Environmental Frequently Asked Questions
What is Dell doing to design more environmentally conscientious products?
Dell designs and engineers its products with an eye toward lowering their impacts on the environment throughout their entire life cycle. It’s all part of our Design for Environment (DfE) program. At the earliest stages of product development, we incorporate responsible ingredients selection, reduction of environmentally sensitive materials, increased energy efficiency, extension of product life span and design for disassembly. More information on our DfE program can be found here.
Does Dell use any recycled/renewable materials in its products?
Yes. The plastics and corrugated packaging used in some Dell products contain varying levels of recycled content, by application and product type. For example, 170,000 pounds of recycled carbon fiber was used in Alienware and Latitude laptops. Closed-loop plastics were used in 48 Dell products in FY16.
In FY16, we also used 14.1 million pounds of recycled plastic in select monitors and systems for a cumulative total of 36.2 million pounds of sustainable materials used in Dell products.
What is Dell doing to improve the energy efficiency of its major products?
In FY16, we saw significant reductions in energy intensity as a result of new generation server and client products introduced in FY15. We continued to make improvements across our portfolio by optimizing power supplies and other components with each new product update. We also began to see efficiency gains from incorporating 6th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors (built on the new Skylake microarchitecture) into Dell server and client products
in late FY16, and will continue to do so as we transition to this chipset in smaller products across our portfolio.
By the end of FY16, we had 416 products qualified to the various ENERGY STAR standards, representing approximately 90 percent of our eligible products. These standards help customers quickly and easily identify energy-efficient products compared to the “norm” within the product category.
We continued to refine our methods of calculating energy intensity across our portfolio. We added workstations to our FY16 portfolio calculation after discovering these products had a large enough energy footprint to necessitate their inclusion. This was also the first year in which we included tablets in our calculation, using the models we developed in FY15.
What is Dell doing to reduce the environmental impact of its own facilities?
We are always looking for opportunities to reduce our ecological impacts. Power-saving initiatives include lighting upgrades, equipment optimization, installation of timers and sensors, and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning modifications. For example, to cool our primary data centers in central Texas — which represent about half of the company’s total power consumption — we use filtered outside air for at least some part of 150 days a year. Using this method, as opposed to recirculating and recooling hot air generated by servers, dramatically cuts our electricity consumption for cooling.
Speaking of data centers, we avoided having to build a new one (thereby avoiding the multitudes of environmental impacts that would have entailed) by squeezing more capacity out of our current infrastructures through virtualization, hardware upgrades and other efficiency measures.
In FY16, our manufacturing facilities diverted 97 percent of their total wastes from landfills.
Can you tell me more about your recycling efforts?
Our approach to recycling revolves around the principle of individual producer responsibility. In short, we believe we should recycle the products that we make and sell worldwide. We offer individuals free recycling of used Dell-branded computer equipment at any time and free recycling of other brands of used computer equipment with the purchase of new Dell equipment. We also have donation programs in a number of markets that place working used systems with nonprofit organizations.
For information about our specific programs for individuals and businesses, see our recycling section.
What can businesses and public institutions do with their unwanted IT assets when they are ready for upgrade or disposal?
Dell offers product recovery services to business and institutional customers in most major markets, including Europe and North America. Dell Asset Recovery Services, offered to business and institutional customers, provide reverse logistics, value recovery and reporting.
How do you manage the disposal of equipment you collect for recycling?
Dell recycling partners must meet stringent standards for environmental and safety practices. We also prohibit the export of nonworking electronics or e-waste, to developing nations (and were the first in our industry to do so). This is required by contract with our vendors and enforced through regular third-party audits. Our Electronics Disposition Policy can be found here.
Where can I find information on the environmental attributes of Dell products?
We post Environmental Data Sheets for many of our desktop, laptop and server/storage products here.
Are Dell products certified according to any eco-label standards?
Yes, many of our products bear ecolabels such as ENERGY STAR, EPEAT, Blue Angel and TCO. Information regarding eco-label certification can be found here and on our Environmental Datasheets, here.
Where can I find your Corporate Social Responsibility or Sustainability report?
The most recent Dell Corporate Social Responsibility Report can be found here. An archive of prior reports can be found here.
How does Dell comply with various environmental regulations?
Dell complies with the applicable environmental regulations or legislation wherever we do business. In many cases, our environmental programs and policies exceed legal requirements. For example, all Dell-branded products worldwide comply with the European Union’s stringent Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive.
Does Dell use brominated flame retardants (BFRs) such as PBB and PBDE in its products? What about PVC?
We have been voluntarily reducing or eliminating substances of concern from our products since 1996, oftentimes well ahead of regulations. For example, we removed polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), including decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), from all Dell products in 2002, complying with the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive 4 years before its enactment. That same year, we proactively and voluntarily eliminated the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in all plastic mechanical parts above 25 grams.
Our current restrictions related to BFRs and PVC include prohibiting the use of:
- PBBs and PBDEs (including deca-BDE) for all applications
- All other BFRs* (including tetrabromobisphenol A or TBBPA, and hexabromocyclododecane or HBCD) and chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs) in all mechanical plastic parts over 25 grams for desktops, laptop and server products, as well as TCO-certified displays and Blue Angel-certified printers
- PVC* in product packaging and in all mechanical plastic parts over 25 grams
By the end of 2011, all newly introduced Dell personal computing products will be BFR, CFR and PVC free*, as acceptable alternatives are identified that will not compromise product performance and product health and will lower environmental impacts. More information on the Dell approach to materials use can be found here.
What is Dell doing to reduce mercury and arsenic from its products?
In 2010, we completed the transition of all our new laptop displays to mercury-free LED (light-emitting diode) backlighting. We are committed to expanding the list of mercury-free, LED-based products in future offerings.
Dell is voluntarily working to remove arsenic (found in display glass) from our systems. We introduced arsenic-free display glass in laptops and monitors in 2009 and aim to introduce it across our entire portfolio.
Does Dell use CFCs during the manufacturing process and do Dell products contain CFCs?
In accordance with international treaties designed to protect the ozone layer, Dell prohibits the use of ozone-depleting substances (Class-I and Class-II CFCs and HCFCs) in manufacturing processes and product design.
Does Dell use any recycled/renewable materials in its products?
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) is a European directive addressing end-of-life treatment of products. The directive requires products to be labeled with the WEEE 'wheelie-bin' mark and to include printed customer information on WEEE. Dell approached this as a global directive — all products worldwide should have the WEEE label. Dell implemented both requirements of WEEE on or before the 13 August 2005 compliance deadline.
*Dell has adopted the BFR/CFR/PVC-free definition as set forth in the 'iNEMI Position Statement on the Definition of Low-Halogen Electronics (BFR/CFR/PVC-Free).' Plastic parts contain < 1000 ppm (0.1 percent) of bromine (if the Br source is from BFRs) and < 1000 ppm (0.1 percent) of chlorine if the Cl source is from CFRs, PVC or PVC copolymers. All printed circuit board (PCB) and substrate laminates contain bromine/chlorine totaling less than 1,500 ppm (0.15 percent), with maximum chlorine of 900 ppm (0.09 percent) and maximum bromine of 900 ppm (0.09 percent). Service parts after purchase may not be BFR/PVC free.