Software powers CSIRO’s carbon-neutral target

CSIRO’s ambition to become carbon-neutral by 2015 is being powered by software to track and manage its environmental footprint.

Australia’s national science agency hopes to halve its water and waste profile and achieve efficiency gains through greener procurement, behaviour change, and greater use of renewable energy.

CSIRO appointed CarbonSystems to assist its sustainability efforts after considering proposals from several carbon accounting firms and evaluating them against its rigorous decision-criteria.

Increasing regulation and scrutiny by government, customers and investors meant more organisations were obliged to report accurate and verifiable information about their energy, carbon and environmental performance, according to CarbonSystems’ chief executive, David Solsky.

“Sustainability reporting obligations can be onerous and costly,” says Mr Solsky. “Our Enterprise Sustainability Platform addresses these pain points for organisations by reducing the time and cost of managing environmental data while delivering financial grade compliance and business reports.

“The technology is assisting organisations such as CSIRO manage their transition to the low carbon economy by providing a performance management framework to track and assess carbon abatement programs and report on financial return on investment.”

The Energy and Carbon Intelligence System platform will aid CSIRO’s environmental performance reporting under several voluntary and mandatory regimes, including its seven-year Environmental Sustainability Strategy, the federal government’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System and the National Pollutant Inventory.

Members of CSIRO’s environmental sustainability team are using the web-based ECIS platform to automate and streamline the capture and reporting of source data across CSIRO’s 700-plus buildings, including its electricity, gas, fuel, water, waste, fleet and CO2 emissions.

The web-based platform has an intuitive user-friendly interface and dashboards that allow client users to track and manage key energy and environmental data simply and easily. ESP replaces CSIRO’s former system based on utility provider spreadsheets, suppliers’ reports, and data from internal business systems.

“ESP will complement CSIRO’s efforts to track and report on its environmental goals and provide near real time tracking of its energy and carbon performance – from the macro level through to an individual asset or location,” says David Solsky.

“The software platform is being complemented by the installation of energy and water sub-meters in CSIRO’s buildings across Australia. This will enhance staff awareness of consumption trends through increased access to environmental data.

“The platform’s ability to automatically input source data from utilities and suppliers will slash the costs and time associated with data capture, and increases the accuracy and effectiveness of CSIRO’s environmental performance reporting.”


  • CSIRO has signed a $20m research alliance with GE to develop new technologies in clean energy, water conservation, aviation and healthcare.
  • CSIRO does scientific research in energy, the environment, information technology, health, mining, manufacturing, agriculture, and natural resources.
  • It has over 6,500 staff located across 55 sites throughout Australia and overseas.
  • CSIRO procures 15 per cent GreenPower through its main electricity contract and aims to raise this figure to 35 per cent of supplied electricity.
  • In 2008-09, CSIRO used 645 Terajoules (TJ) from electricity and gas use and consumed approximately 734 megalitres (ML) of potable water.
  • CSIRO plans to halve its water and waste, and become carbon neutral by 2015.
  • New CSIRO facilities are built with consideration for ecologically sustainable design principles, including building design, energy and water efficiency, and landscaping.

Media contact: Dan Gaffney +61 411 156 015

CarbonSystems is a global provider of energy and carbon accounting software. Its technology helps companies manage their environmental performance and achieve cost savings in their use of energy, fuel, gas, water, waste, and other environmental metrics. The company has clients in diverse sectors, including corporate property management, education, electricity and gas, government, food services, fast moving goods distribution, information technology, managed services, mining, logistics, and professional services. Its clients and partners include AGL Energy, Canon, Colliers International, CSIRO, Domino’s, Deloitte, Elders, Investec, Metcash, Macquarie University, Microsoft, Novartis, Spotless and Village Roadshow. CarbonSystems is a privately owned and funded Australian company with offices in Sydney, New York and London.

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