Information and communication technologies (ICT) can help reduce emissions in applications across the supply chain. However, because many actors contribute to developing and implementing ICT solutions in complex value chains, it is difficult to quantify—much less attribute to individual entities—the emissions reductions these technologies enable. There is not yet an agreed-upon methodology for these calculations.
Carbon handprint is an emerging accounting method to overcome this barrier. A carbon handprint refers to the difference in emissions between a baseline process and the same process with a new application that reduces emissions; in this case, new technology. When paired with a carbon footprint estimation, the handprint provides a more comprehensive understanding of companies’ emissions reduction contributions in the supply chain.
This white paper—intended as a proof of concept—evaluates the potential of the carbon handprint to help calculate the downstream emissions reductions impacts of two specific applications of ICT: the optimization of utility substations through a grid management solution and the optimization of depot charging of EVs used for short-haul freight, drayage, and fleets. The paper also explores necessary next steps, including pilot planning and policy in order to further the handprint concept towards attribution.
Hoffmeister, A., P. Srinivasan, A. Mersky, and E. Taylor. 2023. A Modeling Approach to Estimate Handprint Impacts: Applications in Grid Management and Fleet EV Charging. Washington, DC: ACEEE. https://www.aceee.org/white-paper/2023/09/modeling-approach-estimate-handprint-impacts.