Software to Support New SEC Climate Disclosure Rules

Spokane, WA, April 04, 2024 — Geoprise, a maker of enterprise resources planning (ERP) software, today announced general availability of the world’s first-ever commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) ERP software supporting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) climate rule, which was recently finalized on March 6, 2024.

The new rule requires U.S. public companies, and foreign companies doing business in the U.S., to report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions so investors are better informed about climate risks. According to industry analyst Diginomica’s Brian Sommer (March 2024), “Traditional accounting and other business application software (e.g., ERP) was not designed for an ESG or climate accounting world. Bolt-on tools may have to suffice for the time being but more software innovation is needed now.” Responding to this need, Geoprise is the first information technology provider ever to publicly announce the availability of COTS ERP software for this purpose.

The software products which Geoprise is making available from today natively embed new capabilities within the existing GM-X™ Accounts Payable, Fixed Assets, General Ledger, Inventory, Product and Shipment subsystems that fully incorporate Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP) cross-sector guidance and tools for Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions to achieve full compliance with the new U.S. climate disclosure rules while substantially lowering the cost of compliance.

“Our new software capabilities for climate disclosure effortlessly collect operational data such as fuel deliveries, vehicle mileage, delivery weights and electricity consumption, and apply them to emission factors in a fully GHGP-compliant way to overcome well-known issues with direct measurement of GHG emissions arising from the expense and difficulty of accurately measuring exhaust gas concentrations and flow rates,” said Geoprise CEO Nelson Nones. “No other ERP application on the market today has our built-in abilities to flexibly maintain a database of emission factors and automatically apply them to operational data reflecting the daily business activities of reporting companies,” he said.

As just one example, companies can use the GHGP location-based reporting method to account for Scope 2 emissions arising from the consumption of electricity at their facilities throughout the world. According to the GHGP, these represent the largest sources of GHG emissions for many companies. To minimize compliance costs, the GM-X Accounts Payable subsystem automatically records both the quantities and monetary values of electricity purchases from utility bills and links those quantities to specific facilities within climate reporting scope. Those facilities, in turn, are already linked in the GM-X database to the specific emission factors for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide within the regions where those facilities are located. This approach makes it no more difficult to account for and report GHG emissions than it is to account for and report financial results.

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of firsts for Geoprise and its GM-X application suite. In early 2018, GM-X was the first ERP application in the world (CIO Review magazine, November 2018) to combine proven blockchain technology with strong encryption for securing information assets, and it remains the only such ERP application suite on the market today. Later that year, Geoprise was first to market with a responsive mobile-first GM-X Web user interface allowing the entire GM-X application suite to run end-to-end on mobile as well as desktop and laptop devices.

Astute observers will note that despite its track record of being first to market with proven ERP innovations, Geoprise has refrained from jumping onto the artificial intelligence (AI) bandwagon and is specifically not claiming that its new climate reporting capabilities derive from AI technology. “To prevent so-called ‘greenwashing’ the SEC says that reporting companies can be liable under Section 18 of the Exchange Act, or Section 11 of the Securities Act, for materially false or misleading statements in their climate disclosures,” Nones said. “The well-known tendency of generative AI to hallucinate make it imperative for ethical companies to mitigate such risks by abstaining from using AI when accounting for and reporting GHG emissions,” he added.

Nones also noted that although the new SEC rule has already been challenged in court, most observers believe that affected companies will still initiate preparations for compliance, and some companies already provide climate disclosures though not necessarily in a standard way. According to legal analysts, some companies will have to supplement or replace their existing ERP or accounting software to function at a level which supports compliance with the new rules. “The climate disclosure capabilities of our GM-X software are available now, giving affected companies plenty of runway to comfortably adapt their systems by the time the rules take effect,” he said.

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