Access adds a green dimension to software

Flight path: Access will help you measure the carbon footprint of business travel

Calculating a business’s carbon footprint can be an expensive exercise
involving large consultancy bills and long hours.

All that could change with the release of a new software module by Access
Accounts that will enable businesses to calculate carbon emissions through a
standard accounting package.

The module, launched last week at Softworld, is believed to be the first
accounting software to provide this functionality. The technology will be
available with the Access Dimensions suite at no extra cost.

The carbon calculations will be made by linking every business transaction
with the amount of carbon that transaction uses up. All companies will have to
do is enter an additional line of data to accompany the standard accounting

So when, for example, a company pays an electricity bill it can calculate the
carbon impact of that consumption by logging the amount of kilowatt hours used
up in that bill alongside the charge. The same method applies to car journeys
and flights, where miles travelled or the amount of fuel consumed is taken into

Access has worked closely with DEFRA and the Carbon Trust, and all the data
the new module uses to calculate carbon output is based on the carbon tables of
these two organisations.

Jon Beech, managing director of Access Accounting, said the technology would
allow businesses to measure their carbon footprint and then take steps to reduce
it in the same way that they would reduce costs: ‘When we looked at the means by
which customers could measure carbon emissions, it was clear there was a lack of
practical tools out there. The existing infrastructure of Access Dimensions
offered a perfect solution, as it already held most of the data necessary to
calculate the carbon footprint,’ Beech said.

Access hopes the emissions capability will make its software more attractive
to new users and give it an edge over competitors.

With consumers increasingly aware of the environmental impact of large
companies and businesses making a point of checking over the green credentials
of suppliers, Access is in line for some tidy profits.

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