Dell walks the talk in sustainable industry

Dell walks the talk in sustainable industry
Published: 25 June 2018 - 6:10 a.m.
By: David Ndichu

More than one million students in Ethiopia with access to technology, 73 million pounds of recycled materials used in new Dell products since 2013, while a new e-waste tracking program and 360-degree virtual reality supply chain lets users to look around an actual supplier factory.

These are some of the key highlights from Dell’s annual 2020 Legacy of Good update, summarising its CSR efforts during fiscal year 2018 (Feb. 4, 2017 – Feb. 2, 2018).

Legacy of Good is part of Dell’s effort to put its technology and expertise to make an impact on communities around the world. For Dell that means investing in products that reduces environmental impact, supports a transparent supply chain, ensures an inclusive future workforce and uplifts underserved communities.

“The Legacy of Good program reflects what’s possible when people and technology come together with purpose,” said Christine Fraser, chief responsibility officer, Dell. “Our customers, partners and teams care about this work now more than ever, and we will continue to seek innovative ways to deploy our resources, design out waste, celebrate inclusion and address the greatest need.”

Dell believes transitioning to a circular economy is critical to enable human progress in the future. The company’s supply chain expertise, design strategy and global electronics recycling infrastructure puts the company in a unique position to advance a circular model. Dell has pioneered sustainable design innovation in a multitude of areas, including:

- Closed-loop recycling: In the reported period, Dell brought closed-loop plastics recycling to its enterprise portfolio in Europe, recycling more than 35,000 lbs. of plastic from e-waste into new enterprise products. Cumulatively, Dell has used 73 million pounds of recycled material in new products since 2013, keeping the company on track to meet 2020 goal of 100 million pounds.

- Gold reclamation: At the same time, Dell closed the loop on gold, upcycling used gold from e-waste into new motherboards in the Dell Latitude 5285 2-in-1 and into a jewellery line, The Circular Collection, in partnership with Bayou with Love, founded by Nikki Reed.

- Global e-waste tracking: This year, Dell is piloting the use of global tracking technology to monitor the responsible recycling of used electronics. In addition to piloting its own electronic tracking program, Dell has partnered with Basel Action Network to deploy trackers across Dell’s consumer takeback programs. Results will be reported in approximately 12 months following the pilot period. 

- Intercepting ocean-bound plastics: Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop ships in packaging made with recovered ocean-bound plastics. The packaging, which received a Best of Innovation Award at CES, will begin shipping on the broader XPS line and commercial product portfolio later this year. To scale the work, Dell in partnership with the Lonely Whale created NextWave, a consortium of companies dedicated to scaling use cases for ocean-bound plastic materials in manufacturing while creating economic and social benefits for stakeholders. NextWave hopes to divert 3 million pounds of plastics over five years, the equivalent of keeping 66 million water bottles from washing out to sea.

Dell is also working to equip the youth all over the world with the skills to succeed in an increasingly tech-centric world.

- Dell donated a $650,000 grant to benefit more than 400,000 youth and 3,000 educators in 422 locations in Ethiopia. The entire project, through a partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry for Education and Camara Education, will deliver more than 30,000 PCs to more than 1,000 schools, benefitting 1.2 million students between 2016 and 2019. The $12 million innovation project will also include more than 16 million hours of information and communication technologies education training to more than 3,000 teachers and school leaders.

- The company continues to build a flexible work environment with more than 58% of Dell team members using Dell’s remote work opportunity at least one day per week.

- More than 1 million people have gained access to technology and technology skills through Dell strategic giving programs this year. The company has helped a total of 11.2 million people since 2013.

- Since 2014, $50 million has invested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives focused on underserved youth.

Dell is working to maintain an ethical and transparent supply chain that ensures good working conditions and a sustainable approach for their suppliers around the world. Highlights include:

- A new virtual reality experience that allows users to look around an actual supplier factory, see the living conditions for workers at the factory and observe an engagement session featuring customers and workers. The 360-degree videos are available on Dell’s supply chain site.

- More than $3 billion invested annually with women- and minority-owned suppliers and small businesses in the past six years.

- More than 200,000 workers in the company’s supply chain are monitored through the company’s weekly working hours monitoring program.

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