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Start-up Planet Metrics launches carbon data warehouse

The company attracts $2.3 million in funding and launches a service for modeling emissions at corporations looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

Planet Metrics on Tuesday joined the ranks of carbon-software specialists with the launch of its emissions modeling software and the announcement of $2.3 million in funding.

The San Francisco-based start-up said that it completed its series A round with participation from venture-capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson and angel investors.

It also said that the Consumer Electronics Show will use Planet Metrics' hosted software service to track carbon emissions for CES' upcoming conference in January.

Planet Metrics is one of a growing number of software companies that have developed tools for getting a grip on corporations' carbon emissions.

Planet Metric's software is designed to present detailed information on the carbon footprint of a company's facilities and supply chain. Planet Metrics

Some global companies are already regulated and need to report their carbon emissions. But Planet Metrics CEO Andrew Leventhal said that even without mandates, corporations are feeling pressure from consumers and non-governmental organizations to report and reduce their carbon footprint.

"I will argue that no one's got a gun to their head, but it's becoming more and more risky not to do things like this," said Leventhal. "In the electronics industry, there has been a fair amount of industry backlash about toxins in products and the big carbon footprint...Sustainability is a hot topic for the industry association."

Planet Metrics' software uses scientific and industry data to create a picture of the carbon footprint from different activities. With very accurate data, company executives can make decisions on the best way to reduce emissions, Leventhal explained.

Buying solar panels, for example, may be a visible way to reduce fossil fuel energy use. But with the proper tools, a company may find that upgrading to more efficient heating and cooling has a much quicker return, in terms of carbon reduction and financial savings.

Levanthal said that the most under-appreciated portion of a company's carbon footprint lies in understanding the contribution of its supply chain, which typically contributes far more than a single company's facilities.

Other carbon-related software companies include CarbonFlow, which last week completed its series A round of $2.9 million, and Carbonetworks. Products from both of those companies are designed for managing carbon offset projects within a company.