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Taking a page from the playbook of all great innovators, Dell looked around to see what companies in other industries were doing to improve their environmental profiles.
Like Nike, Dell is seeking out environmentally friendly technology, processes, and materials, and sharing what it learns broadly across the industry.
“We can all do better at minimizing waste, reducing toxics, and managing our use of natural resources,” notes Thompson.
Dell believes that these and other productivity tools and practices will keep employees connected, collaborative, and productive.
It is also a commitment that keeps leaders and managers—and all employees—focused on performance goals.“As managers, it is easy to become accustomed to rewarding time clocked rather than results achieved,” explains Thompson.
The practice also allows Dell to distribute jobs differently and allows workers more mobility and flexibility in their choices about where to live and how to work.
Recently, other companies, notably Yahoo and Best Buy, moved in the other direction, pulling back on such efforts and requiring workers to work in a company office.By leveraging the use of bamboo, mushroom, and wheat straw, the company plans to make 100 percent of its product packaging from sustainable materials by the year 2020.The company considers all phases of each product’s lifecycle, from the design for recyclability to the recycled content in production materials.Our expectation is that by the year 2020, the good that comes from our technology will be 10 times what it takes to create and use it.We know that success in this space requires collaboration of all kinds in order to properly measure progress as we work to leave a legacy of good for generations to come.” Dell is already collaborating with other “net positive” companies (including British Telecom), those that make a commitment to positively improving the environment, not just minimizing the damage.Since then, the Dell team, led by Vice President of Corporate Responsibility Trisa Thompson, has been putting the plan into action.Stimulating environmental and social change is no easy task—it requires dedication, a sophisticated approach, and, above all, collaboration across industries and organizations.“If we make the commitment to learn together as an industry, we can accelerate our progress and positive impact.That is why Dell participates in the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition and why we seek to work with others in our industry to leverage our collective strengths.” Thompson adds, “We hope more organizations will join us on our journey.In addition, Dell aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations by 50 percent and reduce the energy intensity of its product portfolio by 80 percent by the year 2020.Dell plans to shrink its carbon footprint through such means as the Connected Workplace, a program that enhances the ability to work from home.