'Open Carbon World' Just a Few Clicks Away

Chicago, USA - Although the voluntary carbon trading market is growing in the U.S. despite a lack of federal regulation, it still faces one big impediment: many companies don’t understand their carbon footprint.

To meet the need, banking and software company Misys launched the "carbon management equivalent to TurboTax" this week at the Corporate Climate Response conference in Chicago. The Open Carbon World portal also offers policy news, a community forum, carbon library and carbon Wiki to bring companies up to speed on carbon and help them enter the market, which reportedly tripled to $331 million last year.

"We wanted to give people an opportunity to participate in a market that has almost no infrastructure now, and start solving a lot of the policy, definitional, IT and infrastructural issues that need to be there for the market to really work," Don Sunderland, vice president of Misys Open Source Solutions, told ClimateBiz.com Tuesday.

It’s basically a free carbon registry. Sunderland expects the emissions data it collects will shed light on how industries are responding to the market.

"We think we’ll get some amazing referential data on the nature of carbon footprints and what folks are doing about it without identifying individual corporations," Sunderland said. "We’ll still be able to identify sectors, types of companies and what seems to be happening out there. We think that has real value."

The Carbon Planning Tool supports the Greenhouse Gas Protocol but will eventually include additional protocols or can be customized. Geared toward Fortune 1000 companies or below, it allows users to compute greenhouse gas emissions, calculate benefits from efficiencies and estimate remaining emissions they may want to offset.

The tool’s first component – the greenhouse gas emissions calculator – will be functional next week. The efficiency and offset functions will launch later this year. The site, overseen by an editorial board that will be announced next week, will include the latest policy news and events.

The company also is working to create a carbon offsets ratings system. "We’re going to help corporations determine what makes sense for them from a budgetary, CSR, risk and early actor perspective," Sunderland said.

Since Misys helps support trading for banking systems, the company also offers a high level of security. "Corporations can engage in an online system," Sunderland said, "and know their emissions data is being held secure and confidential as they do."

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