just now starting to get noticed by the senior class. This month SAP took over Clear Standards, a carbon management startup that raised $4 million last fall, and IBM, Oracle and Microsoft have each recently dipped a toe into the carbon management waters. This morning another young company, Planet Metrics, a San Bruno, Calif.-based carbon management software firm, is looking to attract attention with the launch of its software-as-a-service application into beta with high-profile new customer Method, the San Francisco-based green cleaning products company.
As we explained back in November, when Planet Metrics raised $2.3 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the software helps companies assess energy and carbon use in their business and identify “hot spots” (see screenshot above) — or areas where the biggest emissions reductions can be made. The system connects to other business enterprise software, and taps into several deep databases of information about life-cycle environmental impacts of ingredients, transportation methods and more.
The software also allows companies to run detailed what-if scenarios (see screenshot below) that can identify potential product design or vendor sourcing changes that could help it save energy, carbon and money. That’s a boon for companies that are looking to do more than just report their carbon footprint information.
As companies increasingly seek to tie their sustainability goals to other operational goals, Planet Metrics’ software may be just what they’re looking for. Method says it’s using Planet Metrics’ Rapid Carbon Modeling software to keep tabs on the carbon in its supply chain and to help it identify better ways to develop and manufacture its Cradle-to-Cradle certified products.
Planet Metrics isn’t the only startup gearing up. Kleiner Perkins-backed carbon management software firm Hara recently launched as well, garnering press from dozens of media outlets (including us) and delivering a service that will go head-to-head with Planet Metrics.
Beyond the startups, Planet Metrics will also face competition from plenty of the traditional enterprise software companies, which the firm had previously been keeping at arm’s length. Andy Leventhal, CEO of Planet Metrics, told us back in November that the company would integrate its software with other business intelligence software, but cautiously: “We have a very comprehensive plan — we don’t just want to jump into a relationship with an Oracle or SAP,” he told us then.
It’s no wonder that both younger and more well-established firms are moving in: As businesses begin to sweat over impending carbon regulation, the market for carbon management software and consulting services is already estimated to be worth about $3.6 billion.