Help Me Choose: Environmental Options
• Trees absorb greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, manage and recycle water, create shade, and provide food and homes for living things across the planet
• The simple act of planting trees helps sustain our communities and the environment in countless ways
The money you donate goes to our partners, The Conservation Fund and Carbonfund.org foundation. They are constantly working to identify and secure lands in need of conservation and restoration. Plantings take place only on protected areas that can never be developed or harvested for timber.
Our partners work with independent third-party organizations, such as The Rainforest Alliance, and The Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance, to validate and ensure that our planting efforts are following all the metrics and standards needed to offset the right amount of CO2.
We hope you choose to take part in our program, just like the thousands of Dell’s customers who have helped us plant more than 650,000 new trees in areas in need, such as the Panama Native Species Reforestation Project and the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana. Over the next century, those trees will trap an estimated 440,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of taking more than 90,000 cars off the road for a year.
Beyond carbon sequestration, this restoration project helps reduce erosion, protect downstream watersheds and even restore habitat for endangered species such as the Louisiana Black Bear and Florida Panther. There are economic benefits to the surrounding communities as well.
For more details please see our Plant a Tree FAQ
Q: How did you determine those donation amounts?
Although the science and work behind the calculation are quite extensive and
complex, a simpler way to view the process is through these steps:
- Dell estimates the average amount of electricity used to power the systems using our Dell Client Energy Savings Calculator — OptiPlex and Latitude systems are used as reference for the calculations for all systems
- Using data provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, it is possible to estimate the average emissions caused by the generation of electricity needed to power your system
- By multiplying those two factors (Go Zero® Metrics and Calculations), we can estimate how much carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) was emitted and how much needs to be offset by planting trees
- Our partners, The Conservation Fund and Carbonfund.org, do great work finding the best reforestation projects available. All projects are validated to the highest standards (The Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Alliance, and The Rainforest Alliance) to ensure sequestration levels are accurately accounted for (Panama Project Design)
Q: When and why did you start Plant a Tree?
A: Knowing that you, like us, want to reduce your impact on the planet, we decided in early 2007 to set up an easy way for you to promote a healthier environment. We focused on reforestation because of the inherent benefits of trees — for both ecosystems and communities. By rebuilding forests together, we can make a real difference in the endeavor to create a healthier world.
Q: Who can participate in Plant a Tree?
A: Individuals and businesses in the U.S. can take part in the program by making a payment here or by selecting the Plant a Tree option while shopping on the Dell website. Outside the U.S., businesses (not yet individuals) can support the tree planting by making a payment through carbonfund.org/dell. No purchase is necessary.
Q: How much of my money will actually go toward tree planting?
A: All of it. One hundred percent of the payment support the Conservation Fund and Carbonfund.org‘s efforts to rebuild forests.
Q: How do I figure out an appropriate amount to pay?
A: On the Plant a Tree page (click here for the U.S. and here for outside the U.S.), you'll find a list of specific dollar amounts that correspond to different types of Dell products — such as $2 for a laptop.
Q: How did you determine estimated offset amounts?
A: The figures are based on the average expected carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the production of electricity needed to power the products over three years. For example, laptop usage corresponds to approximately .13 metric tons of CO2 emissions; desktop usage, .22 metric tons.
Q: Who actually plants the trees?
A: Our partners at the Conservation Fund and Carbonfund.org carry out the plantings with their associates.
Q: What types of trees are planted and where?
A: The tree species depends on the forest location. For each area, only native species are used. This is beneficial because native trees are uniquely adapted to the local habitat. They help the soil regain its health and support wildlife and ecologically important organisms. Trees are planted in protected locations, such as national wildlife refuges. So far, all of the program's trees have been sited in the U.S. and Central America — some of the main projects are in Louisiana, Kansas and Nicaragua — but the Conservation Fund and Carbonfund.org are actively exploring additional reforestation projects around the globe.
Q: Can planting a tree really make a difference?
A: Yes. As soon as a seedling is planted, it starts pulling carbon dioxide out of the air. Over the tree's lifetime, it can absorb approximately one ton of CO2. That adds up when you consider the whole forest. Our project in the Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas, for example, is on track to take 260,500 tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, the equivalent of 47,000 cars' emissions, over the next 100 years. Native trees also help to control flooding, clean local water supplies and create habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Q: How do you ensure that the trees are planted and managed sustainably?
A: The Conservation Fund and Carbonfund.org work with local forestry officials to make sure that management practices are sound, that project results are properly analyzed and documented and that oversight continues over the useful life of the planting. Plant a Tree's reforestation methodologies and project results are also audited by an independent third party.
Panama Project Design:
The conservation Fund — Go Zero Program:
- Go Zero Metric and Calculations: http://www.conservationfund.org/gozero
- Main Site for Plant a Tree
- Tensas River Project