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The 5 best software solutions for carbon accounting for 2024

With the Paris Climate Agreement, countries have agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius. In order to meet the global climate targets, it is therefore essential for companies to actively manage and reduce their emissions. In this context, carbon accounting software solutions are becoming increasingly important. These not only enable effective carbon accounting, but also support the implementation of sustainability strategies and compliance with legal requirements such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

Powerful carbon management software not only offers companies time and cost savings, but also improves employee engagement, strengthens stakeholder trust and increases competitiveness. It also reduces risks that can arise from high carbon taxes or non-compliance with regulations.

While the global economy has already recognized the urgency of disclosing its internal emissions, many companies have yet to realize the strategic potential that software solutions for carbon accounting - i.e. for CO₂ balancing, decarbonization and CO₂ management - offer. In this article, we present the best platforms for your sustainability activities in 2024.

What does carbon accounting mean?

Carbon accounting refers to the systematic recording, evaluation and monitoring of a company's direct and indirect emissions. With the help of this CO₂ management, companies can track their impact on the environment and set targets and measures for reducing their emissions.

What is carbon accounting software?

Using carbon accounting software solutions, companies can automate their carbon footprint and carbon management centrally on one platform. Within the platform, the carbon footprint is measured, scientific targets are set and reduction measures are planned. The use of carbon accounting software also makes it possible to involve stakeholders in the CO₂ management process and report on emissions in a reporting-compliant manner. Comprehensive software solutions - such as the Planted sustainability platform - record the carbon footprint based on the GHG protocol and map the emissions for Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3. On this basis, science-based targets (e.g. according to SBTi) can be set and CO₂e key figures can be reported in accordance with CSRD.

The advantages of a software solution for CO₂ management

According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 86% of companies record their emissions manually, which can be automated using carbon accounting software. The emissions data for carbon accounting is recorded with a high degree of accuracy and reliability, enabling data-driven management of sustainability-oriented processes. Thanks to the software solution, there are no careless errors, the results are displayed transparently and accurately and the tedious process of searching for reliable emission values from databases is no longer necessary.

Companies that decide to use carbon accounting software benefit from a wide range of options: 

  • Efficient time saving 
  • Cost reductions through reduction measures, e.g. less waste, increased energy efficiency, more efficient supply chain, etc.
  • High employee satisfaction and loyalty
  • Greater stakeholder trust
  • Enhancing the corporate image
  • Greater competitiveness
  • Mitigation of risks such as low employee engagement, high costs due to waste or carbon taxes, fines due to non-compliance with regulations, etc.

How to choose the best carbon accounting software for your company

To select the best carbon accounting software for your company, you should consider the following steps:

  1. Coverage of Scope 1 to 3: Effective carbon accounting software should cover all emission spectrums - Scope 1 (direct emissions), 2 (indirect emissions from purchased energy) and 3 (all other indirect emissions generated in the company's value chain). This enables a complete understanding of the climate impact and the development of comprehensive reduction strategies. 
  2. Centralized data control: Check the software's ability to integrate and centrally manage data from different sources. This facilitates accurate CO₂ balancing, helps to identify key emissions and set reduction targets based on data.
  3. Focus on decarbonization: In order to strive towards net zero in a holistic and meaningful way, carbon accounting software should have a clear focus on decarbonization. This is the only way for companies to avoid the risk of greenwashing, efficiently restructure their business in a sustainable way and effectively reduce their emissions.
  4. CSRD-compliant reporting: The CO₂ management platform should support companies in accordance with the requirements of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). Such functionality ensures that the company not only fulfills its environmental responsibility, but also acts in compliance with regulations and communicates transparently to stakeholders. Planted's sustainability platform, for example, records all data points for emissions management in compliance with the CSRD and simplifies reporting through exportable emissions reporting.
  5. Certified and science-based: To ensure reliable carbon accounting, it is important that the software solution for CO₂ management is certified and works with scientifically sound data. Companies should look for a platform that has been awarded recognized certifications, such as TÜV Rheinland. In addition, the CO₂ management platform should be based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) and enable targets to be set in accordance with the Science Based Targets (SBTi). 
  6. Ease of use: Regardless of a software's performance, the other focus should be on the user experience. Check how easy the user interface is to navigate, whether the carbon accounting software offers clear instructions and help functions, and whether training platforms are included. Planted's sustainability platform, for example, offers its own Climate Academy, which provides your employees with strategic training on the most important topics relating to carbon accounting and reporting.
  7. Personal support: Personal support is an essential aspect that is often overlooked. Find out what kind of customer support the software provider offers. This includes the availability and response time of the support team, the provision of training and guidance on the software, and assistance with initial configuration and ongoing use. Good support can make all the difference, especially when it comes to solving technical problems or helping to interpret data and reports.

The best carbon accounting software in 2024

  1. Planted
    Planted
    is one of the leading providers of carbon accounting with a software solution for strategic CO₂ management combined with local environmental protection. The green tech company operates a data-driven SaaS platform that is TÜV-certified and records and automatically calculates your company's CO₂ emissions based on the GHG Protocol. In addition to the CO₂ balance sheet, individualized reduction measures are proposed based on the CO₂ hotspots, which enable a reduction potential of up to 93 percent. In addition, the carbon accounting process is compliant with CSRD, NFRD and TCFD.

    Companies that use Planted can map their entire sustainability strategy centrally on just one platform and manage it across teams. In addition to CO₂ management and reporting, Planted also supports communication without greenwashing by personally assisting sustainability experts at every step, providing communication support and high-quality marketing material. Planted also enables the protection of biodiversity through local tree planting or the protection of German forests.

    Planted already works with more than 400 corporate clients, including leading companies such as DHL, TeamViewer, AXA, Ebner Stolz and MYTY. Founded in 2021, Planted has already won the Founders of the Year Award 2022 and The Europas Award 2022.
  1. ECOSPEED
    ECOSPEED is a comprehensive software solution that supports companies in calculating and reducing their CO₂ emissions in a centralized manner based on the GHG Protocol. In addition to the Corporate Carbon Footprint, ECOSPEED also enables the calculation of the Product Carbon Footprint and is the first software to balance products according to the eco-scout© standard.

    A key feature of ECOSPEED is its user-friendly interface, which enables precise recording and analysis of greenhouse gas emissions. This helps companies to understand their environmental impact in detail and develop effective strategies to reduce their CO₂ emissions. With over 20 years of experience in corporate management, ECOSPEED also offers the option of CO₂ compensation for remaining emissions and supports companies in their sustainability communication.
  1. Climate Partner
    ClimatePartner 's carbon accounting platform enables companies to implement climate protection in five steps. Starting with the calculation of the corporate carbon footprint, the setting of reduction targets, internal reduction measures through to the promotion of climate protection projects and transparent communication. For the implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), ClimatePartner offers workshops that help companies to acquire basic knowledge and focus in particular on the ESRS E1. With more than 20 years of experience and over 6,000 customers such as TIER Mobility, RATHGEBER and Zanier, Climate Partner provides holistic support in the implementation of a climate strategy.
  1. Klimahelden
    Klimahelden 's Digital Climate Manager is an intuitive software specifically designed to help companies record, analyze and reduce CO₂ emissions. The carbon accounting software is based on a user-friendly approach and enables users to get a clear overview of their greenhouse gas emissions in line with international standards and take effective action to reduce them.

    In addition, Klimahelden offers carbon offsetting via the highest standards such as the United Nations, Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard (Verra) and supports its business customers in sustainability communication. Klimahelden is a member of the Bundesverband Nachhaltige Wirtschaft e.V., Verra and B.A.U.M..
  1. Ecocockpit
    ‍The
    free Ecocockpit tool is provided by the Efficiency Agency NRW and offers a solution with which companies can create their corporate carbon footprint and product carbon footprint in just a few steps. Ecocockpit also helps to identify the biggest CO₂ drivers in the company, on the basis of which specific reduction measures can be implemented. In addition to the carbon accounting platform, Ecocockpit offers topic-specific presentations and training courses that use practical examples to illustrate the importance and benefits of CO₂ management. 

Want to start your journey to net zero today? Book a demo with Planted now and benefit from a software solution that provides you with comprehensive support in implementing your CSRD-compliant sustainability strategy.

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How-to: Sustainability in the company