- June 27, 2023
“Dell Technologies: for every product a customer buys, we will reuse or recycle an equivalent product”
“Dell computers are among the world’s most iconic, with millions of them used for work, education and other purposes. As demand for computers and other electronic devices grows, the question is: how can we ensure the sustainability of IT production? What is Dell Technologies doing to ensure that devices made from plastic and other materials have a second life, are more sustainable and less polluting?”
Monika Veres, Head of Business solution unit for Northern and Eastern at Dell Technologies, while attending at ACC Distribution conference, shared the ambitions of a global technology company and the sustainability homework it has already done for more than 25 years.
“We are committed to use at least 50% used or recycled materials in our devices. In addition, we aim to have 100% of our equipment packaging made from recycled or renewable materials by 2030 and, of course, for every product a customer buys, we will reuse or recycle an equivalent product ” said M. Veres.
The technology company started thinking about sustainability 26 years ago, when it launched the Asset Resale and Recycling program to collect and reuse or recycle IT devices. According to Dell Technologies, and has been expanding and very popular ever since, for instance because this program ensures proper sanitization of the hard drive thus providing data security for sensitive information on them. This procedure ensured that any data on the media would not be recovered after cleaning the hard drives. Once fully cleaned, hard disks can be reused or resold. All hard drives that cannot be reused are responsibly recycled in accordance with strict environmental standards worldwide. By rolling out this program to more and more countries worldwide the company Dell ensures that customer data remains as secure as possible and contributes to sustainable use.
Computer innovation – using plastics from plant-based materials, recycling carbon fiber from aviation
When it comes to recyclable materials, Dell Technologies focuses on several areas. The collection and management of plastics after use is a priority. To this end, Dell partners collect and recycle plastic materials from the oceans. Residents are not forgotten either, as their used computer devices are also recycled and sent to specialized sorting sites to be used in the manufacture of new equipment.
According to M. Veres, it is not yet possible to eliminate plastic in the manufacturing process – it is still hard to imagine computers, computer parts and accessories without it. However, the company is actively looking for solutions to replace petroleum-based plastics with bio-based plastics.
“When we produce plastics for computers, we need to find a highly durable material so that we can have our commercial devices military standard (MIL-STD) certified. How do we make it from plants? We found a solution in the paper industry where during the manufacturing process tall-oil or tallol, a residue material is generated. Through an innovative idea this material can be converted into plastic. Relationships between industries, common values and innovation is key to sustainability,” says M. Veres.
As for other sustainable recyclable materials, the list is long: in addition to aluminum, steel, gold, copper and semiconductor metals, Dell is giving a second life to recycled carbon fiber from aviation and other industries. Therefore, cross-industry collaboration, shared values and innovation are the keys to successful sustainability, according to Dell Technologies.
Easily upgradable computers to meet changing human needs
People often prefer to simply buy new devices when their needs change or a part of their device breaks. Computers are no exception. To address such issues, Dell has developed a new concept Luna, with the vision of being able to flexibly replace worn-out components in a user’s existing PC. So, in the future, when a computer part becomes obsolete or a person’s needs change, for example, they want more performance, they will no longer need to buy a new computer – they will just need to replace the component they need.
” For this to be possible we are adding smart telemetric technologies that allow us to predict which components will need to be replaced. This solution would significantly reduce the world’s e-waste, which is now the fastest growing source of pollution. We also plan to use robotics for this process, so that the replacement of computer parts can be done at any service center. The program also aims to educate consumers on a completely new, responsible approach to the entire life cycle of computing devices,” said the Dell Technologies representative at the conference.
Sustainability is not easy to achieve alone – partnerships are needed
Innovation is a way to make significant and faster changes in sustainability measures and behavior. To this end, Dell Technologies has developed an Innovation Index to track the innovation maturity of organizations. To develop the Innovation Index, Dell conducted a study in 2022 to examine how companies are innovating and adapting to the uncertain environment created by the global pandemic and rampant inflation. More than 6,000 business and IT leaders worldwide were interviewed to evaluate the situation.
“This study highlights the gap between innovation adoption and evaluation. 71% of respondents believe their organizations are innovative, but at the same time 6 out of 10 say that if they do not accelerate innovation, their organization will become irrelevant in the next 3-5 years. Similar contradictory signals can be seen when it comes to retaining and attracting talent. We believe that in order to accelerate sustainability, it is important to collaborate and discuss each other’s challenges and solutions in the area of innovation”, said Dell Technologies at the conference.
Finally, M. Veres shared some recommendations that she believes would accelerate sustainability in any organization: ‘First, think about the impact of your business on society, then design and implement innovations, and connect with others who may already be on the path of innovation and who can share their experiences. And of course, work with partners who also have sustainability as a priority.”
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 touch notebook computer and protective tray made from ocean-bound plastics.