Verdantix: the only climate change business research firm in your or any other town

We met with David Metcalfe, one of the founders and a Director at Verdantix this week. David will be familiar to you from his Forrester Research analyst and vice-president roles over eight  years.

Verdantix is a traditional analyst research company in its business model, but it is far from that when it comes to its research and reach. Verdantix’ aim is to help business and technology leaders (although it is not primarily focused on IT)  in all industry sectors make the best decisions on climate change, carbon markets and corporate responsibility. 

David’s view is that the role of IT and the role of technology providers in  “climate change” is probably very small since the concentration of most current solutions is on reducing energy usage rather than on the more substantial impacts of regulatory and economic issues. You would not think he was right given the explosion of products and services on green IT by vendors and the volume of research by analyst houses – it seems like this is a solution searching for a problem rather than the other way around. But if you are an AR organisation leading analyst outreach around your company’s green IT solutions maybe you should be finding out why this is so much bigger a business issue and then you might just be able to help your company break out from the pack. 

The premise that Verdantix sets out is that real solutions on climate change mean helping organizations take steps towards enterprise transformation to enable them to survive and grow in the changing global climate. A climate in which potentially everything changes: from how people-based businesses rethink moving their executives around the world to how global and regional energy policies affect all businesses and economies to the major change impending the energy and transport-based industries. His research company has some other innovations too. Like not being slow to evaluate vendors and evaluating them (for the most part) as immature, like giving away for free the evaluation “green quadrant” and only charging for the research paper supporting it, like recruiting end users to form panels for surveying and more critically being the key external market rater of vendors (Verdantix refutes the value of interviewing vendors one or two “best” client references). 

Being based in Europe, Verdantix believes it is starting in the right place, the US is at least 2/3 years behind Europe in addressing climate change. In Europe, there are already 11,000 industrial sites affected by relevant EU legislation and in 2009, 5,000 UK organizations like universities, hotel chains, retail banks and government departments will be legally obliged to measure, manage and report on their emissions. On discussing the future growth potential for his business, David was enthusiastic but cautious, noting that it is not until we approach 2011, when legislation starts aggressively “biting”, that the majority will start taking climate change impacts seriously enough at the top. However, so long as CO2 concentrations keep on increasing, then this business’ own “Moores Law” engine of growth means that over the next 5 years Verdantix should expand significantly and you will likely see their success driving others to move to take a piece of the market. 

We wish David and Verdantix well, we like their strategy, we like their research and we like their ambition. You should all contact Verdantix and form your own view.

Martin Tilling

Martin Tilling

There are 6 comments on this post
  1. September 09, 2008, 2:15 pm

    its a bit disappointing you don’t mention the fact the UK analyst business is showing leadership.

    Quocirca and Freeform Dynamics both have dedicated sustainability analysts, looking at the big picture rather than the data center(what we tend to call the 98%).RedMonk has its Greenmonk practice led by Tom Raftery.

    There is a great AR story here, but its not a question of one individual. Well done David Metcalfe, sure, but also well done to the UK analyst businesses.

    We’re all open for business.

  2. September 09, 2008, 2:25 pm

    You may not have heard of GreenMonk but GreenMonk ( is the Green Energy and Sustainability practice of industry analyst firm RedMonk.

    We too are based in Europe and as a the only Open Source analyst company we believe our model is truly innovative.

  3. September 09, 2008, 2:34 pm

    I wonder how Verdantix is differentiated from Redmonk’s Greenmonk division?

    For more info on Greenmonk see SageCircle’s interview with James Governor and Tom Raftery

  4. September 09, 2008, 5:56 pm

    Carter, thanks for the question. Verdantix is an analyst firm focused on the entire corporate climate change agenda. Our survey data indicate that for most firms the IT function is about fifth or sixth on the list in terms of importance in defining and delivering the program. Climate change programs are owned by heads of sustainability, climate change (where they exist), energy and environment. Not CIOs. Based on the Red/Greenmonk websites and having met James a couple of times at analyst events my understanding of Redmonk/Greenmonk is that they are IT-centric bloggers and consultants to technology firms.

  5. September 10, 2008, 9:53 pm

    Carter, the differences are clear. Verdantix is about the whole problem of climate change, including regulatory issues, while Greenmonk is centred on energy, and specifically on technology strategies for reducing energy consumption.

  6. March 14, 2010, 8:30 pm

    […] Back in 2008, during a Lighthouse webinar on Green IT, we made similar points. Green technology advocates are now assumed to have all the basic facts on energy and components, and to be already strong on that front. Detailed business judgements have to be made about the sort of issues around carbon markets and imminent regulatory challenges that Verdantix has focussed on. […]

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