On-Demand Carbon Accounting Capability for ERP

Dec. 16, 2010
Epicor offering cloud-based functions for sustainability, carbon management programs

Epicor Software Corp. is rolling out a carbon accounting module for its enterprise business software program, allowing its users to calculate their anticipated carbon emissions outputs and budget for the resulting costs. Epicor Carbon Connect is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) package for mid-sized enterprises and operating divisions in manufacturing and various other sectors that subscribe to its ERP package.

Epicor Carbon Connect is available on-demand or on-premise with Epicor’s ERP suite, and with all other Epicor products as an extend application.

All Epicor technologies are SaaS offerings, but the particular demands of green accounting — emerging or evolving standards, changing regulatory parameters — give particular emphasis to the value of a “cloud-based” package.

But, the program developer also cited research identifying the emergence of carbon accounting as a business responsibility. Gartner Research vice president Stephen Stokes recently recommended that organizations develop carbon-emission “inventories,” in the expectation that emission trading programs will allow them to offset their obligations, or even profit by their savings.

“The emergence of carbon as a newly commoditized asset class, price volatility, uncertainty of a future supply of conventional energy, and concerns over other factors, including an acute focus on energy efficiency, water availability and quality, waste, hazardous chemicals, and product accountability and traceability across the supply chain, have driven sustainability and its attendant business risks up the corporate agenda to an unprecedented level,” Stoke wrote in a market research study.

In a rollout interview for the new SaaS package, Epicor’s v.p. - product marketing Matt Muldoon explained that the Carbon Connect module is aimed at helping businesses adapt to emerging and changing regulatory obligations, and to position them to anticipate the costs resulting from their “carbon footprint” — or to take advantage of possible savings. The program accesses a range of global environmental and regulatory standards to help users to identify, analyze, audit, track, manage, benchmark and report on their carbon emissions, “environmental impact,” and energy consumption.

Epicor is pitching Carbon Connect as “a fundamental part of an overall financial management and accounting system.” By linking it with Epicor ERP utility invoices and production schedules for current or forecasted orders, it indicates that operators are able to calculate expected emissions output and budget for environmental cost factors.

“Financial management applications are the central hub toward effective management of sustainability challenges,” Muldoon said. “Deploying an enterprise-class carbon accounting solution in the Cloud will empower our customers to meet evolving reporting and regulatory requirements, while optimizing the performance, cost and value of their governance, compliance and risk efforts.”

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