Supply Chains

Innovation Grants

Workshop Papers

Venue Title
ICLR 2024 Empowering Sustainable Finance: Leveraging Large Language Models for Climate-Aware Investments (Papers Track)
Abstract and authors: (click to expand)

Abstract: With the escalating urgency of climate change, it is becoming more imperative for businesses and organizations to align their objectives with sustainability goals. Financial institutions also face a critical mandate to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly goal 13, which targets the fight against climate change and its consequences. Mitigating the impacts of climate change requires a focus on reducing supply chain emissions, which constitute over 90% of total emission inventories. In the financial industry, supply chain emissions linked to lending and investments emerge as the primary source of emissions, posing challenges in tracking financed emissions due to the intricate process of collecting data from numerous suppliers across the supply chain. To address these challenges, we propose an emission estimation framework utilizing a Large Language Model (LLM) to drastically accelerate the assessment of the emissions associated with lending and investment activities. This framework utilizes financial activities as a proxy for measuring financed emissions. Utilizing the LLM, we classify financial activities into seven asset classes following the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) standard. Additionally, we map investments to industry categories and employ spend-based emission factors (kg-CO2/$-spend) to calculate emissions associated with financial investments. In our study, we compare the performance of our proposed method with state-of-the-art text classification models like TF-IDF, word2Vec, and Zero-shot learning. The results demonstrate that the LLM-based approach not only surpasses traditional text mining techniques and performs on par with a subject matter expert (SME) but most importantly accelerates the assessment process.

Authors: Ayush Jain (IBM Research); Manikandan Padmanaban (IBM Research India); Jagabondhu Hazra (IBM Research India); Shantanu Godbole (IBM India); Hendrik Hamann (IBM Research)

ICLR 2023 CaML: Carbon Footprinting of Products with Zero-Shot Semantic Text Similarity (Papers Track)
Abstract and authors: (click to expand)

Abstract: Estimating the embodied carbon in products is a key step towards understanding their impact, and undertaking mitigation actions. Precise carbon attribution is challenging at scale, requiring both domain expertise and granular supply chain data. As a first-order approximation, standard reports use Economic Input-Output based Life Cycle Assessment (EIO-LCA) which estimates carbon emissions per dollar at an industry sector level using transactions between different parts of the economy. For EIO-LCA, an expert needs to map each product to one of upwards of 1000 potential industry sectors. We present CaML, an algorithm to automate EIO-LCA using semantic text similarity matching by leveraging the text descriptions of the product and the industry sector. CaML outperforms the previous manually intensive method, yielding a MAPE of 22% with no domain labels.

Authors: Bharathan Balaji (Amazon); Venkata Sai Gargeya Vunnava (amazon); Geoffrey Guest (Amazon); Jared Kramer (Amazon)

ICLR 2023 Mapping global innovation networks around clean energy technologies (Proposals Track)
Abstract and authors: (click to expand)

Abstract: Reaching net zero emissions requires rapid innovation and scale-up of clean tech. In this context, clean tech innovation networks (CTINs) can play a crucial role by pooling necessary resources and competences and enabling knowledge transfers between different actors. However, existing evidence on CTINs is limited due to a lack of comprehensive data. Here, we develop a machine learning framework to identify CTINs from announcements on social media to map the global CTIN landscape. Specifically, we classify the social media announcements regarding the type of technology (e.g., hydrogen, solar), interaction type (e.g., equity investment, R\&D collaboration), and status (e.g., commencement, update). We then extract referenced organizations via entity recognition. Thereby, we generate a large-scale dataset of CTINs across different technologies, countries, and over time. This allows us to compare characteristics of CTINs, such as the geographic proximity of actors, and to investigate the association between network evolution and technology innovation and diffusion. As a direct implication, our work helps policy makers to promote CTINs by identifying current barriers and needs.

Authors: Malte Toetzke (ETH Zurich); Francesco Re (ETH Zurich); Benedict Probst (ETH Zurich); Stefan Feuerriegel (LMU Munich); Laura Diaz Anadon (University of Cambridge); Volker Hoffmann (ETH Zurich)

ICLR 2023 Emission-Constrained Optimization of Gas Systems with Input-Convex Neural Networks (Papers Track)
Abstract and authors: (click to expand)

Abstract: Planning optimization of gas networks under emission constraints prioritizes gas supply with the smallest emission footprint. As this problem includes complex gas flow physical laws, standard optimization solvers cannot guarantee convergence to a feasible solution, especially under strict emission constraints. To address this issue, we develop an input-convex neural network (ICNN) aided optimization routine which incorporates a set of trained ICNNs approximating the gas flow equations with high precision. Numerical tests on the Belgium gas network demonstrate that the ICNN-aided optimization dominates non-convex and relaxation-based solvers, with larger optimality gains pertaining to stricter emission targets.

Authors: Vladimir Dvorkin (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Samuel C Chevalier (Technical University of Denmark); Spyros Chatzivasileiadis (Technical University of Denmark)