As one of the United States' biggest users of fuel, the U.S. military has a big role to fill in reducing the nation's carbon footprint. On Tuesday, it announced it would turn to carbon management software maker Enviance to help out at 12 bases around the country.

The Carlsbad, Calif.-based maker of web-based greenhouse gas tracking and reporting software will be expanding a system now being used at Fort Carson, Colo. to 11 more U.S. Army bases.

Other Enviance customers include Chevron, American Electric Power, DuPont, CH2M Hill, Valero and Southern Co. utility Georgia Power.

Enviance has become one of the top providers of carbon accounting software in the United States, based on its existing business of providing environmental health and safety (EHS) monitoring and reporting software to companies.

That puts it in a group of companies including ESS, IHS, and ProcessMAP that have added carbon accounting to the services they provide their EHS customers to become among the top providers of carbon accounting to American companies, according to a study by Groom Energy Solutions and Greentech Media (see Carbon Accounting: It's All About Appearances).

They're in competition with startups aimed specifically at carbon accounting software, including CarbonFlow, Planet Metrics, Carbonetworks and CSRWare (see Clear Standards Bags $4M for Carbon Management).

The overall market for carbon accounting software is fairly small at about $10 million today, though that's expected to double annually over the coming years, according to the Groom Energy/Greentech Media report.

But with the U.S. Congress considering the implementation of a carbon cap-and-trade system that would force companies to reduce or pay for excess carbon emissions, U.S. carbon accounting software makers have seen growing interest from investors (see Energy Management Startup Hara Nabs Coke as Client, $6M From Kleiner).

IT giants like Microsoft and CA are also eyeing the space, and enterprise software maker SAP got into the game earlier this year with its purchase of carbon accounting software startup Clear Standards (see Carbon Consolidation Begins With SAP's Latest Buy).

The U.S. military is pledging to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions, with the Army setting a goal of a 30 percent reduction by 2015. Among the military projects seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a so-called "microgrid" project involving General Electric at the U.S. Marine Corps base in Twentynine Palms, Calif. (see Green Light post).

The U.S. Army bases that will use Enviance's carbon accounting software include Fort Benning, Ga.; Letterkenny Army Depot, Pa.; Redstone Arsenal, Ala.; Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.; Fort Rucker, Ala.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md. and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Fort Benning will use Enviance's software to manage a forest-based carbon sequestration project. The business of creating carbon credits by managing forests to keep more carbon locked in living trees and other plants could be a part of a U.S. cap-and-trade system (see Finite Carbon, Forest Carbon Credit Specialist, Opens Shop).

Learn how to differentiate your company through greener product lines at Greening the Supply Chain on September 17 in Boston.