The Ultimate Rally Road Race
Dear Customers, Employees & Partners,
Many issues in our current global economy highlight the drive to sustainability, but none looms larger than global warming. This issue is a snowball rolling downhill whose consequences are described in detail on a number of great web sites and also by some of the world’s best climate scientists who are located here in Boulder, Colorado (for example, climatecrisis.net, the films “An Inconvenient Truth” and “The 11th Hour,” and Learn More About Climate).
Net Positive by 2020
Based on research reports and climate models on our increasing accumulation of green house gases, all countries, business and individuals must reduce their Co2 output by 80% by 2050. For services businesses like software, we have to get there sooner. In addition, it is not just about the reducing the negative; it is about increasing our potential positives. For that reason, I believe all service and software businesses need to get to Net Positive by 2030, and Rally has a goal of achieving Net Positive by 2020. Net Positive is where our positive impacts on the world outweigh our negative impacts. Because of the reach of Rally's products, services and employees, we have a much larger lever by increasing good than simply reducing our negative impacts associated with Co2, waste water and solid waste.
To increase our positive impact, we are focusing on the education and enabling of citizen engineering and entrepreneurial activities in emerging and growing for-benefit organizations. These activities work to create social innovations and enterprises that are net positive for society and the planet. We believe these activities include: seeing the larger system, collaborating across boundaries, learning quickly through a continuous flow of innovations and envisioning a desired future that works with nature and produces social justice.
A Model for Sustainability
Ray Anderson at Interface carpet is one of the giants in sustainability. In 1994, Ray read Paul Hawken’s “Natural Capital” and became involved with the authors of “The Natural Step.” He charted his environmental journey through a book called “Mid-course Correction,” detailing his commitment to the idea of “mission zero.” The goal is for Interface to be a completely sustainable and zero carbon footprint company by 2020. This is the first and only company that I have seen committed to this goal. Their web site on this topic has been a critical influence on our green team and me.
In the high technology or information technology industry, we have matured over the last 30 years to an assembly line model centered around getting products to the market. (Watch “The Story of Stuff” for more information.) This model for software is similar to assembly line manufacturing; it can be characterized by large, linear, late and lavishly wasteful software. In addition, it produces a rapidly growing stream of toxic e-waste, soaring power usage and increasing social inequity. At Rally, we want to make a major impact in the technology industry by moving it from a slow, wasteful and burdensome product model to a fast, sustainable, high-impacting service model. The goal here is to break the take-make-waste cycle and move society toward a regenerative service model - a model where work creates joy, diversity, social justice and clean ecosystem services.
Four Guiding Objectives
Rally's mission has four parts that work in concert to move our company, employees and stakeholders towards Net Positive.
- Our corporate social responsibility team engages Rally employees, partners and customers in volunteering activities to build capacity and encourage citizen entrepreneurial activities at social enterprises and non-profits as well as student and open source projects.
- Our sustainability team works to reduce the negative impact of our operations and employees on the planet and share their insights.
- Our social enterprise team provides education, coaching, training and products to other social enterprises and non-profits, as well as student and open-source projects.
- In the future, our Rally Software Foundation will provide grants to citizen engineers and social entreprenuers to accelerate their positive efforts.
Through these actions, we believe we can help accelerate the creation and scaling of enterprises and organizations that produce benefits that more than negate their negative impacts. There will be many technical innovations needed to capture our industrial material flows, produce alternative energy, alternatively power our transportation systems and help govern a planet of 7-12 billion people.
Individuals, teams and organizations all must take responsibility for these activities. This is the job of a citizen engineer.
Please join us in the ultimate road race to net positive and learn more about these efforts on the Agile Blog. We can’t do it without help from everyone.
Founder and CTO, Rally Software