Dell Aims To Be The Greenest Tech Company

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Dell today announced an environmental strategy designed to make the computer maker the "greenest tech company on the planet." The most-far reaching aspect of its Zero Carbon Initiative is a requirement that its suppliers publicly report their greenhouse gas emissions. "Suppliers risk having their overall scores reduced during Dell quarterly business reviews for not identifying and publicly reporting GHG emissions," the company stated. "A supplier's volume of Dell business can be affected by the scores earned on reviews. Dell will work with suppliers on emissions reduction strategies once data is collected." The idea is that such disclosures will encourage manufacturers of computer components - many of which are in China - to compete to reduce their contribution toward global warming. Coming on the heels of Steve Jobs's disclosure last month of toxic chemicals present in Apple (AAPL) computers and plans to reduce or eliminate them, Dell's (DELL) move ratchets up the pressure on the computer industry to go green. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Sun Microsystems (SUNW) are also undertaking various green computing initiatives. In addition, Dell proposed that companies be rated on their "carbon intensity," which measures greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of annual revenue. The Texas computer maker promised to reduce its carbon intensity 15 percent by 2012.

Past Dell programs - like it's Plant a Tree for Me carbon offset program - have been derided as being more about greening the company's image than about actually reducing its environmental impact. But today's initiatives indicate Dell is making efforts to directly cut its greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, Dell said a pilot power-management program for more than 50,000 of its corporate computers saved $1.8 million in electricity costs annually and eliminated the equivalent of 8,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Adding a Web 2.0 twist to its enviro campaign, Dell is soliciting its customers' ideas on how to green up the company's operations at its IdeaStorm site.

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