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How to choose carbon accounting software

Technology is simplifying the path to net-zero for businesses, but how do you pick the best carbon accounting platform? Here are some of the top criteria for making a wise choice.

Historically, carbon accounting was done with reams of spreadsheets that tried to carry out hundreds of calculations across thousands of different data types. If an employee with exceptional mathematical skills managed to achieve all that, another challenge came in the form of the different compliance frameworks. At that point, even mathematical geniuses were ready to throw in the towel.

The solution has been software. Technology like FutureTrack has transformed carbon accounting, making it simple and automated. The carbon accounting software industry is a very new one, so choosing the right one for your business can feel daunting.

It’s an important investment, so here’s our advice on the software features to look for, and the sort of questions to ask:

1) Data processing

This is at the heart of carbon accounting. The best software is audit-grade, and includes emissions tracking across years and sites, comparisons against net-zero targets, competitor benchmarking, verified footprint reports, a full emissions breakdown, interactive charts, and the streamlining of carbon management with sustainability reporting.

2) Expert support

Does your preferred provider list the professional bios of its team? Our dedicated team can walk you through the whole process and give bespoke advice and real-time support, without the need for consultants. For a sustainability commitment to take hold, an entire workforce, from the shop floor to c-suite, has to be on board. Our team knows how to engage employees both in the office and remotely.

3) Ease of use

Carbon accounting is highly complex, but the right software should make it simple. Ease of use is one of FutureTrack’s main selling points. You don’t need to have a degree in environmental science to use it successfully because we make it easy to measure, report, and act.

4) Strong industry knowledge

The carbon accounting software space is new, but a track record in sustainability management is important. Look for companies that have a background in environmental consultancy services to organisations, governments, and individuals. Platforms tend to be very sector-specific so ask what sort of industry partnerships can be demonstrated.

5) Guides to help reduce emissions

Measuring and managing are important, but transformation comes through action. Businesses need a plan to reduce their emissions, and guidance on where to make the most effective changes. FutureTrack includes a constantly expanding library of suggested sustainability initiatives, advice for emissions reduction, goal-setting guidance, step-by-step planning, automated reminders for tasks, and progress-tracking charts.

6) Which scopes?

Scope 3 emissions – the indirect emissions from your upstream and downstream supply chains – are part of upcoming compliance frameworks, but some carbon accounting programmes leave them out. Tackling the Scope 3 emission is vital, particularly for large companies that have supply chains involving oil and gas, agriculture, metals and mining.

7) The free demo

A lot of companies will offer a free demo of their product and this is a great opportunity to find out about the software features and ask the experts questions. At FutureTrack we highly recommend that you take our demo and perhaps a few belonging to our competitors too. That way you’ll be able to make a comparison and get a feel for who is truly invested in supporting you and your organisation. If we don’t think that FutureTrack is the right option for you, we’ll tell you.

There’s no shortage of carbon accounting platforms out there to choose from, so we hope this has given you some criteria to look out for. What really matters is that you opt for the solution that suits your specific needs.

If you’re curious to find out if FutureTrack is the right carbon accounting software for your business, book a free, no-strings-attached, demo and we’d love to show you how we can help.

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