Skip to main content

No more spreadsheets: Microsoft picks CarbonSystems to manage footprint

<p>The debate about whether spreadsheets are good enough to track emissions for large companies is over: Microsoft, the world-leading developer of spreadsheets, has signed up to use CarbonSystems&#39; sustainability and environmental reporting software. Here&#39;s why other big corporations should follow.&nbsp;</p>

After an undoubtedly extensive evaluation, Microsoft this week selected CarbonSystems software to meet its sustainability and environmental reporting needs. This is an important win for CarbonSystems and illustrates that vendor leadership for sustainability software remains very much up for grabs. The deal also definitely puts to bed the notion that spreadsheets are sufficient to track sustainability data for large, global companies.

Microsoft selected CarbonSystems’ Environmental Sustainability Platform as its new global standard for carbon emission tracking and management for its 600 facilities in 110 countries. “Microsoft is committed to measuring, transparently reporting, and minimizing the carbon footprint of our operations. We view CarbonSystems as a key part of our effort to achieve Microsoft’s business and environmental sustainability goals,” said Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist at Microsoft in a press release.

The choice of CarbonSystems over other, well-known sustainability software leaders such as CA Technologies, Credit360, Ecova, Enablon, Hara and PE International, SAP and others is impressive.  

When we did our sustainability software analysis in the spring of 2011 (which GreenBiz resells), we named 10 early leaders, and CarbonSystems wasn’t among them. This win catapults CarbonSystems forward: Selection by Microsoft means that many global companies will likely now consider CarbonSystem for their future sustainability tracking and managing needs.

Based in Australia, CarbonSystems has leveraged its Australian success to enter the market in the United States in the last several years.  Other customers include AzkoNobel, Canon, Deloitte and FujiXerox.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s decision to invest in supported, enterprise software instead of using spreadsheets dramatically and decisively ends the debate about whether spreadsheets are sufficient for tracking sustainability data for large companies. 

In an article back in July, I argued that it was time to give up spreadsheets for tracking carbon emissions at large companies. Technical purists disagreed, writing emails and posts that hailed the merits of spreadsheets and newer capabilities of Microsoft’s Sharepoint.  


If the world-leading developer of spreadsheets and portal software decides that spreadsheets don’t make sense for tracking and reporting sustainability data, then the argument is over. 

Since Microsoft has stopped using spreadsheets to track and report emissions, so should all other large companies.

Congratulations to CarbonSystems.

Photo courtesy of James M Phelps, Jr at Shutterstock.

More on this topic