Updating the carbon accounting landscape; Also, a rebranding suggestion
When was the last time you got excited about accounting? Accounting is the stock example for boring, right up there with 90's NBA basketball. And yet, in our battle against climate change, we've decided to place the critical software platforms that will help corporations reduce their carbon emissions in a category called Carbon Accounting. Now, accounting is recognized as one of the most important technologies that enabled our modern industrial society, so it's fair that new carbon mitigation tools would aspire to the same level of impact for climate change. Unfortunately, the perception of accounting doesn't match its value. So I propose a rebrand. Instead of carbon accounting, let's call these platforms Carbon Intelligence. Now there's a danger that the word intelligence has been too often misapplied and subsequently diluted by platforms that underdelivered on the word, so another possibility is Carbon Analytics & Mitigation. What do you think? Let me know at @GreenwashAlert on Twitter or email me.
To mark this rebranding, I updated the roundup of carbon accounting platforms that CTVC published last year with new entrants and additional differentiation by asset types. Though it may look like a crowded field already, I see the potential for the field to expand 10-20x (as I do with B2B climate tech software generally), with further differentiation around customer segments, focus on different parts of the carbon inventory to mitigation process, mitigation approaches, and data modeling driving new variants. Today we already see companies focussed on different areas, though it isn't yet reflected in the graphic. For instance, Nossa Data focusses primarily on the compliance reporting workflow. Variable emphasizes supply chain visibility. Sinai has devoted development effort to surfacing and managing mitigation opportunities.
In 2011, the LUMAscape, which documented the marketing and advertising technology field, contained 150 companies. By 2018, it covered 7000 companies, and today technology is the largest marketing expense for most corporations, surpassing the amount they spend on media for advertising. Software aimed at solving broadly-felt, uniquely-experienced problems has a way of multiplying. In honor of the LUMAscape, I'm calling this view the PARAscape. There are likely mistakes as categorizations mostly come from public data and media. Please reach out if a company is misrepresented or missing.
Interested in hearing more? Read this post about the software opportunity in climate tech. Then subscribe and follow @greenwashalert