Epicor Software Corporation, a global leader in business software solutions  for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organizations, today announced that two Epicor customers, HARBEC Inc. and Elstat Group, have selected Epicor’s carbon accounting solution, Epicor Carbon Connect, to aid in their efforts to better track, manage and reduce their overall carbon footprint. Both companies are already partaking in various innovative “green-friendly” business initiatives, and Epicor Carbon Connect  will be implemented into their existing Epicor enterprise resource planning  solutions.
The Next Step in Sustainability
HARBEC Inc., a contract injection molder and precision manufacturer located in upstate New York, has prided itself on sustainability efforts over the past few decades -- whether it be the way they produce clean, sustainable energy using a wind turbine and a combined heat and power plant, or through their sustainable building design and recycling programs, the company has always had a vested interest in “being green.” Despite their advanced methods of carbon reduction, HARBEC only had manual systems of measurement and data collection to track their carbon output. The company decided that a more accurate and credible solution was necessary in order to reach their goal of being carbon neutral by 2013. HARBEC was already using Epicor’s next-generation ERP system, so Epicor Carbon Connect was the best fit to produce the results they wanted.
“Ultimately we needed a monthly report of how we’re doing in terms of sustainability metrics,” said Bob Bechtold, president and founder of HARBEC. “Those metrics are as serious to us as other common business metrics like financial reporting.”
HARBEC is also in the process of pursuing certification to the newly released ISO 50001 energy management systems standard, which requires systematic documentation of carbon emissions using solutions such as Epicor Carbon Connect. Bechtold added that many companies claim to be environmentally friendly with little or no substantiation, but this new certification and solution will give HARBEC the competitive advantage of actually proving that we are a leader in sustainability.
“Having credible documentation that comes from a robust ERP solution will allow us to quantify what we’re doing,” Bechtold said, “Any company can compensate for its carbon emissions by purchasing offsets, but this solution will enable HARBEC to efficiently and accurately track our carbon footprint, helping us to manage it toward zero through efficiencies and smarter power generation.”
Ahead of the Trend
Elstat Group is a UK-based global company that commercializes refrigeration controllers for use in display cases and vending machines. Its devices use an intelligent learning system to deliver an energy savings of up to 60%, which is reflective of Elstat’s commitment to reducing the overall carbon footprint of its products and its operations.
“Our business is sustainability focused,” said William Holden, environmental innovator at Elstat. “For us, it’s key to our continued success to implement an internal infrastructure that will support our core objectives in the long term.”
Elstat was also using a manual carbon tracking system in Excel, which quickly became inadequate in terms of efficiency and timeliness. “Excel’s basic formulas never adapted to the way our business was adapting,” Holden said. “We needed to eliminate the data gathering burden -- and the fact that we can integrate our carbon accounting into our existing ERP system was one of the main benefits we saw of selecting Epicor Carbon Connect.”
Although businesses are not currently required to report carbon emissions in the UK, this could quickly change due to ongoing legislation speculated to pass in 2012. Holden added that Epicor Carbon Connect will enable the company to easily adhere to new regulations, while also giving Elstat a competitive advantage by being ahead of the trend.
“We’re very excited about this project,” Holden said. “Very few organizations will have an integrated solution like Carbon Connect and we feel we can gain a lot from its benefits in the long term.”
Epicor Carbon Connect is designed to help companies identify, analyze, audit, track, manage, benchmark and report on their carbon emissions/environmental impact and energy consumption. The enterprise carbon accounting solution is available on-premise, or on-demand with Epicor’s next-generation enterprise resource planning  (ERP ) suite. As part of Epicor’s ERP product suite, Epicor Carbon Connect draws on information that will assist companies to calculate their expected emissions output and budget for their environmental cost factors. Epicor Carbon Connect is a fundamental part of an overall financial management and accounting system  to enable companies to engage in emissions accounting for regulatory, public relations, marketing, and operational efficiency purposes.
“Epicor is redefining what a midmarket ERP solution offers to customers with offerings like Epicor Carbon Connect,” said Chris Purcell, product marketing manager for Epicor. “Epicor is committed to the global emerging green market and this is an example of how we are continuing to enhance our visionary reputation with such a product. Forward looking businesses who embrace technology such as Epicor Carbon Connect can get ahead of the curve of regulatory compliance, while providing efficiencies that will ultimately drive business performance.”