When it comes to Dell and corporate responsibility, the company strives to honor ethical values, respect the dignity of people and preserve the natural environment.

The computer manufacturer strives to make positive contributions to society through a number of programs and initiatives, and to provide regular updates in a continued effort toward transparency. Dell's corporate responsibility endeavors include environmental stewardship, giving back to the community and creating a diverse and inclusive workforce.

"Helping people achieve more in their lives is the foundation for our corporate responsibility programs," said CEO Michael Dell in a press release.

"As we work to help address the challenges we face in education, healthcare, the economy and with our planet, we will continue to deliver on our commitments to stakeholders while making business decisions that will drive our growth--all in service of our customers."

Dell's 2009 Corporate Responsibility Report (PDF) sheds light on 77 measurable indicators of the company's progress.

Environmental Stewardship

In the sustainability arena, one of Dell's most notable recent achievements is a sizable reduction in packaging materials, thanks to a new program implemented in 2008. Dell cut back its packaging by 18.2 million pounds over a year period, and has achieved 94 percent of its goal to increase recycled content in packaging by 40 percent by 2012.

Other environmental achievements highlighted in the report include the collection of 484 million pounds of computer equipment since 2006, offering free recycling of PCs, banning the export of electronic waste and creating computers made from bamboo as an alternative to plastic. The company has also completed more than 170 energy efficiency projects in its facilities since 2006, preventing 21,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Social Responsibility

In the U.S. and around the world, Dell gives of its time, technology, knowledge and funds through programs like Dell YouthConnect, in which the company partners with nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations that help children. Dell has granted more than $8 million to 26 organizations in 8 countries, helping to close the technology gap with computer labs, computer literacy training and other learning opportunities.

In the United States, the U.S. Dell Foundation awarded nearly 200 grants during 2009, offering direct financial assistance to help children in underserved communities learn the computer skills necessary to excel in today's increasingly digital world. These funds also provide technological services that increase access to educational opportunities, like a underwriting a children's museum website or creating chat programs that connect children learning to play instruments with professional musicians at the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

Diversity & Inclusion

Dell believes that a diverse workforce is not just ethical, but also makes good business sense, benefiting Dell consumers through a broad range of experiences and ideas. An Equal Opportunity Employer, Dell cultivates a diverse global employee base of all races, ethnicities, religions, ages, levels of disability, backgrounds, lifestyles and cultures. The company supports employee resource groups that connect team members, including Women in Search of Excellence (WISE) and Partnering for Respect of Individuality in the Dell Environment (PRIDE) for members aligned with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community.

Dell has committed to buying from diverse suppliers. In 2008, Dell was named among DiversityInc's Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity, and was also ranked second by DiversityBusiness.com in a 2008 survey of Top Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities.

That inclusivity also extends to Dell's customers. Dell has made strides toward improving the accessibility of its products and web content to customers with disabilities, and partners with LGBT organizations such as Out & Equal and the Human Rights Campaign.

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Editor’s note: Dell is a Mother Nature Network sponsor.