Top 14+ carbon accounting software tools in 2023

December 25, 2022
10
min read

As businesses increasingly turn their focus toward sustainability, carbon accounting software is becoming a vital tool in their arsenal. These digital platforms measure, analyze, and manage a company's greenhouse gas emissions, and guide them in designing effective decarbonization strategies.

Below, we list the top 14+ carbon accounting software tools in 2023, shedding light on their key features, clients they cater to, and pricing models. 

Each of these comes with its unique capabilities, from detailed emissions analysis to automated, compliant reporting, facilitating businesses on their path to environmental sustainability.

Whether you're a start-up or an established enterprise, this guide will aid in your quest for the best carbon accounting software tool in 2023. Let's dive in to understand what each has to offer, but first…

What is carbon accounting software and why would you use it?

Carbon accounting software is a digital solution designed to measure, analyze, and manage greenhouse gas emissions that a company produces through its operations. These emissions are categorized into: 

  • Scope 1, direct emissions; 
  • Scope 2, energy-related indirect emissions; and 
  • Scope 3, other indirect emissions from sources like supply chains, employee commuting, or business travel.

As compliance with global regulatory standards such as the EU CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) and TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) becomes crucial, carbon accounting software helps in transparent and efficient reporting. 

In addition to facilitating compliance, these platforms can enhance a company's ability to attract talent seeking environmentally responsible employers. 

Engaging stakeholders - from suppliers and partners to customers - is another key benefit, allowing them to better understand a company's commitment to sustainability and, in turn, fostering stronger relationships.

The importance of picking the right carbon accounting software

Choosing the right carbon accounting software can be a decisive factor in an organization's sustainability journey. This choice extends beyond merely selecting a tool for tracking emissions – it's about finding a comprehensive solution that aligns with your company's environmental commitment and business objectives.

Without the correct software, businesses risk non-compliance, potential fines, and a damaged reputation.

The right software can also support strategic decision making by providing valuable insights into a company's carbon intensity. It will highlight areas for improvement and assist in creating effective decarbonization strategies, fostering a proactive approach to carbon reduction. 

These insights can be a powerful driver of innovation and trigger new, future-proof approaches to conducting business. Without further ado, here’s our list of the best carbon accounting software of 2023.

The top carbon accounting software tools in 2023

1. Coolset

Coolset’s automated carbon accounting software helps businesses measure, analyze, reduce and remove their emissions across Scope 1, 2 and 3. Beyond measurements and analysis, Coolset enables businesses to dive deep into their data, uncovering emissions hotspots and providing sustainable alternatives at every level, from top categories down to single vendors.

Website

https://www.coolset.com/

Location

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Clients

Start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs

Company resources required

Financial analyst or sustainability associate

Key features
  • Scope 1, 2 and 3 analysis
  • Reduction recommendations
  • Automated, compliant reporting
  • Sustainable alternatives marketplace
  • Integrated carbon offsets and removals
  • Emission deep-dives & hotspot analysis
  • EU CSRD compliance
Pricing

€4.000 – €30.000, zero implementation fees

2. Watershed

Watershed is an enterprise climate platform that helps the world’s largest companies measure, report, and reduce their carbon emissions with audit-grade emissions data to power business value creation, regulatory compliance, and global climate impact.

Website

https://watershed.com/

Location

San Francisco, California, United States

Clients

The world’s largest companies

Company resources required

Developer resources and climate leaders

Key features:
  • Carbon footprint measurements
  • Tailored reporting for financial institutions
  • CDP submission support
  • Lifecycle analysis for consumer brands
  • Carbon removal and avoidance
Pricing

€35.000 – €250.000, excluding implementation fees

3. Persefoni

Persefoni is a Climate Management & Accounting Platform (CMAP) that provides Software as a Service solutions to enable large enterprises and financial institutions to meet stakeholder and regulatory climate disclosure requirements with the highest degree of accuracy.

Website

https://persefoni.com/

Location

Tempe, Arizona, United States

Clients

The world’s largest enterprises and financial institutions

Company resources required

Developer resources and climate leaders

Key features
  • Company footprint measurements
  • Financed emissions assessment
  • Climate policy advisory
  • SEC disclosure reporting
  • Management consulting partners such as Bain & Co.
Pricing

€45.000 – €300.000, excluding implementation fees

4. Sinai Technologies

SINAI is a decarbonization platform that enables companies to go beyond carbon accounting and take action with cost-effective carbon reduction strategies. They provide enterprise software to measure, analyze, price, and reduce emissions, using science-based targets.

Website

https://www.sinai.com/

Location

San Francisco, California, USA

Clients

Enterprises in heavy industries

Company resources required

Sustainability leaders, project managers

Key features
  • Scope 1, 2 and 3 measurements
  • Science-based targets alignment
  • Internal carbon pricing
  • Strategic advisory on decarbonization pathways
  • Advanced forecasting capabilities
Pricing

€25.000 – €200.000, excluding implementation fees

5. Normative

Normative helps industrial businesses measure exactly how much emissions they generate. Like in traditional accounting, Normative’s carbon accounting combines hard data and rigorous calculations to deliver reliable results. Normative’s Climate Strategists help to identify emissions reduction opportunities, minimize climate risk, and find opportunities for growth in a net-zero economy.

Website

https://normative.io/

Location

Stockholm, Sweden

Clients

Industrial technology enterprises

Company resources required

Sustainability leaders, data analysts

Key features
  • Carbon footprinting
  • Sustainability marketing material
  • Climate policy expertise
  • Custom advisory and reporting
  • SBTi alignment
Pricing

€60.000 – €180.000, excluding implementation fees

6. SmartTrackers

SmartTrackers provides an application for measuring and assessing sustainability, safety, and CO2. It helps organizations gain insight into their environmental impact, simplifies accountability, and helps them meet standards and regulations. SmartTrackers focuses on customizability and manual entries to ensure maximum flexibility in data inputs.

Website

https://www.smarttrackers.nl/

Location

Amersfoort, Netherlands

Clients

Enterprises

Company resources required

Sustainability managers, manual data entry

Key features
  • Scope 1 & 2 footprint measurement
  • Limited Scope 3 assessment
  • Safety scoring and assessments
  • Manual emission factors and data entry
  • Follows CO2-prestatieladder
Pricing

€1.900 – €28.500, excluding implementation fees

7. Plan A

Plan A is a corporate decarbonisation and ESG optimisation software solutions provider. The German company has developed a SaaS platform that combines technology and the latest scientific standards and methodologies to align organisations on their sustainability ambitions.

Website

https://plana.earth/

Location

Berlin, Germany

Clients

Enterprises

Company resources required

Sustainability managers

Key features
  • ESG reporting
  • Scope 1-3 measurements
  • Reduction target-setting
  • Data consulting services
Pricing

€3.400 – €60.000, excluding implementation fees

8. Emitwise

Emitwise provides a carbon management platform to help businesses measure, track, report, and reduce their carbon footprint, especially complex Scope 3 emissions. Their mission is to help businesses respond to the climate emergency by helping manufacturers drive their own carbon agenda.

Website

https://emitwise.com/

Location

London, United Kingdom

Clients

Companies with complex supply chains

Company resources required

Quality managers, sustainability leaders

Key features
  • Scope 3 emission management 
  • Supply chain engagement & management
  • Sustainable procurement
  • CDP and SBTi alignment
  • Reduction target setting
Pricing

€40.000 – €120.000, excluding implementation fees

9. Sweep

Sweep helps large enterprises track and act on their carbon emissions, with a data-driven platform that makes it easy to measure emissions, take action to reduce their footprint, and collaborate with supply chain partners to drive measurable change.

Website

https://www.sweep.net/

Location

Paris, France

Clients

Large enterprises and financial institutions

Company resources required

Sustainability leaders, development teams

Key features
  • Scope 1-3 measurements
  • Emission dependencies through org trees
  • Define science-based targets
  • Simulate reduction pathways
  • Industry benchmarks
Pricing

€35.000 – €200.000, excluding implementation fees

10. Salesforce Net Zero Cloud

Salesforce's Net Zero Cloud helps businesses achieve carbon neutrality. It provides tools for tracking and analyzing carbon emissions across all scopes, facilitating the creation of a climate action plan. 

Website

https://www.salesforce.com/eu/products/net-zero-cloud/overview/

Location

San Francisco, California, USA

Clients

Large enterprises, Salesforce customers

Company resources required

Salesforce consultants or Force developers

Key features
  • Travel-related emissions
  • Energy-related emissions
  • Full ERP integration
  • Science-based targets
  • Emissions forecasting
  • Supplier engagement
  • Industry benchmarks
Pricing

€40.000 – €250.000, excluding implementation fees

11. Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability centralizes data for improved reporting, facilitates the creation of sustainable IT infrastructure, and reduces the environmental footprint of operations. Additionally, it promotes accountable value chains and simplifies emissions tracking through automated data collection and predefined calculation models.

Website

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sustainability/cloud 

Location

Redmond, Washington, United States

Clients

Microsoft Azure enterprise customers

Company resources required

Sustainability managers, software developers

Key features
  • Scope 1, 2 and (limited) Scope 3 footprint
  • Deep Microsoft suite integration
  • Sustainable IT infrastructure
  • Value chain engagement module
  • Emissions monitoring
Pricing

From €4.000 per tenant

12. Vaayu

Vaayu provides automated carbon management software for retailers to measure, monitor and reduce their carbon footprint in real time. It focuses on product footprints and consumer-facing products to unlock commercial value from sustainability.

Website

https://www.vaayu.tech/

Location

Berlin, Germany

Clients

Retailers across all business sizes

Company resources required

Sustainability managers, developers

Key features
  • Product footprints & LCAs
  • Climate insights at checkout
  • Delivery-related emissions
  • Value chain emissions
  • API integrations with shopping platforms
Pricing

€18.000 – €100.000, excluding implementation fees 

13. Greenly

Greenly enables companies to measure, monitor, reduce and offset their carbon footprint based on international carbon accounting standards such as the GHG Protocol, while engaging their ecosystem, from employees to suppliers, on their climate journey.

Website

https://greenly.earth/

Location

New York, NY, USA

Clients

Small businesses to large enterprises

Company resources required

Sustainability manager

Key features

  • Scope 1, 2 and 3 footprint
  • Supplier involvement
  • Consulting and implementation on demand
  • Custom action plans
  • Optional video production

Pricing

€1.000 – €80.000, excluding implementation fees and add-ons 

14. Sustain Life

Sustain Life provides sustainability software for businesses to measure, manage, and report carbon emissions and make business decisions with the environment in mind. SL works through consulting and accounting partners to serve global customers.

Website

https://www.sustain.life/

Location

New York, NY, USA

Clients

Small businesses to large enterprises

Company resources required

Sustainability manager, developer capacity

Key features
  • Scope 1, 2 and 3 footprint
  • Private market expertise
  • Consulting and client management services
  • Open platform for partnerships
  • SBTi target setting
Pricing

€5.000 – €60.000, excluding implementation fees 

15. Pledge

Pledge provides tools and infrastructure to automate the delivery of climate solutions such as footprint measurement, reduction and offsetting into customer journeys. Pledge focuses specifically and exclusively on transportation and logistics companies to calculate emissions from freight and other logistics operations.

Website

https://www.pledge.io/

Location

London, England

Clients

Transport and logistics companies

Company resources required

Sustainability managers, logistics managers

Key features
  • Sea, road, air, rail and inland waterways routing
  • GLEC, GHG & ISO 14083 reporting
  • Offsetting marketplace
  • Custom fuel factors and fuel mixes
Pricing

€600 – €20.000, volume-based pricing

Frequently asked questions about carbon accounting software

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to carbon accounting tools.

How to choose carbon accounting software?

Choosing carbon accounting software involves considering several factors. Firstly, assess your organization's specific needs and goals related to carbon tracking. Look for software that can measure and monitor emissions relevant to your industry or operations. 

Consider the software's reporting capabilities, data integration features, and ease of use. Additionally, check if the software aligns with recognized carbon accounting standards like the Greenhouse Gas Protocol or ISO 14064.

What is the most widely used carbon accounting method?

The most widely used carbon accounting method is the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol). It is a globally accepted standard developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). 

The GHG Protocol categorizes emissions into three scopes:

  • Scope 1 (direct emissions from owned or controlled sources)
  • Scope 2 (indirect emissions from purchased electricity, heat, or steam) 
  • Scope 3 (indirect emissions from the value chain, such as supplier activities and product use)

Is carbon accounting accurate?

Carbon accounting can be accurate when based on reliable data and well-established methodologies such as the GHG Protocol. 

The accuracy depends on the quality of data collected, the comprehensiveness of the methodology used, and the implementation of robust tracking and reporting processes. Regular audits and verification can further enhance the accuracy of carbon accounting results.

Is carbon accounting the same as financial accounting?

Carbon accounting is not the same as financial accounting. Financial accounting focuses on tracking and reporting an organization's financial transactions and performance, including revenues, expenses, and profits. 

On the other hand, carbon accounting deals with measuring and managing an organization's greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact, with the aim of understanding and reducing its carbon footprint.

What is the difference between carbon accounting and GHG accounting?

Carbon accounting and GHG accounting are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between the two.

Carbon accounting typically refers to the specific measurement and management of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, while GHG accounting covers a broader scope, including all greenhouse gas emissions like methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and others.

What is the most successful carbon capture project?

One of the most notable and successful carbon capture projects is the "Sleipner Project" in Norway. Operated by Equinor (formerly Statoil), the Sleipner Project has been in operation since 1996. It involves capturing and storing approximately one million tons of CO2 annually from a natural gas field in the North Sea by injecting it into a deep saline aquifer.

What are the 2 best carbon sequestration methods?

Two prominent carbon sequestration methods are afforestation/reforestation and carbon capture and storage (CCS). Afforestation involves planting trees on land that was not previously forested, while reforestation focuses on replanting trees on areas that were previously deforested. 

CCS, as mentioned earlier, involves capturing CO2 emissions from industrial processes or power plants and permanently storing them in geological formations underground.

How do you collect data for carbon accounting?

Collecting data for carbon accounting typically involves gathering information on energy consumption, fuel usage, transportation, waste generation, and other activities that result in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Data can be collected through various means, such as utility bills, emission factors for fuels, activity data, and direct measurements using sensors or monitoring equipment. Get in touch with Coolset if you’d like to find out more.

How much does carbon accounting usually cost?

The cost of carbon accounting can vary depending on the scale of the organization and the complexity of its operations. 

Some carbon accounting software may have subscription-based pricing, while others may charge based on the number of emissions sources being tracked or the volume of data processed. Additionally, costs may include training, implementation, and, if desired, third-party verification expenses.

What about the future of carbon accounting?

The future of carbon accounting is likely to be increasingly important as the world shifts towards more sustainable practices and governments implement stricter regulations on carbon emissions. 

Advances in technology and data collection methods may lead to more accurate and automated carbon accounting processes. Integration of carbon accounting with broader sustainability metrics and reporting will also be a trend in the future.

What is a good example of carbon accounting?

An example of carbon accounting is a multinational company tracking its carbon emissions across various subsidiaries and operations worldwide. 

By using carbon accounting software like Coolset, the company can monitor emissions from its manufacturing plants, offices, transportation fleet, and supply chain. 

The data collected enables the company to identify emission hotspots, set reduction targets, and develop strategies to minimize its overall carbon footprint, contributing to its sustainability goals and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Which carbon accounting software is best for your business

The best carbon accounting software for your business will streamline emission tracking and management. It should provide detailed Scope 1, 2, and 3 emission measurements and enable deep insights into your carbon footprint. 

A good example is Coolset, which offers granular breakdowns on emission hotspot categories, high impact vendors and single transactions, empowering informed decarbonization strategies.

The platform should integrate a comprehensive emission factor database and employ advanced automation for accurate and reliable measurements, ensuring GHG protocol compliance. It should also allow for proactive emission reduction planning, with features like a net zero strategy builder, emission deep-dives, automated reporting and progress tracking.

Certified carbon offset offerings and actionable reduction recommendations are key features to look for, allowing businesses to balance unavoidable emissions and move closer to their net zero goals. The software should also facilitate easy compliance with upcoming regulatory standards such as the EU CSRD.

Finally, consider the provider's commitment to long-term partnerships. The best software is backed by a team that’s ready to assist with setup and ongoing use, serving as a valuable partner in your upcoming sustainability journey.

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