Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

IT, Resource Productivity, Environmental Preservation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

News Corp. Adopts Hara for Managing Carbon

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News Corp., parent of Fox News et al., ditched spreadsheets for Hara’s system:

With such diverse interests spanning continents and markets, simply calculating News Corp.’s carbon footprint became a headache-inducing task. Initially, the company tried using what Sudan called “glorified spreadsheets” to tabulate its emissions. But that, he says, was just not enough information. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” says Sudan. “There’s not necessarily a lot of insight into where your heavy energy use is if you’re a company that isn’t a heavy energy user.”

So in November 2009, News Corp. turned to Hara, a software firm that helps companies evaluate what founder Amit Chatterjee calls their “organizational metabolism.” Companies can use the program to assess their resource use, emissions, and overall footprint; develop plans to shrink that footprint; and run cost-benefit analyses on various strategies to cut emissions. Want to cut solid waste? There’s an application for that. Want to determine the solar panel that’ll give you the best bang for your buck? There’s an app for that, too. The goal is to help businesses assess both the risks and the opportunities presented by their energy use.

The process that News Corp. embarked upon voluntarily–figuring out how it uses energy and how that will affect its financial health–will soon become compulsory for many businesses, as routine as filing taxes. Beginning this year, major emitters are required to report their carbon dioxide output to the Environmental Protection Agency. The Securities and Exchange Commission is starting to require all public companies to disclose their climate risks, just as they would any other physical or fiscal liability. [more]

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Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan - Helping organizations to navigate digital transformation.

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