Carbon Management Solutions are now even available even in a subscription manner. Here the tool is a hosted and managed as software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. The fundamental benefit of this solution offering is that there is no significant upfront capital expenditure but only operational expenditure towards subscription and usage only. Besides, there are some open source applications like SANGEA from API which is used by a few oil companies to manage their carbons.
While currently carbon emission reporting requirements are mostly limited to the company/geographic levels, in the next phase reporting is likely to be at more granular level viz, the product level. IT can enable such fairly complex carbon accounting very efficiently.
An IT service provider has an important role in the implementation of vendor marketed products. The systems integrator is responsible for setting up the Emission Management Program along with a clear definition of stakeholders' objectives and a plan for integration, integrating the scope, processes, data flow and defining the solution architecture, configuring of the tool, development of interfaces and execution of data integration, executing test plan and test cases; documentation on defects and remediation, rollout of pilot; capture the lessons learnt and revising the standard practices; finalisations of global rollout schedules and template-based global rollout, distribution of user manuals and checklists.
IT thus can enable putting in place an integrated Carbon Management System for companies. Such a solution will help companies to build scenarios and analyse the impact, create tasks and manage compliance, reliable emission assessment & reporting, compliance and lesser risk of penalties, make informed forecasts & investment decisions, design emission related KPIs, staying current with the legislation and commercialising the carbon credits.
The future of Carbon Management Systems will involve the carbon mitigation, incentivising of carbon reductions and investment in green technologies. Globally the annual volumes of carbons traded over the exchanges have crossed 5000 million - a business of about US$125 billion.
This is likely to grow in the coming years. CCS (Carbon Capture and equestration) is another new focus area related to CMS. It involves capturing of carbon dioxide before its emission into the atmosphere and storing it in geological formations such as old oil and gas reservoirs. The search for greener fuels is also gathering steam with hydrogen being viewed as the cleanest alternative energy source. However, till such time cleaner fuels are made available economically and reliably, carbon management will continue to engage individuals, businesses and governments.
Ninad G Dhanorkar works in Mahindra Satyam’s Solutions & Competency - E&U division.
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