Community Impact Platform Award Submission

(This submission helped SDG&E win the coveted CIO Award and was a finalist for Fast Company’s World-Changing Ideas.)

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is helping to advance California’s net zero goals with a focus on increasing societal value and alleviating pollution in disadvantaged communities, defined by the State of California as areas that suffer the most from a combination of economic, health, and environmental burdens.  

Given transportation is the largest source of pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in California – making up 38% of the state’s overall emissions, SDG&E has launched several initiatives to help broadly decarbonize transportation, including setting a goal to convert its entire service fleet to zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.  

A digital innovation called the Community Impact Platform is at the heart of how SDG&E is approaching its fleet decarbonization efforts. This tool overlays advanced fleet telematics data with socioeconomic data to isolate the highest emitting vehicles and unlock insights in data that have traditionally been hidden from view. The platform identifies high emissions vehicles, enabling the utility to reroute them away from the most vulnerable communities for a more equitable approach to decarbonization.   

For the fleet vehicle transition, the platform helps answer crucial questions: 

  • Where are the fleet vehicles driving?    
  • Which disadvantaged communities are the fleet vehicles driving through?    
  • How frequently are they driving there?    
  • What is the emission impact throughout the SDG&E territory?   

In addition, SDG&E is expanding the reach of the platform to inform its investment decisions around other clean transportation capabilities like electric vehicle (EV) public charging stations. Here, the analytics data is helping the utility understand if there is equitable access to EV charging infrastructure across its service territory.  

The platform will enable SDG&E to: 

  • Pinpoint optimal charging infrastructure locations to support equitable access 
  • Reduce GHG emissions by supporting regional transportation plans for electrification 
  • Understand transportation system patterns and address gaps in service and reliability for vulnerable communities 

The Community Impact Platform informs strategic decision-making with community impact as a core dimension, with data at the heart of the decision-making. With the platform, SDG&E can more effectively partner with communities to overcome the challenges they face. 


SDG&E’s Community Impact Platform pioneers a new application of cutting-edge digital twin technologies by incorporating project and community data like fleet emissions, census tract, tribal lands, disadvantaged communities, air quality, reliability, and transportation data. To expand the reach and power of the Community Impact Platform, new data sets are constantly being integrated.  

A digital twin is a digital model of a physical object, system, or process. Our digital twin platform aggregates and optimizes data via sophisticated machine learning models and provides a dynamic and powerful user interface.   


Verizon telematic sensors deployed throughout our fleet of service vehicles gather and transmit millions of data points on the fleet’s driving and idling patterns. Leveraging cloud-based analytics capabilities, the Community Impact Platform team strung together sequential two-minute pings to visualize routes and estimate carbon emissions on a customized geo-spatial map that serves as an interactive platform. 

The platform’s architecture is powered by multiple cloud-based AWS solutions that store, load, and query data; enable the creation of ML models; improve application performance; and deliver serverless websites. 


The platform isolates the highest emitting vehicles and unlocks new patterns in data to enable strategic decision-making that advances fleet decarbonization. In one example, the team found a Ford F550 truck driving through disadvantaged communities, emitting on average about 2.7k of CO2 per day. To offset these emissions, 20 new trees would need to grow for 10 years.  Our fleet decarbonization capability is projected to remove 3 million pounds of total CO2 emissions from disadvantaged communities every year.  

Beyond the societal and environmental benefits of reducing emissions and climate risk, the platform has also proven to be valuable by reducing fleet maintenance expenses, expediting the electrification process, and optimizing SDG&E’s community ventures.    

The Community Impact Platform was developed through a joint innovation program with Accenture.  

The initial phase of the project was a proof of concept, funded by Accenture, which first determined if the technology was feasible, and that the platform could deliver significant value both to the company and to communities in San Diego designated as disadvantaged by the State of California.  

Once the value was proven and the decision to scale across the enterprise was made, SDG&E invested in an agile, dedicated team to build out the capability into production and explore and develop new capabilities to meet the fleet decarbonization, clean transportation, and other use cases.