Making Climate Commitments Possible Through Data Science for Sustainable Consumption


Jacobs Hall, Room 2512, Jacobs School of Engineering, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, San Diego, California 92093

Sponsored By:
Prof. Truong Nguyen

Dr. James Tull
Dr. James Tull


According to GSA and EPA research, the acquisition of goods and services creates a carbon footprint nine times that of buildings and fleets put together. The procurement of environmentally preferable products is possible at scale if 1) we use data science to translate sustainability standards and product claims into environmental benefits and actionable sustainable procurement policies and 2) we can reconcile cost with sustainability.

In this talk, a framework is shown for the unification of product sustainability and cost specification language and metrics to augment the outcomes of sustainable procurement and increase the return on investment as measured by a new unit called spend benefit efficiency. We show how efforts at aggregating a database of standards have allowed purchasers to understand what “green” means for each product category of purchase and easily find sustainable products.  Methods of locating value along a supply chain called “True Value Engineering” enabled by a common denomination and accounting system called “Benefits and Liabilities” used in conjunction with scenario-based planning tools to report on this unlocked value are demonstrated.

About ProductBio: (Workpology, Inc.) is a data and environmental science company from Silicon Valley and recognized by the California State Senate as one of the nation's largest green procurement product-level data providers and green spend management solutions for government and businesses. Created as a central component of a major EPA environmentally preferable purchasing initiative unveiled in 2013 by executive order under the federal acquisition regulation, today ProductBio provides product upgrades to cities, schools, and businesses, servicing over 26 municipalities to help steward more than $2.5 billion in procurement spend across the country and growing

About the Internship:

Opportunities to get involved with these industry efforts will be available through an internship program starting in January 2018 offered by ECE faculty sponsor Prof. Truong Nguyen (4 units ECE199 or ECE291 as well as equity opportunities). ESYS Environmental Studies Seniors who wish to be involved in a capstone project may also apply for a cross-listing of the course credit hours. The founder/CEO and product architect, will be available to answer questions. Interviews to be held on Nov 21st immediately following the talk in person or via Skype the days before/after. Please send your applications through Port Triton. Recommended Tech Stack familiarity (Django, Javascript, HTML, Angularjs, Jquery and Bootstrap, Python, Amazon Web Services(PSQL), Amazon Web Services (EC2, EB, CS, R53), GIT, Docker)

Speaker Bio:
Dr. James Tull is a data scientist and engineering manager at ProductBio, leading data analytics and machine learning capabilities behind ProductBio’s platform so users can derive meaningful information for procurement decisions in service of environmental targets. Prior to ProductBio, he worked for Deutsche Bank’s structured credit valuations group before going on to complete his PhD at Imperial College London funded by the Climate-KIC fellowship, Europe's largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate innovation to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Ph.D. Imperial College, M.Sc., B.A. University of Oxford

Travis Spackman (