Five years ago, a tech start-up offering natural resources and energy management software might well have set itself up for disappointment, but Hara Software, founded in 2008 and out of stealth in 2009, is proving the importance of timing, having already earned its salt with some big-name manufacturing customers.
Hara — the name is a Sanskrit word meaning “fresh green” — aims to serve the growing ranks of efficiency-minded manufacturers with its Environmental & Energy Management platform, organized around four modules. The Discover component delivers a holistic view of a manufacturer’s natural gas, water, and electricity usage, as well as metrics on what it expends in terms of greenhouse gases, solid waste, and water waste, all in the context of that bedeviling byproduct: the carbon footprint. The Plan module is a decision-support tool that defines the trade-offs needed in order to reach efficiency targets, says Chris Farinacci, chief marketing officer. The Act module helps a company adjust levers within its operations, creating more energy-efficient plants or contracting with more eco-friendly suppliers, to reach its goals, while the Innovate tool facilitates best-practice sharing throughout an organization.
Coca-Cola is an early believer. Bryan Jacob, director of energy management and climate protection at the beverage giant, says that when the company first saw Hara’s software late in 2008, the synergies were evident. In a pilot implementation to track energy and greenhouse gas efficiency, the software delivered more insight into Coca-Cola’s environmental impact than the homegrown relational database it had used for a number of years. Facilities managers at 12 locations kept track of their carbon footprints and monitored reduction actions in the Hara system. “It marries up the reporting piece with the forecasting and target-setting piece [and] the tracking of actions,” Jacob says, “all in one-stop shopping.”
The ROI from the pilot met all of the company’s expectations, and Jacob has recommended continuing with the tool in the next budget cycle. The software “will evolve over time and only get better,” he says. “It’s already starting at a sophisticated level.”