Mega PC box shifter Dell has planted its (no doubt green and recycled) stake in the ground, claiming to be the first tech company to be carbon neutral. And not only that but it has done it ahead of schedule, by about five months, natch.
Ah, there we go again with that wonderful phrase ‘carbon neutral’, which means many things to many people but rarely actually means carbon neutral.
But the facts – and there are a lot of them – first. According to Dell, the company has:
- Since 2004, Dell’s annual investment in green electricity from utility providers, including wind, solar and methane gas caputre, has grown from 12 million kwh to 116 million kwh.
- Dell is saving more than $3m annually.
- Dell’s Round Rock, Texas HQ is now powered by 100 per cent green energy.
- Dell is making additional investments in wind power in the US, China and India and, combined with green electricity purchases, equates to 645 million kwh and the avoidance of 400,000 metric tons of CO2e.
Dell’s chairman and CEO Michael ‘I liked my name so much I named the company after it’ Dell, boasted:
“We’re driving ‘green’ into every aspect of our global business. This includes setting new standards for energy efficiency and green power, delivering environmental and cost savings for customers and aligning key growth priorities with our focus on preserving our shared Earth. Every company can join Dell and the ReGeneration in this long-term commitment.”
Dell is also working with Conservation International on a habitat and forest preservation initiative in Madagascar, protecting more than 591,000 acres of tropical rainforest.
Firstly, well done to Dell on the efforts it has made to reduce energy consumption and use and invest in alternative and renewable sources of energy.
But there’s a bit of greenwash in all this and, in particular, it’s the carbon neutral claim that sticks in Greenbang’s throat. A fair chunk of Dell’s carbon neutrality is down to offsetting – and therein lies the rub. There’s still an awful lot of carbon footprint across the PC manufacturing supply chain, and this applies to Dell’s rivals as well.
So, a small pat on the back for Dell but there’s still an awful long way to go before the big players in the tech industry can justifiably claim to be genuinely green companies.