Dell and environmental responsibility
The global company has changed its manufacturing, packaging and energy use in pursuit of a smaller carbon footprint.
Tue, Nov 09, 2010 at 03:21 PM
When it comes to Dell and environmental responsibility, the company aims to consume less energy, produce less waste and lower overall costs.
To achieve these goals, Dell delivers practical products and services that aim to have a true impact on the environment in regards to climate change, power efficiency, packaging, electronic waste and recycling.
To reduce climate change, Dell has adopted a strategy that addresses each stage of the product life cycle.
From suppliers, Dell expects its Tier 1 suppliers to improve and report their greenhouse gas emissions as a consideration for awarding business.
To this end, Dell also expects suppliers to publically declare their goals and improvements. In 2009, 86 percent of its Tier 1 suppliers disclosed their information.
As a company, Dell reduces their GHG emissions by maximizing its operations and energy. Its headquarters in Round Rock, Texas, along with seven other facilities in the U.S. and Europe are 100-percent powered with purchased renewable electricity.
Its global electricity is 25-percent sourced from renewable energy like wind power or solar power.
As a whole, Dell aims to reduce its operational GHG emissions by 40 percent before 2015 by reducing diesel-powered back-up generators and on-site fuel consumption among other activities.
For the consumer, Dell reduces climate change through energy-efficient products.
Its laptops and desktops are designed to consume up to 25 percent less energy by the end of 2010 compared to systems offered just two years ago. All Latitude, Precision, and OptiPlex systems can be configured for EnergyStar compliance by users.
To help ease the impact of its packaging practices, Dell follows what it calls the "3 Cs": Cube (smaller boxes); Content (use recycled or sustainable materials); and Curb (ensure that packaging is easily recyclable).
Bamboo helped them achieve the 3 Cs. In November 2009, Dell became the first technology company to offer bamboo packaging.
Bamboo is fast-growing, replenishes the soil and makes for sturdy lightweight packaging.
More than 50 percent of the company’s Inspirion products are packaged in bamboo, and the company seeks to expand the practice in 2011.
E-waste is a major threat to the environment and Dell is making strides to eliminate it in two ways.
The first is by banning the export of e-waste. Often categorized as “nonworking,” e-waste is shipped to developing countries, supposedly for repairs.
Dell has banned this practice entirely. A product must be certified as “working” before being exported to other countries. This ban exceeds the requirements of the Basel Convention, which bans the export of certain electronic waste based on material and chemical composition.
To further reduce e-waste, Dell has set up recycling centers for its products that consumers may visit.
Located in 70 countries around the world, with aims to expand to 11 more, Dell has recycled 484 million pounds of equipment since 2006.
In the U.S., customers can drop off their Dell computers at any Staples location to have their Dell computer recycled free of charge. If a customer wants to recycle another brand, it’s only $10 per piece of large equipment.
For the future, Dell set goals to maintain this emphasis on environmental responsibility.
In 2010, Dell took back 153 million pounds of equipment for recycling and export, across the globe.
By 2014, it hopes to have taken back one billion pounds. Dell aims for zero waste through recycling or reusing 99 percent of nonhazardous manufacturing waste.
In terms of its actual products – computers – Dell hopes to reduce GHG emissions from their computers by 25 million tons through Energy Smart operational settings and avoid 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions by implementing server-managed power management for customers by 2012.
By 2012, it hopes to eliminate 20 million pounds of packaging through its use of bamboo and other packaging alternatives.
Dell is serious about environmental responsibility through how it manufactures, packages and recycles its products as well as how it uses energy and its impact on the world.
Editor's note: Dell is a Mother Nature Network sponsor.