A Look Back at 2023


Looking back and forward 

At ESP, we have a grand vision for a future where organisations integrate sustainability into their performance as a part of everyday best practice. As we start 2024, we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on far have we have come in the last year as we work towards that future. 


Capital raise  

In December, we successfully completed a pre-series A round of a new capital raise, with existing investors New Zealand Green Investment Finance and Ag2Data both participating. We’re proud of the fact that we have these key stakeholders renewed their commitment, as it serves as a strong reminder that we have some excellent backing in our mission and we are making purposeful progress.. 

We plan to use the additional funds to expand our development resources, particularly in light of our upcoming international expansion, where we will be bringing our BraveGen software suite to customers in Australia. This will also mean that our current customers can look forward to additional enhancements, with new features to help them tackle their major carbon accounting and utility management challenges. 


Product highlights  

As we’ve discussed in our 2023 Product Wrap Up, we significantly increased the pace of releases over 2023, with a number of major updates to CSR and UtilityHUB. 

In addition to several under-the-hood performance enhancements, BraveGen CSR received a significant update to the SmartForms feature, making it even more flexible when collecting data from suppliers for Scope 3 reporting. We know that Scope 3 is a massive challenge for many businesses, so we’re looking forward to showing you how SmartForms can simplify the data collection process significantly. 

We also launched the Spend Based Module, allowing users to estimate their emissions using pure financial data. While spend-based emissions reporting can be less accurate than pure activity-based data, it’s much easier to access and is an acceptable method under most reporting frameworks. We strongly believe that accurate data is paramount – but having data that is accurate (and generalised) is far better than having no data at al. 

We expanded our PDF ingestion capabilities so we can now collect energy and carbon information directly from utility bills. Simply email the bill to the provided address, set up ingestion the first time, and every subsequent PDF will be automatically ingested and added to the HUB platform. 

Looking ahead, we are expanding our carbon and emissions reporting offering while also releasing a revamped utility management platform. Along with a facelift, the new utility product will make it much easier to manage and compare large volumes of invoices. This will be enabled by new automations to make configuration and setup more streamlined. 

Lastly, in the carbon space, we are working towards a new offering for basic carbon accounting, with future plans for a serious of Net Zero management tools built directly into the software system. It’s early days, but we know that collecting and managing data is just one part of the equation. Reduction and decarbonisation is key to success in sustainability for business, and we aim to empower our customers to do so meaningfully and easily through new tools. 


Market context 

Sustainability in business is a huge challenge, but every day, there are news stories that provide some confidence in our ability as a community to make a difference. 

We took heart in reports that the GHG reductions New Zealand achieved during COVID have been sustained, despite the restrictions being lifted. We like to think that we’ve played at least a small part in helping our clients avoid backsliding following the pandemic. 

2023 was also the initial year for New Zealand new mandatory climate-related dislosures (CRD) and the first reporting year for the Carbon Neutral Government programme. Both policies are a significant step forward for emissions measurement and reporting in Aotearoa, with many other countries across the globe either implementing or planning to implement their own reporting regimes. 

Australia is getting significantly more serious about mandatory disclosures and emissions reporting. While the new Climate-related financial disclosure rules are still out for consultation, all signs from Treasure indicate it will go into effect from this July. Scope 3 reporting appears to have been retained, albeit with a delayed start date. We look forward to supporting our customers in Australia meet these new requirements leveraging our decade of experience in corporate emissions reporting. 

Looking forward, we hope the new National-ACT-NZ First government retains the focus on emissions reduction and reporting – although early signs are not positive with the reprioritisation of the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) fund. The GIDI fund was instrumental in enabling significant reductions that otherwise may not have been achieved, and we believe that there’s still a strong case for the Government to enable sustainability in private business through this method of funding. 

This is particularly true when considering that the rate of emissions reduction and current policy are not consistent with a 1.5-degree world, and New Zealand’s commitment is now being questioned internationally.  



The sustainability community is built on a bedrock of collaboration and teamwork. We’re proud to be doing our part, sharing our expertise on continuous commissioning at the Carbon and Energy Professionals Conference, sharing stories around transparency in sustainability reporting at the Sustainability Leaders Summit, and showing how businesses can build a data collection process that works through a collaborative case study with Transpower through the Sustainable Business Council’s Spotlight series. 

When we’re not presenting, we love to engage with the broader community, so we always look forward to events like the Climate Change and Business Conference. We were sponsors in 2023, and we look forward to attending the CCBC 2024 again, as well as sponsoring the Sustainable Leaders Summit in Melbourne in March. For our Australian customers, we plan to be at the Australian Emissions Reduction Summit in October, and we look forward to seeing you there as well. 


Service and consultancy 

A significant part of any software offering is the ability to quickly and effectively respond when things don’t work as expected. Find a SaaS provider that’s never had a bug and we’ll eat our servers! That’s why we’re excited to have implemented a dedicated service desk over 2023, providing significantly more resource for assisting our customers when things aren’t going as designed. 

Plenty more happened over 2023, and we’re looking forward to what’s next for 2024. On the horizon are new tools, new features, new opportunities and a whole new set of stakeholder that we’re aiming to help integrate sustainability into their business. 

Here’s to a new year!