Dell’s climate action is enabling a ‘legacy of good’BSR
Dell Technologies is a unique family of businesses that provides the essential infrastructure for organizations to build their digital future, transform IT and protect their most important asset, information. The company services customers of all sizes across 180 countries – ranging from 99% of the Fortune 500 to individual consumers – with the industry’s most comprehensive and innovative portfolio from the edge to the core to the cloud.
Dell’s science-based target (SBT) was announced as part of the Legacy of Good plan in 2013 and approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2015. Following Dell’s acquisition of EMC, the company revisited its goals in its new operating context and submitted an adjusted SBT that was re-verified in 2017. To learn more about why and how Dell set their initial targets, click here.
- Dell commits to reduce its scope 1 and 2 absolute emissions 40% by 2020 from a 2010 base-year.
- Dell also commits to reduce the average energy intensity of its entire product portfolio 80% by 2020, using a 2012 base-year.
Dell recognizes climate change as a social, economic, and environmental challenge that requires sustained focus on mitigation and adaptation efforts. We believe these efforts necessitate collaboration across industries and between the private and public sectors, and that ICT (information and communications technology) companies, like Dell, have a critical role to play.”John Pflueger, Principal Environmental Strategist, Dell*
*For more on Dell’s climate policy principles, click here.
From Target Setting to Implementation
In 2013, Dell announced its Legacy of Good program. The program is comprised of a broad spectrum of goals covering all aspects of Dell’s business. Following the acquisition of EMC, Dell reviewed and updated the program. Today, Legacy of Good includes several 2020 goals driving climate-related action across the value chain, from supply chain to operations, use of sold products, and positive social and environmental outcomes from the use of their technology:
- Supplier Engagement: By 2020, Dell’s suppliers representing 95% of direct materials spend, along with key logistics suppliers, will set specific greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets and report on their emissions inventory
- Operational Emissions*: Reduce global absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Scopes 1 and 2 (MTCO2e) market-based, by 40% as compared to a FY11 baseline
- Renewable Energy: Source 50% of total electricity from renewables (both purchased and on-site generation)
- Product Energy Intensity*: Reduce the energy intensity of our product portfolio by 80%. To help achieve the energy intensity goal, we will continue to track disk drive energy intensity and hardware and software efficiency on our storage and data protection products.
- Positive Effect: Dell is committed to demonstrating how technology solutions can create net positive effects.
(* Verified science-based targets)
Dell adjusted its targets to both include EMC’s existing targets and ambitions, and account for the changes to the company’s overall operations and supply chain footprint. Dell is making significant progress toward these new 2020 goals: In 2017 (FY18):
- Scope 1 and 2 emissions decreased 29% (FY11 baseline)
- Renewable energy procurement increased 29%
- Average product portfolio energy intensity decreased 60% (FY12 baseline)
Integrating EMC posed a significant challenge for our goals, and could have been an excuse to reduce our ambition. Instead, we redoubled our efforts and worked diligently to understand the new footprint of the business and combine EMC and Dell’s commitments into an even stronger program going forward.”John Pflueger, Principal Environmental Strategist, Dell
In 2017 (roughly the halfway point between the goal’s announcement and its target achievement date), Dell released a white paper outlining progress to date and lessons learned, including insights on the goal itself, the company’s product portfolio, and the industry as a whole. Following this analysis, Dell re-committed to the goal, and to continued transparency around its metrics and progress as the industry changes and measurement approaches improve.
Sparking Innovation to Fight Climate Change
As Dell works toward its 2020 goals, the company continues to support customers in their efforts to reduce emissions and build resilience in their companies, cities, and initiatives. For example:
- Dell’s Edge Gateways—designed to connect wired and wireless devices and withstand harsh conditions—are helping New Bedford, Massachusetts manage port traffic more efficiently and implement precision agriculture techniques in vineyards.
- Dell technologies power Animusoft’s small, battery-powered drone system for monitoring crops in Florida—replacing flyovers by gas-powered helicopters.
- In China, Fujian University of Technology is using a Dell-developed platform to monitor and process massive amounts of data and information on traffic patterns. Residents can use the information to plan routes and estimate travel times, and government officials are incorporating it into transportation policy and infrastructure design to reduce challenges and improve efficiency.
- Approximately 90% of Dell’s eligible products qualify for ENERGY STAR standards, providing customers with more efficiency, less energy-intensive options.
Meanwhile, Dell is exploring and investing in innovative approaches to better measure the impacts of these individual and large-scale solutions within the product portfolio. “At Dell, we believe technology’s role is not to do “less bad,” but to create and accelerate regenerative solutions and create more good,” said Pflueger.
- Recognizing the need for collaborative solutions, Dell is an active participant in the Net Positive Project, which convenes a variety of companies across industries to develop global principles for measurement. As part of its 10×20 goal and overall Net Positive aspirations, Dell has also committed to identifying and quantifying the environmental benefits of IT-based solutions.
- Over the last four years, Dell has partnered with customers and academic institutions to complete nine studies exploring the impact of Dell’s solutions, and IT solutions across the industry.
Beyond its own operations and value chain, Dell is also supporting broader efforts to tackle climate change. In 2018, The National Science Foundation and Texas Advanced Computing Center announced that Dell will provide the primary computing system behind Frontera, the fastest university supercomputer in the United States. Set to launch in 2019, Frontera is designed to enable researchers to better address global challenges—including climate change.
Through our Legacy of Good plan, we’ve contributed to the science of outcome measurement through solution and methodology studies, worked with industry partners to advance global dialogue on and action around Net Positive, and entered new sustainability frontiers at Dell that are shifting our culture toward a focus on restoration and regeneration,” said Pflueger. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made and energized by the work ahead.”