This Saturday (March 24) at 8:30 pm, millions of people, businesses and landmarks around the globe will set aside an hour to host events, switch off their lights and make some noise for action on climate change.
It’s called Earth Hour, and I’m proud that Dell is once again turning off logo signs on many buildings and darkening areas (where it won’t interfere with safety or security) from 8:30-9:30pm local time. Dell Facilities, Planet ERG and the Legacy of Good team have been working together to support the effort.
Why turn out the lights?
One of the neat things about Earth Hour is that it creates a “rolling blackout” (of the good kind) across the planet. As each time zone reaches 8:30pm, people turn out their lights to show their support. Last year that included 12,000 landmarks and participants in 187 countries. This visible (or invisible?) display is meant as a symbolic gesture. Its goal is awareness and longer-term behavior change, not simply to reduce the electricity demand for an hour. That said, the connection between turning out the lights and taking climate action is strong. Throughout most of the world, the majority of electricity is created by burning coal or natural gas – both of which create carbon emissions. Think of Earth Hour as your first step toward taking meaningful climate action.
So, it’s dark… now what?
I hope you’ll join us by turning off the lights where you are at 8:30pm on Saturday night. What you do once the lights are out is up to you (keep it clean, people). Some of the larger cities have public events – Singapore has had a week-long event with concerts, festivals and a count-down to dimming the skyline Saturday night. Some local Planet teams have organized events and learning opportunities. Planet Bangalore, for example, has a selfie kiosk they’ll be setting up for Earth Hour and Planet Malaysia published a list of “Fun things to do in the dark.” Or you may choose to dine by candlelight or even just go out and look at the stars for a change. What you do is up to you.
The important thing is to re-establish a connection with nature.
And why is Dell involved?
Climate change is an economic, social and environmental challenge with increasingly evident consequences. It is affecting the natural systems around us, changing migration patterns and growing seasons, increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather and drought, and damaging our oceans.
Our products use electricity, and unless you are purchasing 100 percent renewable electricity, that means you are creating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by using them. We continue to work hard to reduce the “embedded emissions” on our end: we work with our suppliers to set GHG emissions reduction targets, we sourced approximately one-quarter of our electricity needs from renewable generation (both purchased and electricity we generated on-site), and we’ve reduced the energy intensity of our entire product portfolio by an astounding 54 percent since 2011.
This last one is especially important to our customers, because it affects their carbon footprint (and, obviously, their electricity costs).
It’s also important because of the role technology is likely to play in helping the world address climate change. It will take a wide range of concerted, collaborative actions, many of which will be enabled by the products and services we provide. High-performance computing, cloud storage, virtualization, big data analytics and the Internet of Things all have important roles to play in understanding how the climate is changing and in changing the way we manage our world to use less energy, water, and other resources.
I’m ready – let’s fight climate change
So Mother Nature thanks you for your commitment to turn out the lights on Saturday at 8:30pm. Help us let the world know Dell has been participating and show us your selfie of what you do in the dark, tagging #EarthHour and #LegacyofGood. No idea what to do? Host a party, have dinner by candlelight, or find some friends and play.
Beyond Saturday, there are plenty of resources out there for you:
- To learn more about Earth Hour, you can visit their site.
- Join forces with one of the many environmental organizations working hard to preserve the You may even have an environmentally-focused employee resource group at your own workplace.
- Find out how Dell is Building a Legacy of Good.
This story shares one example of how Dell is committed to driving human progress by putting our technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet.
We invite you to explore our FY17 Annual update on our 2020 Legacy of Good Plan at legacyofgood.dell.com