Corporate Sustainability Gets A Universal Metric

Energy Points, a cloud-based calculation engine, just launched what is said to be the world’s first universal metric for measuring sustainability across all environmental domains – including fuel, electricity, transportation and water.

In the past. companies that wanted to demonstrate their environmental commitment would need to first find a way to measure, monitor, then communicate the impact of reduced consumption in terms that could be understood by both customers and CFOs. Some would choose to measure overall cost reduction, while others measure greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

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While energy conservation and reduced emissions are worthy goals, these metrics do not account for the variables that can impact sustainability, including different fuel sources, geographic locations, and electricity generation. Energy Points hopes that by providing decision-makers with a universal metric and interpretation tool, more companies will see both the ease and benefit of going green.

Created through collaboration with faculty and researchers at Boston University and MIT, Energy Points found a way to translate all measures of energy into a simple, universally understood metric – the equivalent of the embodied energy of one gallon of gasoline. To accomplish this, a unique analytics algorithm is combined with GIS data to provide the true value of the natural resources being consumed.

Once a company has normalized its data into Energy Points, the information can be presented through a visual-analytics portal that provides executives with an intuitive interface for understanding, comparing, tracking and forecasting sustainability impacts across an organization.

“By converting all energy sources and domains to one simple metric, businesses can now make decisions based on their true financial and environmental impact, while providing clear, consistent evidence of their own sustainability,” said Dr. Ory Zik, founder and CEO of Energy Points, in a statement. “They finally have quantitative proof which projects will have the greatest impact, based on parameters such as local water scarcity, local electricity source mix and financial savings.”

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog