Dell has been taking some giant steps forward as of late to reduce their carbon footprint. Their closed-loop recycled plastics supply chain alone, which was pioneered in January of 2014 and used in more than 30 of their flat panel monitors as well as three of their OptiPlex desktops, has allowed them to recycle an astounding 4.2 million pounds of closed-loop plastics into new Dell products. Plans are already in place to expand the scope of that initiative to servers and other products as early as 2016, and UL Environment (a company that specializes in advancing global sustainability at a manufacturing level) has certified the current process as the first and only closed-loop supply chain in the industry. To toot Dell’s “go green” horn just a bit, it has been a smashing success. So it stands to reason they would up their green game further, and their latest press release confirms just that. In another industry-first move, starting in late 2015 Dell will begin to recycle excess carbon fiber and scrap raw materials into all new Dell products.
According to Dell and UL Environment, closed-loop recycled plastics enabled them to reduce their carbon footprint by 11 percent while also providing a welcome cost savings over previous sources. Similarly, recycled carbon fiber materials have approximately an 11 percent smaller carbon footprint than virgin carbon fibers do. To assist in their latest circular economy initiative, Dell has partnered with supplier SABIC who estimates that their joint efforts can keep a whopping 820,000 pounds of carbon fiber from ending up in landfills. The first round of recycled carbon fiber will begin to be incorporated into Dell’s Latitude and Alienware products later this year, with plans to further expand across those products portfolios in 2016. Dell is already being recognized for their sustainability efforts, and just last month received the “2015 Catalyst Award” from the Green Electronics Council in recognition of their leadership in closed-loop recycled plastics manufacturing. The coveted Catalyst Awards are only given to businesses that show truly innovative solutions alongside tangible environmental accomplishments throughout the entire lifecycle of the technology they create.
“The technology industry has a unique responsibility to help shift the world to a circular economy model, and Dell’s long-standing investments in sustainable business puts us in a unique position to lead the way,” said Trisa Thompson, VP and chief responsibility officer at Dell. “We are always looking for collaborations that bring efficiencies to our business, and help our customers do the same.” While other companies seem to be mimicking Apple’s product line, Dell has taken a more sustainable approach to the flattery of imitation by changing the way the make their products altogether, therefore changing the future of their company as a whole. In an era where the whole world seems to be moving in a greener direction, this move by Dell could be their smartest yet.
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