Measuring and reporting on the environmental impact of businesses and products could get a lot simpler with the launch of a new software standard designed to help firms collect and exchange green data.
The Business & Application Software Developers' Association (BASDA) will next week launch a data exchange standard, dubbed Green-XML, that should make it easier for developers to integrate data on carbon emissions and water use into business software applications.
BASDA's existing eBis XML standard provides developers with a standardised method for handling and transferring data between different online purchasing and invoicing systems, and the new standard will apply the same model to increasingly popular environmental metrics.
As a result, companies should be able to develop software that allows them to obtain the water footprint data associated with a product alongside the electronic invoice for that product, or provide customers with carbon emission data whenever they purchase an item online.
Speaking to BusinessGreen.com, BASDA marketing manager Libby Tooley said the standard would make it easier for software developers around the world to produce integrated environmental management systems that are capable of sharing green data with software applications operated by partners or other parts of the business.
She added that the standard would initially focus on carbon and water footprint data, but could easily be applied to other environmental metrics.
Jairo Rojas, BASDA's director general, said the standard could also be used to help firms report on their carbon emissions in line with government regulations. "This [standard] supports interoperability between the applications offered by BASDA members and reporting to government and non-government agencies involved in achieving carbon reduction targets," he said.
BASDA said a number of its member organisations were already developing new carbon management systems using the standard.
It added that the group was also working on a similar data standard that would make it easier for firms to share information relating to biodiversity. " BASDA and its members have spent the past two years removing the barriers to universal carbon accounting by developing BASDA Green XML, and so will be able to deliver bio-diversity accounting in a shorter time frame," the group said in a statement.
Return to green news headlines
View Green News Archive