This week, the United Nations (UN) gathers for its 75th General Assembly and Climate Week to examine the progress made against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals were adopted in 2015 by the UN member states and are, in effect, a blueprint for how we’ll build the world we want to live in by 2030. Or as our and the UN Foundation’s former entrepreneur-in-residence Elizabeth Gore refers to the SDGs—“the world’s to-do list.”
With the events of 2020, this to-do list has never been more important and perhaps more challenging to achieve. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently addressed these critical needs and the sense of urgency for collective action to recover better together and create more equitable societies everywhere.
We have a role to play
We know as a global technology solutions provider, we are uniquely positioned to drive change on a global scale. Which is why we aligned 11 of our Progress Made Real social impact goals with the 17 UN SDGs – contributing to goals like Quality Education, Sustainable Cities and Communities and Reduced Inequalities. And we are laser focused on accelerating progress toward these ambitious goals. Here are just a few ways we’re going faster to drive measurable progress.
Advocating for progress on climate
When it comes to climate change, there is strength in numbers. Strategic partnerships are key as we work to influence policies and industry standards that will have big, sustainable impact over time.
- We are working with the Business Roundtable’s Energy and Environment Committee and the Climate Working Group to update a policy position to materially reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
- Michael Dell recently joined the World Economic Forum’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, the only CEO-led climate action initiative focused on reducing supply chain emissions and prioritizing sustainable practices in product design and manufacturing.
- And our own team members are getting involved through a partnership with CDP North America. This year, we are sponsoring a series of hackathons to turn climate data into actionable plans to achieve climate goals. Our first competition was with Dell team members on World Environment Day. More than 600 team members joined to tackle complex sustainability challenges like helping cities large and small reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
- Finally, we will continue to use our resources and relationships to support the response to climate-related disasters around the world where our teams and customers live and work.
Making stronger headway with digital skills
Fourth-industrial revolution technologies—and perhaps even more important, the skills to make the most of them—can fast track 70 percent of SDGs. That’s why we’ve focused on access to technology, STEM education and digital literacy for more than a decade.
Bringing critical skills and economic opportunity to underserved students will continue to be a priority as we work to address socioeconomic disparity and transform one billion lives by 2030. And scaling the impact nonprofits can have through technology will be key to that. In recent research, more than 82 percent of nonprofit leaders rated IT readiness among their top three challenges. Capabilities like cloud, donor data security and automated IT services are critical to serving constituents and communities. It’s why we set out to transform 1,000 nonprofits by 2030 as part of our goals.
Building a better tomorrow is hard work and there is always more to do and more to measure. As IDC recently noted, “This is the most significant step in driving real progress and a reality check for the tech sector on what it really takes to move a large technology company toward parity, racial equality, dramatically lower environmental impact, and broad support for local communities, all with an ethical mindset.” Metrics, target-setting and reporting are key if we are going to drive real progress and adjust along the way.
The Sustainable Development Goals are daunting. And it will take the whole world pitching in to achieve them. As for Dell Technologies, our Progress Made Real goals are our contribution to the world’s to-do list. It won’t be easy to achieve everything on our list, but one thing’s for sure—it will be worth it.