How spreadsheets are holding back your carbon inventories

Angela Thompson
Angela Thompson
Head of Marketing, Avarni
June 28, 2024
min read

As a net zero consultant, your mission is to help clients achieve their sustainability goals efficiently and accurately. Yet, if you’re still relying on spreadsheets for carbon inventory baselines, you might be facing unnecessary hurdles. Spreadsheets, while familiar, can be cumbersome, prone to errors, and time-consuming. They often lack the advanced features needed to manage complex datasets, automate repetitive tasks, and provide detailed insights — all of which are essential for effective carbon management.

Enter Avarni, an AI-powered carbon management platform designed to streamline your carbon accounting processes and deliver robust, reliable results. Avarni offers a comprehensive suite of tools that can transform how you handle carbon data, from initial data entry to advanced forecasting. By leveraging the power of automation, AI, and intuitive design, Avarni addresses the limitations of spreadsheets and opens up new possibilities for your consultancy.

In this article, we’ll explore the key features of Avarni and how they can revolutionize your carbon accounting workflow. Whether you’re dealing with inconsistent client data, complex emission factor mapping, or the need for detailed forecasting, Avarni provides the solutions you need. Let’s dive into the specifics of how Avarni can help you leave spreadsheets behind and enhance your carbon management capabilities.

1. Streamlined data entry

Managing client data can be a frustrating and time-consuming enterprise. Avarni automatically handles inconsistencies in client data, such as incorrect dates and categorizations, making the emission calculation process more efficient. Here are just a few ways it does just that:

  • Custom fields: Preserved contextually relevant client data during imports and exports.
  • Error detection: Assigns values to missing fields and flags errors like corrupt date values.
  • Automation: Automates unit conversions between business activity data and emission factors, and normalizes dates, countries, and GHG categories for consistent reporting.
Avarni: streamlined data entry

2. AI automation for emissions factor mapping

Once the data is loaded into Avarni and automatically cleaned, the real magic begins. Avarni’s powerful AI automatically maps emission factors across millions of rows of business spend and activity data. This significantly simplifies the review process and offers you a host of benefits, including:

  • Reliable sources: Source emission factors from government agencies like EPA, NGER, DEFRA, and third parties like EXIOBASE.
  • Custom emission factors: You may also to override any predicted emission factor mappings with your own custom/specific factors.
  • Efficiency: Detailed, accurate factor mappings for even the largest client data files in minutes instead of weeks.
  • Flexibility: Flag, exclude and bulk edit data rows after importing as you go back and forth with your client and receive clarifications.
  • User-friendly interface: Leverage Excel pivot table-like multi-field filtering, sorting and grouping in a familiar interface to cut down review times by over 90%.
  • Transparency: Avarni’s calculations completely disclose the emission factors that it uses, including the conversion factors themselves, the year, and source of factors. Avarni is unique in the market of carbon accounting in this way, and many other solutions do not offer this level of transparency. This means that all of Avarni’s calculations are fully auditable; and they can be exported from the platform for reporting and assurance standards.
Avarni: emissions hub

3. Automatic audit logs

Unlike spreadsheets, Avarni’s automatic audit logging feature maintains a robust audit trail, providing a level of transparency and accountability that manual methods simply cannot match. With detailed logs, you can track every change made in the Emissions Hub, including the exact time and the user who made the modification. This meticulous record-keeping ensures comprehensive change tracking, making it easier for auditors to verify the accuracy and integrity of your data. Whether it's correcting an error, updating emission factors, or making adjustments based on new information, every action is documented. This feature not only facilitates smoother audits but also enhances your credibility with clients by demonstrating a commitment to precision and accountability in your carbon management practices.

Avarni: automatic audit logs

4. Client-ready sustainability reports

Avarni makes it easy to create powerful client reports quickly, providing insightful and ready-to-present documents that effectively showcase value. For example, you can create a detailed visualization that breaks down your client's carbon emissions by department, business unit, or location. This helps facilitate more focused initiatives to reduce emissions in the areas where they are most impactful.

  • Custom reports: Opt for bar or pie charts and customize them by grouping, stacking, or filtering through any client data field to highlight key insights.
  • Export: Export charts in PNG, JPG, PDF, or SVG formats for easy inclusion in reports, or save as spreadsheets to generate your own branded graphs in Excel.
Avarni: emissions by supplier and emission source
Avarni: emissions by organization

4. Strategic forecasting tools

Unlike spreadsheets, Avarni enables you to forecast future emissions under various models effortlessly. Guide your clients through their carbon reduction journey with dynamic scenario analysis and actionable plans tailored to meet their net-zero ambitions.

  • Forecasting: Explore how changes in material or services consumption will affect emissions in future years and compare to your client’s business-as-usual trajectory.
  • SBTi impact: Visualize the impact of supply chain SBTi adoption on your client’s emissions to understand the impact of a supplier engagement program.
  • Scenario planning: Compare scenarios against your client’s disclosed or planned net zero targets to understand the gap that needs to be addressed.
Avarni: emissions forecasting

3 more reasons to consider Avarni for your carbon inventories

  1. Leverage a partner-centric model — Unlike many carbon accounting platforms, our focus is purely software. Avarni does not offer advisory or consulting services. This means that you can grow your consulting business with a partner-centric model that prioritizes partnerships.
  2. Unlock recurring revenue — Replace manual, one-off and low-value carbon accounting with high value, multi-year advisory engagements with enterprises and their suppliers.
  3. Become more cost-competitive — Run carbon footprint calculations in days, not months, and pass these savings on to your customers to win more business.

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