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Partnering with Cogo to help small businesses take positive climate action

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Rachael Powell

Sep 7, 2022

Part of Xero’s approach to sustainability includes helping our partners, customers and other small businesses on their sustainability journey, by providing education and resources about how to operate in socially and environmentally responsible ways.

We’ve heard from small businesses that they want to operate more sustainably, but many don’t know where to start. So, I’m excited to announce that Xero is partnering with carbon management expert Cogo to help small businesses take the next step in their sustainability journey. We’re proud to be working with Cogo – a Xero customer and app partner – to provide small businesses with the tools to better understand their carbon footprint and take action to reduce it.

Helping small businesses understand their carbon footprint

Our research shows us that many small businesses aren’t aware of the activities in their business that contribute to their carbon footprint. To enable small businesses to understand, measure and reduce their carbon emissions, Cogo has launched a new app in the Xero App Store that integrates with Xero.

The Cogo Business Carbon Manager app pulls categorised transactional data – such as money spent on electricity, fuel and other every-day business expenses – from Xero, and calculates a carbon footprint. Small businesses can access tailored advice around the actions they can take to make easy, positive changes to help lower their carbon footprint and improve profitability. Small businesses can use the app to report and share their progress which can help them retain and attract customers, having a positive impact on the business’ bottom line.

The app is now available in the Xero App Store for Xero’s Australian small business customers. The app is free, with enhanced features for power users available on paid tiers to come. 

Why measuring your business’ carbon footprint matters

Climate change or global warming is front of mind for many of us, and businesses are no different. Any progress a business can make towards reducing its environmental footprint – emitting fewer carbon emissions in our atmosphere – begins with the ability for it to measure that footprint. In the case of carbon there’s a strong relationship between the goods and services a business uses and supplies, and the carbon emissions it generates. So starting with carbon measurement is a great first step on the pathway to fewer greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere.

As well as the planetary impact, there are also great business reasons to measure, understand, and reduce your carbon footprint.  As governments and big businesses look to set environmental targets, small businesses that can demonstrate their sustainability efforts will benefit. Whether it’s securing access to lending or government grants, participating in corporate supply chains as a preferred supplier or attracting and retaining climate-minded customers. 

We hope that by giving small businesses the tools to understand, measure and reduce their carbon emissions now, it will help them prepare for and take advantage of future opportunities that help drive their business forward. 

The opportunity for accountants and bookkeepers

We also see an opportunity for accountants and bookkeepers to expand their offering into sustainability advisory services that can add value to their clients’ businesses. Our research shows that while three quarters of accountants and bookkeepers don’t yet provide sustainability advisory services, 70% would like to expand their service offering. 

By working with Cogo, we hope to enable advisors to expand the conversation with their clients to include sustainability as part of their business goals and strategy.

Educational resources for small businesses and their advisors

As part of our partnership, we’re working with Cogo to develop more educational content and resources to support small businesses and their advisors to learn more about topics like how to measure a carbon footprint, reducing energy and plastic use, and carbon offsetting and certification. Some of this content is already available on Xero’s Small Business Sustainability Hub, a resource page we created to support small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers on their sustainability journey.

Xero’s partnership with Cogo was announced at Xerocon Sydney where Cogo is an exhibitor and will be demonstrating the new app at their stand. Cogo is also a guest speaker at the Xerocon breakout session: Apps and Tools to extend your practice beyond core accounting on Day 2.

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