Traditionally, sustainability programmes have aimed to reduce the negative impact a company has on its surroundings. But we believe the future belongs to those who can find solutions that not only reduce the negatives but increase the positives too. With regenerative solutions, we can give more to society, the environment and the global economy. Dell Technologies’ goal is for those benefits to outweighs the social and environmental costs by a factor of 10. Our technology has the power to drive human progress and enable net positive solutions. Let’s look at some examples.
The world will need to grow 50 percent more food by 2050 to feed a predicted population of 9.7 billion – an increasing challenge with a changing climate. What’s more, estimates show that one-third of the food we currently produce goes uneaten or wasted. Dell Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are helping overcome these challenges.
In New Jersey, AeroFarms has developed an indoor vertical farming system that grows food with fewer resources and less waste than conventional methods. Our IoT solutions make this possible by constantly managing light, water and nutrient levels at the plant level. The results are truly remarkable – AeroFarms has achieved 390 times greater productivity than field farming while using 95 percent less water.
Meanwhile, in the UK, our IoT solutions are helping IMS Evolve cut food waste and energy use in the supermarket industry’s ‘cold chain’. By delivering real time control of the complex journey that food takes from producer to retailer, IMS Evolve has delivered a 49 percent fall in refrigerated stock loss and $7 million cost savings for their customers.
Increased access to online education can create socio-economic benefits of as much as $545,000 per undergraduate degree. It also reduces every student’s carbon footprint by at least 30 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.
As cities continue to grow, our transportation infrastructures need to adapt. These changes could be an opportunity to improve not just how people move about the urban landscape, but how sustainable that system can be.
Open data may well be the key, inspiring innovation, engagement and collaboration. Our research shows how to make the most of open data ecosystems, helping stakeholders shift from passive providers of data to active participants in problem-solving and innovation.
We all know the idea of a “footprint” as the negative effects created by an action – burning fossil fuels, for example. But what about the opposite – the positive benefits that come from doing something? Some people call this a ‘handprint’. Net Positive refers to products, solutions or organisations whose handprint is bigger than their footprint.
As well as our own Net Positive goal, we want to set standards to help everyone understand the impact of the products and services they use. This isn’t something we can do by ourselves though, so in 2016 we co-founded the Net Positive Project. This cross-sector coalition aims to expand the number of Net Positive companies and develop global measurement principles.