What is everyone typing this blog post on? Right, a computer of some sorts. What kind of computer are you typing it on? Most likely, you are writing this on either a Mac or Dell laptop. I decided to explore the environmental practices of one of these companies—Dell.

While I am the proud owner of a Macbook, I still love Dell computers. In fact, I hate most of the Microsoft office programs on Macs and prefer them on Dells, but I prefer Mac laptops so that’s why I switched. I was surprised to find out that Dell is widely recognized as being an environmentally friendly company. I wouldn’t normally think that any company in the technology sector would be high on the list, but Dell was ranked the 25th greenest company in 2011 according to Newsweeks Green Rankings.

So how did they get there? They live up to five main ideas and practices that ensure them that they remain environmentally friendly when manufacturing their product. They are: Easy Recycling for Home and Business, Greener Products and Packaging, Energy Efficiency and Green IT, Responsible Operations and Eco Engagement and Recognition.  Under the Responsible Operations page is a lot of information on their how thoughts on climate change. I thought this was interesting because it relates to our climate change discussion from last class.  They are reducing their global emissions to 50-85% of what they were in 2000 using evolving scientific methods. Their finished products are built to use 25% less energy than their previous models, and in 2009 were ranked number one in the Corporate Sustainability Index Benchmark Report by Technology Business Research, stating that they scored particularly well In renewable energy use, recycling and the integration of a sustainability strategy in their business practices. They source approximately 35% of its energy use from green power, trying to cut down on other environmentally damaging power sources.

“Every day you have the opportunity to make greener choices, but when choosing technology, you don’t want to compromise on cost, performance or reliability. At Dell, we believe you shouldn’t have to. That’s why we strive to ensure that people and companies don’t have to make trade-offs to be green.” This was just a little quote I found on Dell’s website in their environment section. Although it is important to be environmentally conscious, I also think that it is important to not sacrifice quality when using greener methods. This quote makes it seem that other competitors or other companies in different industries may not be as effective as Dell is about maintaining the quality of their products. In Dell’s words, there is no trade off to be green, and they have managed manufacture and sell top quality computers consistently. I think it is also neat to note that Bucknell uses a lot of Dell computers. Look around the library. All of the desktop computers in the library are Dell’s with the exception of a few Macs. Also I don’t know if anyone recalls this, but I think it was last year (?) that Bucknell ordered brand new computers for the main area of the library, updating them all to the newest desktops and software available. This may not be that noteworthy given that most people use either Dells or Macs, but I still think it’s cool to see that Bucknell supports a company that uses green-friendly business practices and is recognized for their awareness and effort to remain as green as possible.


9 responses »

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  2. Jim says:

    It seems like Dell is doing a pretty good job of managing their carbon footprint. I was particularly interested in the idea of using more and more recyclable materials, especially with the knowledge that computers, in particular certain components of them, often have environmentally unfriendly agents and can be devastating when improperly disposed of. It is also interesting to me what the company wrote about making tradeoffs. I think that is an important part of the sustainability discussion, but I’m not sure I agree with Dell in this case. I think that in becoming a more sustainably society, we will experience tradeoffs as an integral part of our lives. I think the solution to our problems is not finding a way around making tradeoffs, but realizing the value in sustainability that has, until recently, been understated and misunderstood.

    • Hannah says:

      I think what Dell was saying is that even though they have become a more sustainable society, they haven’t had to make any tradeoffs. They are definitely an environmentally friendly company and in moving towards even greener practices, they haven’t had to sacrifice quality in these practices.

  3. Marko says:

    I absolutely love your post Hannah. Especially cause I wrote almost the same blog about Dell.. haha.. Dell is very interesting company from many aspects. They are very environmentally friendly, consumer-oriented, and quality-maintaining company. One of the best things I like about Dell is their recycling program, which is one of the most comprehensive recycling programs in the tech industry.The company takes back and recycles any of its products for free, So far Dell used 7.2 million pounds of post-consumer recycled plastic to build new computers, the equivalent of recycling 263 million water bottles. Pretty impressive numbers.

    • Hannah says:

      Haha I didn’t realize until after I posted and scrolled down that you also wrote about Dell. Like you, I was pleased to find out that they are a very environmentally friendly and environmentally conscious company, aware of every action they take and the potential consequences that can arise as a result of their actions. I think it is great that such a popular and successful company has managed to make a significant impact on environmentally friendly practices and is moving towards becoming a more sustainable company.

  4. scoutberger says:

    Dell is certainly doing a good job managing its carbon footprint but I wonder at what cost. There are not people I know that still have a Dell laptop because there have been such frustrations with the quality of the laptops and the customer service. For my blog I wrote about Best Buy and they take Dell computers and Dell parts/chargers and recycle them. Don’t get me wrong, I think Dell’s programs to be environmentally friendly are very sound and responsible, but as a company, I have difficult admiring Dell. Their customer service is atrocious and their products fall apart. In my time at Bucknell I have had three Dell computers crash and break in a two year period whereas my one Mac has now lasted two years and is still going strong and has yet to have a problem. It’s tough because you want to support an environmentally friendly company like Dell but the trade off may be a poor product.

  5. brookeparker16 says:

    What I find so interesting about how Dell is so environmentally friends is that, last time I checked, Dell was struggling. So read this comment knowing that the last time I learned about Dell was junior year when they were not doing so hot. Apple is known as the hot and cool product to have, yet they didn’t even make the list of responsible companies. What I find super ironic about this is that in the 20 something age group it is cool to be green. However, this is the same age group that is buying Apple computers. You feel like more people in this generation would care more about the environmentally friendly Dell. Curious, very curious.

    • Jeff Galloway says:

      I was thinking the exact same thing as Brooke when I read this. Apple has that repuation of being green and environmentally friendly, but clearly reputations aren’t always accurate. I’m curious if more of our generation would switch to Dell if they changed up their marketing strategy to focus on their green initiatives, highlighting the fact that they do care about the environment and are doing whatever they can to help.

  6. Zach says:

    I think another reason Dell is environmentally conscious has to do with its business model. Dell doesn’t have any brick and mortar locations. The only place to officially get a dell is through Dell.com. This significantly cuts down on potential waste. They are also made built to order. That means that the computer doesn’t exist until someone purchases it. They only have the supplies they need and thus, they don’t have much waste on hand at any one point.

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