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Ex-SAP man joins Gore green crusade

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Another ex-SAP man has joined the green crusade.

As former SAP wunderkind Shai Agassi attempts to drive his Better Place electric cars across the globe, Amit Chatterjee is launching Hara, an online service for businesses intent on tracking both their natural-resource consumption and their environmental emissions.

"We provide a mechanism for you to actually measure your organization's metabolism," Chatterjee, the startup's CEO and co-founder, tells The Reg. This involves monitoring what your business consumes (from fossil fuels to electricity and water) as well as what it outputs (from greenhouse gases to water waste and solid waste) - all with an eye towards reducing such measurements and perhaps saving some dollars.

"We give you a nexus between your inputs and outputs," Chatterjee says. "A gas meter tells you a tank is half full. What we try to do is tell how that half-tank measure could be improved."

Backed by $6m (£3.6m) from venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers - where Al "An Inconvenient Truth" Gore is a partner - Hara began life about 18 months ago, and it's just now coming out of what the business world loves to call "stealth mode." Chatterjee had done some pro bono "sustainability" work while still a senior VP at SAP, before approaching Kleiner with the idea of a web service that manages a company's energy resources.

The Hara Environmental and Energy Management service is already used by about a dozen organizations, including Coca-Cola and the City of Palo Alto, just down the road from Hara's Menlo Park headquarters. Beginning today, the service is available to anyone.

As the US House of Representatives mulls The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 - which would put restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions - Hara is poised to reap the benefits. But Chatterjee says that even if government regulation doesn't arrive anytime soon, the company is facing a market of $3.5bn to $5bn (£2.1bn to £3bn). He claims that by using the service to chop energy-related expenses, the City of Palo Alto has saved $2.2m (£1.3m) in just a matter of months. ®

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