November 17, 2022

Emissions Compliance Software Doesn’t Perform 🥱

Environmental compliance software is designed for binary outputs - are you in or are you out of compliance? This isn't the best tool for improving emissions performance.

378 Words - 1.5 Minute Read

Big Picture: Environmental compliance software is designed for binary outputs - are you in or are you out of compliance? Many operators are very familiar with compliance tools, so they do as much work as they can in rigid EHS platforms until they have to export to Excel. The end-game of compliance software is generally to submit a report to a regulator. Just as TurboTax isn’t a replacement for Quickbooks, environmental compliance software isn’t a replacement for a holistic performance-focused emissions management platform.

Why It Matters: Operators leaning on EHS compliance tools for performance outcomes will be at a disadvantage to those taking a FP&A approach to tracking and reducing carbon emissions.

  • Performance platforms, like Iconic Air, are designed to ingest and visualize operational data at custom intervals - annually, quarterly, monthly, or even daily - while providing the controls for auditability and verification.
  • Compliance tools lack the customizability necessary to conform to your selected emissions protocols and view your business’ carbon performance as needed by a wide range of stakeholders.

For Example: Operator A uses its EHS Management Software to group and sort emissions data from different sites. Calculations in this platform are somewhat of a “black box,” so Operator A pulls the data into Excel for deeper analysis. Here is where things start to go wrong:

  • Integrity: If data changes in the environmental compliance software, it’s not reflected in the visualization/analytical platform
  • Gathering: Transferring data to a visualization tool can result in errors from transcribing or grouping data and these errors won’t be flagged
  • Time Series: Most environmental compliance software only allow you to examine one year in a vacuum and users are unaware of significant movements with the data over time
  • Information for different stakeholders: Environmental compliance software is designed and configured for environmental regulators with limited ability to generate information to communicate to non-environmental departments such as finance or investor relations
  • Changes / Updates: EHS software doesn’t allow for scope and boundaries changes
  • Visualization: Dashboards / outputs are restricted to structured, formatted reports

‍The Takeaway: You might think you are saving, but expanding your environmental compliance software to manage data and communications for carbon performance might become a bigger cost for you in the long run. The rigid, opaque approach doesn't fit well with the world of financial transparency and controls.

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