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Tech firms offer carbon tracking software to meet oil-investor demands

More tech companies are launching software that oil and gas producers can use to measure their carbon emissions due to mounting investor pressure to curb greenhouse gases. FILE PHOTO: A flare burns off excess gas from a gas plant in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, U.S., November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant/File PhotoTop investors, including BlackRock, have put climate change on their agendas, encouraging energy producers to evaluate programs to help track emissions and report on results. Software giants SAP and Salesforce.com and start-ups, including Tempe, Arizona-based Persefoni, have launched products to help firms document their emissions. Tracking can show investors they are serious about controlling emissions, said developers. Persefoni, which is led by the former chief digital officer at Chesapeake Energy, on Tuesday announced funding from energy investor Rice Investment Group, Carnrite Ventures and others. It is in discussions with two major oil producers regarding potential investments, an official said. The company uses artificial intelligence built around the Greenhouse Gas Protocol accounting method. Co-founder Kentaro Kawamori built the company with a global team of 20 people. “It was clear that calculating carbon footprints and reporting wouldn’t be optional,” said Kawamori, who declined to name customers until Persefoni’s expanded product launch in November. Its software will go up against Germany’s SAP, which recently launched a carbon emissions accounting system and Salesforce.com. Salesforce said it has customers from 10 industries. “A couple of years ago people just asked, can you just check the box? I literally had one investor say, ‘Just get an intern and put a report out there.’ That’s not how it goes. We have to make sure these numbers are real,” said Matt Gallagher, chief executive of shale producer Parsley Energy. To track and reduce a key source of industry methane emissions, Parsley uses in-house technology and third-party remote monitoring equipment. It applies AI to analyze combustion and predict malfunctions. Reporting standards and adoption rates vary among countries, said Kat Lampen, who leads Deloitte’s UK sustainability and climate change team. Persefoni says its system standardizes data to calculate a carbon footprint, regardless of what system is being used, and will eventually meet all reporting frameworks and standards. Companies “are realizing, like financial data, this needs to be collected in the system with the right validation and checks on it,” said Lampen. 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