Sage’s Acquisition Of Spherics Underlines The Value Of Integrated Carbon Management

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Sage’s Acquisition Of Spherics Underlines The Value Of Integrated Carbon Management

On the 12th of October 2022, Enterprise Resource Planning platform Sage acquired the dedicated carbon management solution Spherics. Sage provides a variety of resource planning solutions covering financial, people, and process management use cases. The acquisition of Spherics – founded in 2020 and headquartered in Bristol, UK – underlines several key moves in the market:

1. Strong scope 3 management is all about supplier engagement

Calculating and managing Scope 3 emissions is challenging. One popular calculation method is by collating procurement and spend data and applying relevant, industry-specific emissions factors to get an overall footprint baseline. What are the issues with this approach? The first is that integrating accounting data into carbon management platforms frequently requires custom API development, or management of batch data uploads. The second is that emissions factors are necessarily broad, and frequently result in inaccurate or overly general calculations. The latter of these challenges can be solved by getting actual emissions data directly from the suppliers themselves. In Spheric’s case, the platform feeds suppliers’ own emissions data into the calculations, to help boost data accuracy.

2. Platform integrations cut out data inefficiencies

A fundamental challenge to carbon management is leveraging siloed, carbon-relevant data. Sage’s acquisition of Spherics goes some way to alleviate this problem, especially regarding scope 3. The utility of merging carbon management and general ERP functionality is clear , as it allows users to leverage data, such as spend data, to inform carbon foot printing efforts without the need for custom APIs or integrations. Other examples of this effort to connect carbon management with carbon-relevant data can be seen by the release of Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud, Workiva’s partnership with Persefoni, etc. 

3. The SME market is ramping up

Small- and medium-size enterprises, as a virtue of their critical roles in supply chains, are increasingly beset with carbon information-related requests, and are having to prove carbon performance to win business. This is fundamentally reshaping the market for carbon management software; small businesses do not have the resources for extensive carbon management solutions. Reflecting this, large vendors have launched solutions to tap into this market, including Isometrix’s ESG Lumina, and Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud Starter Edition. The combined Sage and Spherics value proposition for SMEs is clear; manage diverse spend data, and understand your carbon footprint, in one system.

Connor Taylor

Senior Analyst

Connor is a Senior Analyst in the Verdantix Net Zero & Climate Risk practice. His current research agenda focuses on carbon management software, climate change consulting services, and the voluntary carbon markets. Connor joined Verdantix in 2021, with prior experience in EHS technology sales and development. He holds a BA from the University of Cambridge in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.