Earth Day 2020: Activating Change

This year, Earth Day comes at a time when we are all adjusting to a new way of life. To protect the health of our global community, we are all doing our part – staying at home, observing social distancing guidelines, and embracing new virtual ways of staying connected. And with the world’s largest environmental event moving online, it reinforces that while protecting human health is the priority, there are also many ways we can continue to engage and remain steadfast in our commitment to the health of our planet.

Sustainability has always been at the center of everything we do at Dell Technologies. We’re proud of what we have accomplished to date, but there is so much more we want to do. It’s why advancing sustainability is a critical part of our Progress Made Real plan which includes specific, measurable goals we want to achieve by the year 2030, including an ambitious ‘moonshot’ goal in each area, designed to push the boundaries of innovation and partnerships to achieve these.

Accelerating the circular economy

Our moonshot goal for sustainability is that by the year 2030, for every product a customer buys, we will reuse or recycle an equivalent product, 100% of our packaging, and more than half of our product content will be made from recycled or renewable material. Our focus on accelerating the circular economy, activating partnerships between the public and private sectors, and pursuing materials and supply chain innovation is how we are going to get there.

A great example of this is our work with Carbon Conversions, a start-up based in South Carolina which redesigned the way we use non-woven carbon fiber scraps in our products, allowing us to use even more of this waste material from the aerospace industry. Another is our work with NextWave plastics, supporting collaboration between large companies (IKEA, GM and HP, to name a few) to create a viable supply chain for ocean-bound plastics, and come up with ways to incorporate this material into future products and packaging.

Committing to the climate

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is ‘climate action.’ Right now, there is a lot of attention on how staying at home is helping to reduce emissions. Dubbed ‘The Great Pause,’ this completely unique situation is providing us with insights into how changes to human behavior can make a significant impact. And as the world comes out of this, we can expect discussions about how we can continue to support this picture of a better world. One thing is for sure, technology will be a key contributor – virtual interactions, collaboration and communication methods – are all ways we can drive positive change today, and tomorrow.

We know the consequences of climate change adversely impact the planet and our communities around the world, and we believe that technology has an important role to play in both mitigating and adapting to climate change. We have committed not only to set emissions goals across our facilities, supply chain and operations but to also look at how our customers can use our technology to advance their own sustainability and emissions goals. One example is our work with Ducks Unlimited, who are using our sensor technology to protect wetlands which not only are home to wildlife, but also serve as a natural resource to reduce greenhouse gases.

Celebrating 50 years of Earth Day

A huge part of our success in the area of sustainability is the talent and passion our team members have for supporting their planet. From the designers and engineers delivering innovative sustainable solutions for our products and packaging, to the environmental initiatives being driven out of our facilities teams, through to our team member engagement in delivering on our goals – we literally could not make progress without them. On Earth Day, our team members will be supporting Earth Challenge 2020, a virtual volunteering opportunity for millions of people to support the world’s largest citizen science effort, recording the quality of the air outside their window. Each reading will add to a global database of knowledge and help scientists understand how our world works and how we can protect it. Click here to join.

Right now, the world is experiencing change like never before. And while it is an incredibly uncertain time, it’s also been a time where we have seen the absolute power of the human spirit. It is the collaboration of people working together to respond to a global challenge that inspires me right now. And it reminds me of our purpose as a company, and why our commitment to social impact is so important. As one of the world’s largest technology companies, we have a responsibility to activate change today – and every day – for our people, for society and for the world.

Christine Fraser

About the Author: Christine Fraser

Christine Fraser is Senior Vice President, Strategy and Operations for Dell EMC Services & IT as part of the recently formed Dell Technologies. Serving as COO to the President of Dell EMC Services and IT, Chris drives planning, execution, and operations with a focus on strategies aligned to the organization’s charter of enabling digital and data center transformation.