Business Brains

Picture this: PlanetMetrics application helps you visualize your carbon impact

Picture this: PlanetMetrics application helps you visualize your carbon impact

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Hey everyone, we have a new "relationship management" application category for you! It's called carbon information management, and it promises to help...

Hey everyone, we have a new "relationship management" application category for you! It's called carbon information management, and it promises to help designers, procurement sorts and supply chain engineers at manufacturing and consumer products companies figure out the impact of different materials choices on the carbon and energy footprint of their supply chain.

The latest offering in this category is from Planet Metrics of San Bruno, Calif., which is releasing a beta version of Rapid Carbon Modeling (RCM). The application, which is delivered as a service, marries business intelligence and visualization capabilities, so you can study how a raw material, packaging decision, logistics choice or manufacturing process might decrease or (gasp) increase your company's greenhouse gas emissions.

"We're trying to scale lifecycle assessment to become useful to all people across a company, including the non-scientist," says Andy Leventhal, founder and CEO of PlanetMetrics.

Here are a few of the specific calculations you can run:

  • Baseline footprint information, and the impact of materials changes to existing processes or products
  • Ingredients or materials substitution scenarios
  • Areas of energy waste
  • Creation of ongoing eco-efficiency metrics that can be used as part of a broader corporate sustainability strategy

Here's an idea of the visualizations you can produce:

There is a set-up cost and some upfront consulting necessary to get off the ground with the PlanetMetrics application. Leventhal says organizations can expect to pay between $150,000 to $250,000 plus a per-user fee for ongoing access. It takes about 30 days to get up and running.

Why is this smart? To me, the process of managing a carbon footprint is just as much about squeezing unnecessary exposure of any type out of a company's cost structure as it is about being environmentally friendly. It's about making smarter, informed decisions that take into account the bigger picture.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure