Q&A with Duncan Oswald CEnv FIEMA, Head of Climate Science at Spherics

25th October 2022

Duncan Oswald CEnv FIEMA, Head of Climate Science at Spherics, talks to Transform about the recent acquisition of his company by software giant Sage.

After launching in 2020, carbon accounting platform Spherics has this month been acquired by software giant Sage – a huge moment for both companies.

Here, Duncan Oswald CEnv FIEMA, Head of Climate Science at Spherics, explains why it is so important for businesses to measure their emissions using carbon-accounting solutions, and how Spherics was acquired by Sage just two years after its launch.

Tell me about the services that Spherics provides?

Spherics automates the process of calculating emissions by ingesting data from a customer’s accounting software and matching transactions to emission factors to create an initial estimate of their carbon footprint. The software then guides the customer to refine this estimate by submitting further data for a more accurate calculation, and links sources of emissions to practical actions to reduce them, supporting SMBs on their journey to net zero.

What is a typical workday like for you at Spherics?

Varied, and busy - global emissions are still rising too fast, and we need immediate and meaningful climate action across the world. SMBs form a large part of the global economic landscape and in order to reach our sustainability targets, we need to empower individuals and businesses with the tools to work towards net zero emissions. We are doing everything we can to facilitate this and enable businesses to become more sustainable.

How has IEMA membership helped with your role?

The recognition that comes with being a Chartered Environmentalist and Fellow of IEMA helps to build trust, enabling us to increase awareness and improve engagement.

Spherics has just been acquired by software giant Sage. How big of an achievement is this for Spherics, and what do you think made the company so attractive to Sage?

This is a huge achievement for both companies. The due diligence took months and was utterly comprehensive, so completion is validation of our methodology and technology. By combining Spherics’ innovative software with Sage's digital network, we are connecting businesses with their supplier emissions data, enabling easy and collaborative climate action across value chains which helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Together with Sage, we can help make a global impact on greenhouse gas emissions by supporting SMBs on their journey to net zero.

How will the acquisition impact the work and reach of Spherics?

Adding the resources, reach and expertise of Sage will turbocharge our ability to build out our product development roadmap, and to fully integrate carbon accounting with financial accounting. Sage is the SMB’s champion, and this acquisition helps us to knock down the barriers preventing small and medium businesses from reaching net zero.

Ultimately, should every business be looking to measure its impact using carbon accounting solutions?

Absolutely. It’s hard to exaggerate the importance of getting greenhouse gas emissions under control, or how hard it is. Time is tight and we need to act fast to make carbon accounting as simple as possible so that all SMBs are able to navigate the journey towards a net zero future.

What are the top tips you would give to a company trying to get the most accurate picture of its carbon footprint?

The most important, and most difficult part of your footprint is your supply chain: you need to know where supply chain emissions are generated before you can reduce them. And as decarbonisation goes mainstream, your customers are going to need this information from you.


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