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10 of the top carbon accounting software for 2024

Carbon accounting software can help organizations in their quest to meet environmental audit standards. Learn about some of the top software in this rapidly developing area.

As business and IT leaders embark on a sustainability journey, the need to understand the organization's effect on the environment is critical, especially the carbon dioxide it emits.

More organizations are augmenting their enterprise software with carbon accounting software as they set sustainability goals. To help technology buyers get started on their journey, this article provides an overview of the following:

  • What carbon accounting software does.
  • Advice on choosing technology.
  • A note on how this list was chosen.
  • Some top carbon accounting software to consider.

What is carbon accounting software?

Carbon accounting software is designed to assist organizations in accurately measuring, managing and reporting their greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprints.

Such software is increasingly important for complying with new regulations, building consumer trust and being a steward of the planet. Carbon accounting software typically measures not just carbon dioxide but also methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons and others.

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a nonprofit aimed at providing standards and guidance for businesses and governments to manage emissions -- has characterized emissions that businesses generate across the following three scopes:

  • Scope 1. Direct emissions of operations from facilities and fleets.
  • Scope 2. Upstream emissions from heating and cooling and purchased electricity.
  • Scope 3. Indirect value chain emissions from partners, commutes, waste, and purchased goods and services.

Accurately capturing data can be a complex process that only grows more so when attempting to assess Scope 3 emissions.

Carbon accounting software can help automate the emission assessment and management process into operational systems and various accounting tools. It falls under a wider umbrella of environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability software.

A primer on choosing carbon accounting software

A starting point in an enterprise's net-zero journey requires understanding carbon data management, said Ambika Kini, a senior analyst with advisory firm Everest Group. What constitutes effective management varies by industry and even specific business models.

"Enterprises can benefit tremendously by investing in the carbon accounting software best suited for their needs," Kini said.

She recommends organizations look at how well the following features align with the enterprise's industry, IT infrastructure, business processes and operation across the carbon emission management lifecycle:

  • Carbon footprint assessment. The software should be able to integrate data from APIs and IoT sensors into an emission factors database and use a geographical information system for accuracy. Also, technology buyers should look for how well the system normalizes data, supports appropriate unit conversion tools, and provides predictive modeling and customizable visualization dashboards to aid insights and decision-making.
  • Setting targets. The software should support historical data analysis and benchmarking tools to effectively assess progress. It should also support compliance tracking, goal-setting templates and benchmarking data to help establish targets and measure performance against industry standards. Buyers should look at how well the stakeholder collaboration portals and notification systems might improve communication and engagement within the organization.
  • Strategizing emissions reduction. Buyers should look for compatibility reports and process flow simulations to facilitate workflow automation for streamlined operations. For example, energy audit tools and efficiency benchmarking can help identify areas for improvement and optimize resource usage. Supplier collaboration portals and impact assessment tools will help promote transparency and collaboration across the supply chain.
  • Reporting. The software should offer continuous data feeds with alerts and notifications for real-time monitoring, reporting templates and customizable dashboards for tailored insights. Verification workflows and external auditor integration ensure data accuracy and compliance. Buyers should look for feedback mechanisms and action planning tools users will trust and adopt to systematically improve sustainability efforts.

Many carbon accounting tools exist, and new products are regularly emerging from big vendors and startups. Larger vendors such as Microsoft, SAP and Salesforce can ease integration with existing enterprise apps and infrastructure. They also support comprehensive ecosystems, extensive support networks and scalability.

The global presence of larger vendors can help multinationals adhere to regional reporting requirements, Kini said.

Several niche players like Sphera, Persefoni, Watershed and Normative offer sustainability software worth noting, Kini said. These vendors tend to be more agile, responsive to feedback and focused on sustainability innovations, offering a nuanced understanding of environmental metrics and regulations. Additionally, some niche vendors may provide cost-effective software suitable for mid-market enterprises that are prioritizing sustainability initiatives compared to the larger vendors that tend to focus more on larger enterprises.

How the software was chosen

The list of software is based on industry research and informed by assessments of Forrester, Gartner, other research firms and industry experts. It was vetted to serve as a useful starting point for assessing features and capabilities. The ESG and sustainability market is expanding rapidly, so technology buyers can use the various features and specialties as a basis of research.

Top carbon accounting tools to consider

Here is an alphabetically ordered list of some top tools to consider.

IBM Envizi ESG Suite

Envizi ESG Suite streamlines data and analytics for environmental performance management. The tool is SaaS software that runs across multiple cloud platforms. It's a good choice for enterprises with a large footprint of legacy applications. The Envizi software helps collect and consolidate over 500 common data types as part of the process. It can also recommend measures for improving data quality for making carbon assessments.

IBM's 2022 acquisition of Envizi complements the IBM ecosystem of other tools, such as asset management, supply chain management and environmental intelligence, to support comprehensive carbon accounting requirements. Together, these are called the IBM Environmental Intelligence suite. Complex implementations are also facilitated through IBM Consulting services, which can customize the tools for different regions and industries.

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability

Microsoft recently released Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability to help improve all sustainability reporting and management aspects. The Microsoft Sustainability Manager is an essential component that focuses on improving visibility, reporting and collaboration for carbon accounting needs. In addition to carbon, it can also improve water and waste sustainability efforts.

The software is ideally suited for large customers who need to pull data from Microsoft and Azure apps and have an existing Power BI practice. It is offered as multitenant SaaS software that can run in the cloud or in Microsoft's private infrastructure. It can also pull data from various file formats and paper documents using optical character recognition.


The Normative platform consists of Carbon Accounting and Carbon Network software. The accounting software helps capture, model and report on carbon data. The network enables enterprises, partners and suppliers to communicate about emissions and work together to drive carbon reductions. Both tools are offered as a multi-tenant SaaS product.

The software is ideally suited for large enterprises with complex supply chains since it helps to increase the visibility of scope 3 emissions, which are the most difficult to track.

Normative also offers a free carbon calculator for smaller suppliers that might not otherwise purchase the company's carbon accounting tools. These tools can help illuminate third-party emissions and plans for reduction and help track progress toward reduction. The company focuses on the European market.

Normative also underpins the SME Climate Hub Business Carbon Calculator as a free carbon accounting service for SMBs. It provides smaller firms with a tool to calculate their carbon emissions and discover ways to lower them.


The Persefoni platform was launched in 2020 to improve carbon-related investing for the financial industry by easing integration with the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials framework. Early customers included asset owners, managers and banks looking to improve visibility into their portfolios. The company has since expanded its tools to improve carbon accounting within enterprises. The Persefoni platform also supports various generative AI capabilities for interpreting data, detecting anomalies and mapping procurement activity to various emissions factors.

The software also supports a variety of tools for pulling carbon emissions data from publicly listed companies to simplify supply chain transparency with larger partners. It is a good choice for large enterprises and SMBs owing to its focus on easy onboarding and extensive AI automation.

Salesforce Net Zero Cloud

The Salesforce Net Zero Cloud works on top of the company's SaaS platform and includes a rich set of tools for managing carbon data, supplier tracking and forecasting. It helps model and calculate the emissions of energy usage and logistics scenarios and automates various reporting workflows. Teams can also run what-if scenarios to track the expected impact of multiple changes and interventions on carbon footprint.

The Salesforce Einstein platform can help enhance data quality, discover patterns and make recommendations. It's a good choice for small and large companies, particularly if they have standardized Salesforce for CRM and ERP services.

SAP Sustainability Footprint Management

The SAP Sustainability Footprint Management tool plugs into the SAP ecosystem to record data across operations, suppliers and facilities. It also includes reporting tools for formatting carbon data for different requirements and stakeholders. The deep integration into SAP tooling helps businesses transition from averaging carbon data to a real-time transaction carbon accounting framework that brings visibility to the impact of each transaction.

Sustainability Footprint Management is offered as cloud software built on SAP's infrastructure and is meant to help ensure data security, mitigate threats and enhance regulatory requirements. It is ideally suited for large companies, particularly multinationals and those with a large supply chain. It also supports integration into other ERP systems, but it's especially helpful for existing S/4HANA users thanks to its deep integration and templates.


The Sphera platform helps automate data capture and reporting processes to help enterprises meet their carbon emissions goals. These capabilities complement the vendor's other health and safety management, advanced risk assessment and supply chain sustainability offerings. Although the company is new, the platform emerged as a spinout from S&P Global, which has analyzed credit and financial markets for over 50 years.

The carbon accounting capabilities are offered on top of the SpheraCloud SaaS platform. Industry-specific variants are purchased in various modules. Hotspot identification capabilities can help pinpoint areas of concern and suggest opportunities for improvement. The software excels in assisting firms in benchmarking their carbon performance against peers in their industry from over 15,000 data sets gleaned from government and independent carbon accounting organizations. This rich database of ongoing carbon emissions data can streamline data aggregation from across a large supply chain of partners and suppliers.


Sweep offers a dedicated carbon accounting cloud-based tool with templates for getting started quickly, identifying reduction opportunities, monitoring progress, prioritizing projects and working collaboratively. The Paris-based company strongly supports EU sustainability initiatives and is a top pick for European companies.

Sweep provides an abatement optimization tool to help track projects and model various scenarios' relative costs and emissions. An abatement best practices library can help identify different reduction strategies depending on the industry. This includes templates and guides for various industries, including consumer goods, healthcare, manufacturing, professional services, retail and utilities.


Watershed provides a broad portfolio of sustainability tools, including carbon, water and waste accounting modules. These are offered as SaaS software fully integrated with other modules for reporting and acting on carbon reduction opportunities. It also supports a marketplace of vetted decarbonization projects that enterprises can fund to reduce their carbon footprint.

Watershed recently acquired VitalMetrics, which developed a greenhouse gas emissions database. The combination of this and Watershed's other tools helps teams automatically ingest publicly available data and customize surveys to suppliers to fill in any gaps. An abatement best practices library can prioritize interventions for different industries and carbon hotspots. Its tools support medium and large businesses in finance, consumer goods and supply chain use cases.

Wolters Kluwer Enablon

Wolters Kluwer has been a leading provider of information services and applications for tax professionals, accountants, finance, compliance and legal professionals. It acquired Enablon in 2016 to build a set of SaaS offerings for health and safety, risk management and carbon accounting. Like others on this list, the firm has developed a rich set of data integrations for pulling data from various IT systems, third-party data sets and documents.

Enablon also supports project portfolio management tools for identifying, prioritizing and monitoring the progress of carbon reduction projects. It can break down large projects into smaller tasks assigned across large organizations or teams across a group of partners in a supply chain. Risk management capabilities can help teams proactively identify risks that might sidetrack projects and develop mitigation strategies and monitoring systems to manage these risks. Enablon's tools excel at connecting carbon accounting data directly to the legal, accounting and tax preparation tools that are widely in use, making it an ideal choice for large firms trying to coordinate large-scale carbon reduction initiatives.

Sustainability requires more than technology

Carbon accounting software is just one part of the overall sustainability journey.

Business and IT leaders will also want to focus on other sustainability efforts, such as preventing negative environmental impacts in the first place, looking for ways to support a circular economy model -- even for their data centers -- and rethinking their tech strategy to lower e-waste.

George Lawton is a journalist based in London. Over the last 30 years, he has written more than 3,000 stories about computers, communications, knowledge management, business, health and other areas that interest him.

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