Closed-loop Recycling Dell today announced new sustainability initiatives designed to increase the ways that its IT solutions make lasting contributions to the planet. Dell is the first in the IT industry to introduce carbon-negative packaging, through a partnership with Newlight Technologies, inventor and manufacturer of AirCarbon. Dell also is the first to use UL-Environment certified closed-loop recycled plastics in the manufacturing of computers, in partnership with Wistron GreenTech, a global original design manufacturer and one of Dell’s official environmental partners. The independent, third-party verification of a closed-loop plastics process establishes the first industry standard for closed-loop and supports a circular economy for IT.
Earlier today, at Fortune Brainstorm Green, Dell CEO Michael Dell said today’s announcement is the next milestone in Dell’s 2020 Legacy of Good plan, which includes 21 ambitious sustainability and social goals Dell is committed to reaching by 2020. The overarching goal is to ensure that the good that comes from Dell’s technology will be ten times what it takes to create and use it.“We have a long-standing commitment to conduct our business responsibly,” said Mr. Dell. “Air Carbon packaging and closed-loop recycled plastics are terrific innovations and big steps forward as we work with our customers and partners toward our 2020 goals.”
Dell’s new packaging is based on carbon-negative AirCarbon material from bio-tech start-up, Newlight Technologies. While almost all plastics today are developed from fossil fuels, AirCarbon by Newlight Technologies is a plastic material made from air and greenhouse gases that would otherwise become part of the air. This process sequesters more carbon than it produces, pulling carbon from the air and generating a net positive impact on the environment. AirCarbon has been independently verified by Trucost in cooperation with NSF Sustainability as a carbon-negative material on a cradle-to-grave basis.
The AirCarbon-based packaging will launch this fall beginning with the packaging sleeves around new Dell Latitude series notebooks. Dell is piloting AirCarbon packaging in the United States, and plans to extend it globally for use in both packaging and products. Previous Dell packaging innovation includes bamboo and wheat straw that helped eliminate 20 million pounds of packaging and saved 18 million dollars. The new AirCarbon packaging, greener and less expensive to manufacture than oil-based plastic packaging, brings Dell another step closer to achieving its goal of using 100 percent sustainable packaging by 2020.
“Dell is using greenhouse gases that would otherwise become part of the air we breathe to replace materials traditionally made by oil, ” said Mark Herrema, CEO, Newlight Technologies. “We commend Dell for being the first in the IT industry to introduce packaging that reverses the impact of climate change. Introducing greener packaging at a lower cost per unit than traditional oil-based plastics is good for the environment and Dell’s bottom line.”
Dell’s new closed-loop supply chain developed in partnership with Wistron GreenTech will turn plastics from recycled electronics back into new systems, helping drive a circular economy for IT. Dell will be the first company in the IT industry to use UL-Environment certified closed-loop recycled plastic in a computer with the launch of the Dell OptiPlex 3030 All-in-One desktop, which will be commercially available in June. By reusing plastics already in circulation, Dell is cutting down on e-waste, saving resources and reducing carbon emissions by 11 percent compared with virgin plastics. Dell already offers free consumer recycling in 78 countries.
“Dell and Wistron’s incorporation of closed loop post-consumer recycled plastics in the OptiPlex AIO line of computers is a significant step towards industry leadership in reducing e-waste,” said Lisa Meier, vice president and general manager of UL Environment. “The content validation by UL Environment adds credibility and peace of mind for the purchasers and end users of Dell’s products, and highlights the company’s overall commitment to environmental stewardship.”
Dell also is the first to secure third-party certification from UL Environment for manufacturing with closed-loop recycled plastics. This first UL Environment certification of its kind verifies that Dell has exceeded the standard of a minimum of 10 percent of closed-loop post-consumer recycled plastics in the chassis enclosure of all Dell OptiPlex 3030 All-in-Ones globally. Dell plans to use this closed-loop approach as a blueprint for reusing metals and other materials and to accelerate Dell’s goal of using 50 million pounds of recycled-content plastic and other sustainable materials in its products by 2020.
About Dell Sustainability
Dell began integrating sustainability features into its products and processes nearly 30 years ago with designs that were upgradable, serviceable and recyclable because it was good for business, customers, and the environment. The company also was a founding member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Start program. Dell continues to play a leadership role today in global sustainability initiatives, earning honors including the 2014 Vision for America Award from Keep America Beautiful, the 2014 Design for Recycling Award from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Environmental Leader Project of the Year, the Guardian Sustainable Business Shortlist, and Manufacturer of the Year at the UK Green IT Awards. For more information, visit dell.com/environment.?
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Source: Dell Inc., press release, 2014-05-20.