Dell Cuts Emissions, Boosts E-Waste Takeback, Green Power Use

Dell Cuts Emissions, Boosts E-Waste Takeback, Green Power Use

Dell, which has long had a goal to be the world's greenest technology company, has made some significant improvements in environmental performance for fiscal year 2009, according to its newly released CSR report.

At the top-most level, Dell has managed to reduce its greenhouse gas intensity -- the number of metric tons of GHGs emitted per million dollars of revenue -- by nearly 7 percent, down to 6.65 tons per million dollars from 7.12 from fiscal year 2008.

The company has also made strides in how much e-waste it takes back around the world; in addition to increasing the number of countries in which the company offers its Takeback Program to 72, Dell recovered 61.3 million kilograms (just over 67,500 tons) of materials, up from 58 million kg last year.

Although still significant, Dell's improvements in waste recycling and reuse were less successful than other achievements. The company recycled or reused 95.4 percent of the waste generated in its manufacturing and fulfillment facilities, an increase of just .3 percent from last year's numbers. The total waste generated at those facilities grew to 100,159, an increase of just over 10 percent from 2008 figures.

Other notable achievements from this year's report:

• increased by nearly 500 percent its green power purchasing -- up to 122.7 million kilowatt-hours from 22.8 million kWh in 2008;
• cut its packaging use by 9.5 million pounds;
• saved 17 million kWh of electricity use per year through efficiency projects, which cuts emissions by 4,300 tons per year;
• added 38 new computer systems certified to Energy Star standards, increasing its total Energy Star offering to 148 products.

Among the goals Dell has set to achieve in the coming months and years:

• Reduce operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 15 percent by 2012, commit to carbon-neutral operations for 5 years, and reduce worldwide facilities' GHG emissions by 40 percent by 2015;
• Make laptop and desktop products 25% more energy efficient by calendar year 2010;
• Produce mercury-free laptops by 2010;
• Eliminate 20 million pounds of packaging by 2012;
• Recycle or reuse 99% of nonhazardous manufacturing wastes by 2012.

The report caps off a busy year so far for Dell; in the last few months alone the company has shown it will save $5.8 million a year in energy costs at its facilities, grown its renewable power sourcing by 26 percent (earning it a place in the top three of the U.S. EPA's green power purchasers list), landed in the top spot in a sustainability study of the tech industry, and laid out a comprehensive no-export e-waste policy.

Dell's 2009 sustainability report is available for download and online at Dell.com.