Congratulations on Dell being ranked as the sixth greenest company in America by Newsweek. In that context, which are the areas of sustainability where Dell can have the most significant impact?
Thank you. At Dell, we align our sustainability efforts with the UN’s holistic approach, focusing on both environmental and social aspects. We have identified climate action, the circular economy, digital inclusion, an inclusive workforce, and building trust as our primary areas of impact. In the context of the growing digital society, we are particularly focused on technology’s – including AI’s - environmental impact, digital inclusion, and the escalating issue of e-waste. Our goal is to mitigate these challenges through innovative solutions and responsible practices.
AI is expected to significantly increase compute demand, making sustainable IT and data centers essential. We are also working to ensure that the benefits of the digital economy are accessible to all, and addressing the growing problem of e-waste by rethinking how we design, use, and recycle electronic products. Each of these efforts is integral to our commitment to being a responsible and sustainable technology company.
How is Dell preparing for the future in terms of AI's anticipated energy consumption?
We have been proactive in addressing the energy demands of AI. When determining where we will place technology that requires significant power consumption, we consider environmental impact. In Dell Digital’s case, we have chosen colocation facilities that operate on 100% renewable energy. These facilities have successfully achieved net zero carbon emissions for both scope 1 and 2 categories. Also, Dell is proud to have among the widest breadth of EPEAT certifications in our industry, which provides assurance that the technology not only meets high standards for energy efficiency, but also other environmental attributes.
Beyond our products and operations, advocacy and partnerships are essential. We are collaborating with suppliers, customers, and regulatory bodies to promote green energy globally. Additionally, tools like Dell’s Cloud IQ are being developed to provide robust energy use monitoring and management, leveraging AI to optimize energy consumption across industries. With energy efficient hardware, software to support data center optimization and data centers that are powered by renewables, we can address much of the increased energy use related to AI.
Could you elaborate on Dell's 2030 goals regarding e-waste and the circular economy?
By 2030, we aim for 100% of our packaging and at least half of our product content by weight to be made from recycled or renewable materials. We are also committed to taking back an equivalent amount of e-waste relative to the number of products we sell.
Our approach to the circular economy involves focusing on circular design principles, promoting product repairability, and innovating in recycling and take-back programs.
We’ve been focused on circular design principles for decades and have accelerated this work to keep materials in use longer and reduce e-waste. Inspired by our Concept Luna explorations, which is a concept laptop that exemplifies maximum circularity, we continue to work to drive a more circular economy. This commitment in evident across our entire product lifecycle, from the materials we source and lowering product carbon footprints, to designing for repair and longevity, and finally, to our global take back services that support materials reuse and recycling.
Is Concept Luna intended for commercial use?
Concept Luna was initially not intended for commercial use due to scale and cost-effectiveness challenges. It was conceived as a concept to explore innovative design and materials. However, the knowledge gained from Luna is already being applied in current Dell products, as we strive to enhance our sustainability practices. We understand that scaling the production of a laptop like Luna, with its unique materials and design, requires a comprehensive system of processes and supply chain adaptations.
As we continue to learn from our explorations into sustainable PC design, we are implementing its innovative features into our existing products. It is a steppingstone towards the future of circular IT, going beyond just the laptop. Although bringing Luna to a commercial scale is a long-term goal, we are not waiting to apply its groundbreaking concepts.
How does Dell concretely handle the take-back of e-waste?
Addressing the e-waste challenge is central to our sustainability strategy. We acknowledge that a mere 17% of e-waste is currently recycled across the industry, and we are committed to doing our part to improve this. For consumers, we focus on ease of return. We have partnered with organizations like Goodwill, allowing customers to easily and conveniently return and recycle technology products of any brand, not limited to Dell’s. Additionally, we provide incentives, like promotional discounts, to encourage e-waste return.
In the B2B space, our approach is collaborative and systemic, working closely with large companies and channel partners to facilitate product take-back at scale. The data and insights gained from initiatives like Apex and Cloud IQ play a crucial role in managing and extending the life of IT infrastructure. We leverage data to enhance circularity, repairability, and reusability across our product range.
Finally, does Dell see the green transition also as a business opportunity, beyond a social responsibility?
Absolutely. Sustainability is not just a corporate responsibility but a business imperative for Dell. Companies, including ours, are increasingly recognizing the importance of integrating sustainability into every aspect of business operations. It is crucial for the longevity and success of any company in today’s world. We have established robust governance processes to ensure that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance is a core part of our strategy, on par with revenue and other key business metrics.
Our commitment to sustainability is unwavering, and it is intertwined with our business objectives. We believe that as more companies view the green transition as a business opportunity, we will see accelerated progress in addressing global environmental challenges. The synergy between corporate responsibility and business opportunity is essential for driving rapid, effective change towards a more sustainable future.
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