Google helps build a CO2 tracker
Google helps build a CO2 tracker

About a dozen Google engineers are helping Swedish startup Normative build a new tool for tracking carbon emissions. The emissions accounting software is designed to help companies calculate their environmental footprint.

It does this by analyzing all transactions in the company's accounting system, including energy bills, business travel, raw material supply, and many other small items that businesses often overlook.

Christian Rohn, CEO and co-founder of Normative, said: “What we measure is managed. The reason for that is because we're facing a climate crisis and two-thirds of our emissions come from businesses.

Normative has raised an additional €10 million ($11.5 million) from investors and announced that it could help the company move toward net zero emissions. “We can give you a complete picture by analyzing all of your data,” Ron said.

Founded seven years ago with the support of billionaire investor Chris Sarkar and others, the startup requires hundreds of companies, including BNP Paribas, to use its software, depending on the size of the client.

Ron didn't want to say how much the company charges. Still, he said, it's a lot cheaper than hiring sustainability consultants who use Excel spreadsheets to get the job done.

Ron said Google engineers helped Normative create a free trial of the product, adding that it could be rolled out at the United Nations ahead of the COP26 climate change conference in early November.

Employees at the search giant will be included in the specifications for free for six months starting October 1. The normative team currently has more than 50 people. So adding more than 10 people is a completely different matter.

Google plans to track carbon emissions

The search giant received technical assistance after giving the company €1 million through its charity earlier this year.

Jane Carter, head of technology and volunteer services at, said accurate measurement of carbon emissions is essential if small businesses are to understand the impact of their behaviour. She added, “We are pleased to have the resources and technical talent to develop standard solutions that make measurement easier.”

Of the approximately 400 million companies worldwide, only a few are currently responsible for carbon dioxide emissions. Compared to large corporations and corporations in the global north, small businesses and corporations in the global south are less likely to track their emissions.

Many companies record emissions from things that are relatively easy to track, such as electricity. But for most companies, that percentage is only about 10%. Most emissions come from the supply chain.

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