The analyst firm sorted through 28 software applications to create a shortlist of the top 10 providers, based on software demonstrations and 99 assessment criteria. Verdantix also interviewed 15 executives to gain insight into their needs and decision-making, which is included in its latest report, "Green Quadrant Carbon and Energy Management Software."
"Over the last 3 years firms have learned that implementing sustainability strategies requires reliable and timely data on energy consumption, carbon, water and waste," Verdantix Director David Metcalfe said in a statement. "No firms currently have financial-grade sustainability data for their global operations but they need a route to get there."
The Top 10 leaders are, in alphabetical order:
According to Metcalfe, a growing number of companies are seeing the value in using software platforms to collect and analyze sustainability data, including Marsh Supermarkets and Reed Elsevier.
There has also been a shift from pure carbon accounting features to strategic energy and carbon management capabilities, said report author Peter Charville-Mort. In response, companies such as FirstCarbon Solutions and Enxsuite (formerly Carbonetworks) have moved to broaden their appeal with expanded energy management offerings.
"Buyers also want advanced carbon management tools for target setting, forecasts and audits," Charville-Mort said. "This explains why some carbon management software deals exceeded $10 million in 2010."
Expect some announcements next year from the likes of IHS and Tririga around ROI claims from some of their big-name customers, Metcalfe said. Verdantix predicts that except for C3 and Oracle, newcomers will likely not succeed in the overcrowded sector, where competitors are raising capital in a bid to "out-innovate" one another.