Innovating with Purpose: Technology’s Role in the Sustainable Development Goals

By Nicola Acutt, VP of Sustainability Strategy at VMware

 

Since our inception, the VMware community strives to operate our business in a responsible and sustainable manner. From our global commitment to green building practices to the order of magnitude our technology delivers in terms of energy and carbon emission reductions in IT, VMware aims to leave ahead a better future by weaving sustainability into everything we do.

 

Today, we’re proud to partner with insights and strategy firm Globescan to release a discussion summary on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 9: to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. The summary features opinions and insights of expert perspectives from our jointly produced SDG Leadership Forums for Goal 9.

 

Read the full report here: Innovating with Purpose: Perspectives from the SDG Leadership Forum.

 

The 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a grand challenge for all of us and cannot be achieved without technology, innovation and collaboration. So, in conjunction with GlobeScan, VMware engaged some of the brightest minds on the topic of “Innovating for Good–The Opportunity and Responsibility for Tech.” Recognizing the important synergies between the Fourth Industrial Revolution and accelerating progress on the SDGs, we believe the tech sector has a major role to play, specifically in Goal #9: Industries, Innovation, and Infrastructure. At VMware, we believe digital infrastructure is just as vital for today’s civilization as the roads are that carry goods, services and people.

 

What most people don’t know is that throughout VMware’s 20-year history, we have pioneered solutions to help build a low-carbon economy. Data centers are responsible for two percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions—roughly the same as global air travel.  Our virtualization technologies make IT infrastructure dramatically more efficient, fundamentally changing how our customers use power. With our 75,000 global partners, our software forms a digital foundation that powers the many businesses transforming the world. But we aspire to do more.

 

We aim to put back more than we take so we’ve embarked on a journey where we are building sustainability into all aspects of our business and operations. And we will continue to participate in this critical conversation. As we chart our path forward, we are more committed than ever to be intentional; to do what we can to leave ahead a better future—putting back more than we take—and to inspire our employees, customers and partners to do the same.

 

In addition to driving transformation for our customers, through the VMware Foundation, we’re supporting tools and resources that enable global nonprofits to scale. There are 12 million global nonprofits that are already addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems, however, they struggle with the needed digital infrastructure that enables them to reach their mission.

 

According to the World Bank, if the global nonprofit sector were a country, it would have the sixteenth largest economy in the world. Helping nonprofits scale is not only the right thing to do, but also it will have a significant ripple effect that will help us meet the ambitious SDGs.

 

Meeting any of the SDGs will take an enormous amount of collaboration among governments, NGOs and nonprofits, and the private sector. All of us are dealing with complex, global challenges each and every day, and here at VMware, we share the conviction that we can all play a role in advancing progress. Progress requires all of us and I’m encouraged by the people that participated in the Globescan Leadership Series.

 

Don’t forget to watch a recap of the forums and read the summary report.