Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

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

CMS: Riding the Data/Information/Knowledge Escalator Up

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Carbon management systems enable the measuring and monitoring of carbon emissions. But that’s just the beginning. Beyond better data management (capture and storage) and information management (dashboards, reporting, graphing) is knowledge management and analytics to improve emission reduction program decision making and enable new low-carbon business processes. As Connection Research describes:

The more advanced functionality of CEMS is primarily based around helping organizations manage and reduce their emissions. Through planning capabilities and simulation the software can allow users to test alternative actions to reduce emissions and identify the most cost effective investments and actions. Some CEMS products can even interact with offset programs or carbon trading platforms to allow direct management of emissions liabilities in a regulated market. As carbon emissions increasingly acquire a real market value, the ability to directly manage this financial liability will become an essential part of the solution for large companies.

Clearly, CMS software is not a silver bullet. But when combined with appropriate organizational and business strategies, CMS has the potential to deliver significant sustainability and financial benefits. In any case, CMS is rapidly going from a nice-to-have to a must-have in large organizations.


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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