Advance Sustainability with Data Confidence at the Edge

Explore how Dell Technologies uses Data Confidence Fabric for real-time carbon credit verification.
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Corporations are stepping up to invest in sustainability and limit their environmental impact. In today’s global economy, demonstrating sustainability is also critical to earning the trust and respect of customers, investors, employees and other stakeholders. One way organizations can enhance sustainability initiatives is to offset their carbon footprint by purchasing carbon credits from third-party companies that reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions beyond normal business activities.

Solving the Trust Challenge at the Edge

However, as an emerging market, carbon credits are susceptible to fraud, such as falsifying or double-selling credits. Without knowing the trustworthiness of the underlying data, it can be difficult to verify credits, which, in turn, can have a devastating effect on an organization’s credibility. For example, Bloomberg reports that about 30% of companies across various industries have mismatched data in at least one emissions category.¹ And, the Financial Review recently reported that as much as 80% of government-issued carbon credits are “flawed” and a “sham.”²

Carbon credit tracking needs to be infused with trust and credibility. Otherwise, it’s difficult to verify if the purchased emission reduction actually occurred.

Today, edge data is becoming more central to sustainability decision-making. At the same time, enterprise data is increasingly combined with external data to enhance analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). With large data sets coming from various sources, organizations must ensure that data coming from outside the core data center is trustworthy and transparent.

To answer this challenge, Dell Technologies has developed a technology known as a Data Confidence Fabric (DCF). DCF fulfills the four principles of data trust — attest, transform, annotate and audit — providing a standardized way of quantifying, screening, measuring and determining whether data meets your organization’s relevancy and trust standards to deliver more confident insights.

DCF for the Good of the Planet

Verifying the accuracy of carbon credits is a great example of how DCF can make a positive impact on an organization and the environment. DCF helps to simplify and speed the process of collecting, measuring and analyzing emission data at the edge for international carbon credit accountability.

Dell Technologies is working with IOTA and ClimateCheck, the creators of a digital measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) solution — called DigitalMRV — to help bolster confidence in carbon credit transactions. Built on IOTA distributed ledger technology, the first-ever built for the Internet of everything, DigitalMRV provides a network for exchanging tamper-proof data on an open, lightweight and scalable infrastructure with a high level of transparency. Combining IOTA’s distributed ledger technology and ecosystem with ClimateCheck’s 20 years of MRV expertise empowers DigitalMRV to provide data confidence. Then, adding DCF from Dell Technologies creates a trusted hardware and software data path that increases confidence and trust between carbon credit buyers and sellers.

A Sustainability Success Story

The joint DigitalMRV and DCF solution was put to the test with a biodigester project at a winery in Molina, Chile. The project recovers and processes organic residuals from the vineyard in an advanced anaerobic digester to produce biogas — a renewable fuel produced by the breakdown of organic matter — for heat and electricity, which creates saleable carbon credits.

The data inputs from the winery are directly secured at the edge by a Dell server at or near the source and then made available in near real-time through the energy-efficient and scalable distributed ledger technology. This provides a simpler, more secure and cost-efficient means of conducting carbon-capture projects. The DigitalMRV advances MRV innovations in combination with Dell Technologies infrastructure and DCF to increase the trust, transparency and utility of climate action metrics, such as carbon credits.

Looking to the Future

As data landscapes spread from the data center to the cloud and edge, ensuring the trustworthiness and transparency of data is essential to optimizing the value of data. Going forward, this revolutionary solution can be used to propel sustainability goals via carbon credits used for infrastructure, smart cities transportation and more. Dell Technologies commitment to taking action on climate change is important for our company, but it is equally as critical for Dell Technologies to demonstrate the significant opportunity technology can play to help our customers reduce their emissions.

You can discover more on these initiatives from on-demand replays of the Dell Technologies 2022 sessions and our edge solutions page.

¹ Bloomberg, Corporate Greenhouse Gas Data Doesn’t Always Add Up, January 2022.

² Financial Review, Former watchdog goes public with carbon credit ‘fraud’ claims, March 2022.

About the Author: Steve Todd

Steve Todd is a Fellow and Vice President of Data Innovation and Strategy in the Dell Technologies Office of the CTO. He is a long-time inventor in high tech, having filed over 400 patent applications with the USPTO. His innovations and inventions have generated tens of billions of dollars in global customer purchases. His current focus is the trustworthy processing of edge data. He co-founded Project Alvarium, an open-source platform for valuing trustworthy data in a data confidence fabric (DCF). He is driving the exploration of distributed ledger technology with partners such as IOTA and Hedera. Steve earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Computer Science from the University of New Hampshire.
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